Rental and car-share companies get hip to hybrids

Fueled by consumers’ green interests, rental, car-service, and car-sharing companies are increasingly turning to hybrids. (Hear the collective sigh of relief from guilt-prone enviros who cringe with every tap on the rental accelerator.) Big renters Enterprise, Hertz, and Avis have all recently added several thousand Toyota Priuses and other hybrids to their fleets, and smallish company EV Rental Cars, based mainly in California, is all-hybrid. Upscale car-service companies such as L.A.-based Evo Limo and New York-based OZOcar also give low-emission rides around town. Car-sharers like Flexcar — which has a 30 percent hybrid fleet — and Zipcar are also getting hip to the hoopla. The downside: unless you’re tooling around in a big West Coast or Northeast city — particularly the usual suspects Seattle, San Francisco, L.A., Boston, New York, or D.C. — you’re less likely to have the hybrid option. In addition, hybrids sometimes cost more to rent. Because saving the planet don’t come cheap.

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