Electric Car Rental Questions

Old Nov 1, 19, 10:38 am
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Electric Car Rental Questions

I need to rent a car for a few days in the Netherlands. It's not until next year. I'll be travelling from Amsterdam to the Limburg area and back, over three days. I've noticed that Sixt offers a few different electric cars. Electric cars are still very uncommon where I live, so I was considering this option, almost as a novelty to be honest.

They were offering a Nissan Leaf, a BMW i3, the VW e-golf and the Jaguar i-pace. Will any or all of these cars be able to do a trip like that? I know that some of their websites say that they can, but manufacturer's world and real world aren't always the same. How long do they take to charge? What happens at the end of the rental? With a petrol or diesel powered car, you refuel in five minutes and then return the car. I don't imagine this being possible with an electric car, so what does Sixt normally require? I did email them a couple of days ago, but they haven't replied.
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Old Nov 3, 19, 2:56 pm
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Assuming you use level 2 and not quick charge, these cars take about 4 hours to refill a 24kWh battery. The range on these batteries is about 100-120 miles more or less, depending on road conditions and weather. I have little experience with using electric car chargers in Europe, but in the States, we have several companies that own car chargers and you need to sign up for a membership to access the chargers - you pay for charging through the application on your phone. Some car chargers are free while most have a fee based on time and/or electricity usage.

As far as I know, Hertz (which rents out Teslas) do not require you to return the car on a full battery.
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Old Nov 3, 19, 8:35 pm
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Originally Posted by kxc262 View Post
Assuming you use level 2 and not quick charge, these cars take about 4 hours to refill a 24kWh battery. The range on these batteries is about 100-120 miles more or less, depending on road conditions and weather. I have little experience with using electric car chargers in Europe, but in the States, we have several companies that own car chargers and you need to sign up for a membership to access the chargers - you pay for charging through the application on your phone. Some car chargers are free while most have a fee based on time and/or electricity usage.

As far as I know, Hertz (which rents out Teslas) do not require you to return the car on a full battery.
Thanks.

The BMW website says 300 km, which is about 186 miles. But if it's only 100 to 120, I'd be cutting it fine distance wise. I might need to look at a conventionally powered vehicle.
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Old Nov 13, 19, 8:33 pm
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I've actually contacted Sixt twice via their website to ask them about this and haven't received a reply after several days each time. It's making me think I should look at another company. If they can't provide you with information before you hire a car from them, it worries me what would happen in the event of a problem.
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Old Nov 14, 19, 3:09 am
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I don't think kxc262 was implying the range was only 100miles, I think he was rather stating that for such a battery of that size, the range is that. While the vehicles you list, e.g. the I-Pace, would have a longer range (I think closer to 200 or 300 miles). Your most reliable source for information on this will probably be the car manufacturers. The people at Sixt are probably also a little blindsided by this as they most likely don't have too much experience with the vehicles themselves at this point, so because of that may not easily answer your questions to that regard.

Getting from Schiphol to Limburg should be ok with most electric vehicles, the distance is not that great (~150km). Honestly, the only reason I'm not making a firm statement is because I don't drive an electric car myself, and because I don't know which one you'd end up getting, but really, it's common practice out here to drive an electric car, and that includes trips from Amsterdam to Limburg. The Netherlands has a pretty good charging network (they are quite eco-minded) which means you will find a good number of places where you can charge your car, overnight or through fast charging. You can find a map on https://www.oplaadpalen.nl/ .
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Old Nov 14, 19, 3:56 am
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[QUOTE=codfishcandy;31735340]The people at Sixt are probably also a little blindsided by this as they most likely don't have too much experience with the vehicles themselves at this point, so because of that may not easily answer your questions to that regard.

Thanks for the reply.

I'm happy that I'd be able to find at least one of their vehicle has range. I just wish they'd reply about the level of charge they require when the vehicle is returned. I'll be leaving Limburg in the morning and flying out of Amsterdam at 1600 (departure time). I've heard 1 hour charge time for electric vehicles and I've hear 4 hour charge time. If it's the latter, I'd need to be leaving Limburg quite early in order to have time to charge the car before returning it. If Sixt would even answer that part of my query, I could make an informed decision.
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Old Nov 14, 19, 4:33 am
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[QUOTE=weegraeme;31735405]
Originally Posted by codfishcandy View Post
The people at Sixt are probably also a little blindsided by this as they most likely don't have too much experience with the vehicles themselves at this point, so because of that may not easily answer your questions to that regard.

Thanks for the reply.

I'm happy that I'd be able to find at least one of their vehicle has range. I just wish they'd reply about the level of charge they require when the vehicle is returned. I'll be leaving Limburg in the morning and flying out of Amsterdam at 1600 (departure time). I've heard 1 hour charge time for electric vehicles and I've hear 4 hour charge time. If it's the latter, I'd need to be leaving Limburg quite early in order to have time to charge the car before returning it. If Sixt would even answer that part of my query, I could make an informed decision.
Fair point. I presume that if they offer vehicles they will also perhaps have a charging point on site. Charging infrastructure is a lot easier to come by than fueling infrastructure. So although there may be a financial penalty for returning the vehicle with a charge below 100%, there should be a possibility to do so. But maybe I'm assuming and relying too much on common sense.
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Old Nov 14, 19, 11:32 am
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Originally Posted by weegraeme View Post
The people at Sixt are probably also a little blindsided by this as they most likely don't have too much experience with the vehicles themselves at this point, so because of that may not easily answer your questions to that regard.

