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 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. …

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

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.”

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.