Tesla Roadster

Tesla MotorsCan’t afford to buy a Telsa Roadster? Head over to California and rent one.

Next time you’re visiting California, you can race along famous Highway 1 without making a sound: Hertz is adding electric vehicles manufactured by Silicon Valley-based Tesla Motors to its fleet. (Catch: You can only rent them from San Francisco and Los Angeles.)

You might want to book in advance, though. Hertz is starting with just five vehicles and two models: the Model S sedan and the Roadster.

Grist relies on the support of generous readers like you. Donate today to keep our climate news free. All donations matched!

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Rentals start at $500 a day, plus extra for mileage over 75. From CNN:

“[S]hould customer demand warrant it, we will consider expanding availability to other locations,” Hertz spokeswoman Paula Rivera said in an email. …

The plug-in Model S has garnered rave reviews in recent months. It aced its first crash test last month, and Consumer Reports called the Model S the best car it had ever tested.

A Tesla spokeswoman said the automaker had “seen interest from rental car companies and fleet buyers who want to provide their customers access to a high-performance sedan, which also happens to be electric.”

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

You can be sure that a car has gone mainstream once Hertz offers it — though it should be noted that the Teslas are being offered through the company’s “Dream Cars” line, which also offers Ferraris. But at least dream plug-ins are one step closer to becoming standard fare at rental car outlets across the country.