I've heard 1 hour charge time for electric vehicles and I've hear 4 hour charge time.
Sorry I wasn't clear before. Yes for about 24 kWh battery, on a standard 6.6 kWh charger / Level 2 / 240V, it should take about 4 hours. Charging time depends on the power delivery charger built into the car. Some electric cars can support level 3 charge (ChadeMO/ DC Quick Charge), which should allow you to hit 480V. Level 3 should allow delivery of >40 kWh in 30 mins (more or less). Quick Charge fees will cost more money than Level 2 in my experience.

Regarding your rental, once you figure out what models are rented out by Sixt, you can look up the vehicle range / charging specs.

Furthermore, the more modern e-cars now have larger batteries that are larger than 24kWh so range will be improved. 24kWh batteries used to be the most common found in older generation e-cars.
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Old Nov 15, 19, 5:15 am
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Originally Posted by kxc262 View Post
Regarding your rental, once you figure out what models are rented out by Sixt, you can look up the vehicle range / charging specs.
They have BMW i3, Nissan Leaf, VW e-Golf and Jaguar i-Pace.

Furthermore, the more modern e-cars now have larger batteries that are larger than 24kWh so range will be improved. 24kWh batteries used to be the most common found in older generation e-cars.


Thanks. Part of my problem is that because electric vehicles are still very uncommon here, I haven't learnt much about them. I do understand a bit about electricity and electronics, so I understand what you said there. You never know exactly how much you can trust car manufacturers' claims.
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Old Nov 15, 19, 8:20 am
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Out of those cars, the 2019 Leaf+ should have the largest range I think. The Leaf+ has a 62 kWh battery pack compared to a standard Leaf which has 40 kWh. You can estimate charge time by taking battery size and dividing by 6.6 (standard power delivery for most grid charging stations on 240V). The Leaf+ should give about 200+ miles in range. Keep in mind - you need the second generation of the Leaf to get these ranges. Older Leafs will only have a 24 kWh.

i3 REX will have about 140 miles in range, but it comes with a small gas tank which can be used to "recharge" the battery when it is on a low charge. i3 BEV will be all electric only.

I am not too sure about the range on the e-Golf/i-Pace for the more modern line ups, but a quick google search should be give you the answers.
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Old Nov 20, 19, 6:34 pm
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Originally Posted by kxc262 View Post
Out of those cars, the 2019 Leaf+ should have the largest range I think. The Leaf+ has a 62 kWh battery pack compared to a standard Leaf which has 40 kWh. You can estimate charge time by taking battery size and dividing by 6.6 (standard power delivery for most grid charging stations on 240V). The Leaf+ should give about 200+ miles in range. Keep in mind - you need the second generation of the Leaf to get these ranges. Older Leafs will only have a 24 kWh.

i3 REX will have about 140 miles in range, but it comes with a small gas tank which can be used to "recharge" the battery when it is on a low charge. i3 BEV will be all electric only.

I am not too sure about the range on the e-Golf/i-Pace for the more modern line ups, but a quick google search should be give you the answers.
Thanks for that. Given that all I have to go on is a picture on the Sixt website, I don't know which model I'd be getting

I'm having second thoughts about Sixt. I've sent them two message via their website and one by Messenger. So far there hasn't been a single response. If they won't reply to take my money, it concerns me what might happen if there was a problem.
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Old Nov 25, 19, 11:29 am
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You mentioned in your opening post that the rental is next year - what dates roughly? I expect the lack of response might be because as fleets will change it is impossible for them to confirm yet what the availability will be. If you know of a different rental company who is more specialised in electric vehicles and can guarantee you a specific model several months before you rent you may be safer using them. I'd imagine with most companies you may arrive only to be told you've been upgraded to a non-electric vehicle due to non-availability of the booked class.

With time as electric vehicles become more common I expect this will change.
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Old Nov 25, 19, 5:54 pm
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Originally Posted by Vinotraveller View Post
You mentioned in your opening post that the rental is next year - what dates roughly?
It's not until early July.

I understand that they may not know what they'll have then. But they should at least be able to tell me if the car has to be returned fully charged etc.
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Old Nov 26, 19, 4:03 am
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Originally Posted by weegraeme View Post
It's not until early July.

I understand that they may not know what they'll have then. But they should at least be able to tell me if the car has to be returned fully charged etc.
I would agree that is a perfectly reasonable question for you to ask. I wonder if there is not even a firm policy on it yet?

It strikes me as very unlikely you would be expected to return a car fully charged given how cheap it is to charge them and the fact that you are unlikely to be able to stop very close to the rental station and fully charge the car, especially given it takes a bit of time to charge them. I would have thought they would have to charge them at the station anyway before the next rental?

It is quite an interesting topic. I am renting from Sixt at TLS next week so I will ask them there on your behalf (although not sure they event rent electric vehicles there yet?). I cannot guarantee to get an answer and appreciate it is not the same location, but it might be worth a try.
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Old Nov 29, 19, 1:48 pm
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I read somewhere (canít find the source) that Sixt NL will provide a card for paying at the charging points and that included in your price is free chargjng.
So you have no costs for driving the electric car!

Charging points are plenty in NL, with fast charging arround the highways. Would not worry about making the trip in one go to Limburg or back.
question remains if you have to return the car FULL, but with free charging card that would be strange.

if you want I can give them a call at the local number.

BTW: rented a 530e recently at Sixt Schiphol, and had a very pleasant experience.
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