The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

An Enterprising Model on the Hill

August 31, 2007

ST. LOUIS - Enterprise Rent-A-Car has a newly designated E-85/FlexFuel branch located in the nation's capital.

“Those who produce and sell flex-fuel vehicles and E-85 fuel need to know that if they make it, we will buy it — and we will encourage our customers to use it, as well," says Matthew Darrah, a top executive with Enterprise Rent-A-Car's North American operations.

Darrah refers to the worldwide auto-rental chain's new branch. This announcement from Enterprise, owner of the world's largest privately held vehicle fleet in the world — nearly 1 million vehicles — was made in late June, not long after the District of Columbia's first public E-85 refueling station opened its doors at Georgetown Chevron.

Enterprise states this move is its latest addition to a comprehensive, long-term environmental stewardship platform. Not only does it own the world's largest fleet of vehicles, but it also owns more flexible-fuel vehicles (FFVs) than any other fleet owner on the planet, totaling 41,000 E-85-capable cars and trucks. More than half of the company's rental fleet in Washington, D.C. (50 vehicles provided by GM), will soon be FFVs.

According to Enterprise spokeswoman Lisa Martini, FFVs at the capitol rental office will be refueled with VeraSun Energy's VE85 supplied to the Georgetown Chevron E-85 station. Enterprise is also outfitting its FFVs with customer information on where to find E-85, and the environmental benefits of using it. “Folks are coming in and asking questions about E-85, and awareness is picking up,” Martini says.

While Enterprise will do its best to accommodate requests for E-85-powered vehicles, the company — like most other vehicle rental businesses — doesn't typically make rental guarantees on particular makes and models. However, it will guarantee class and size reservations. With more than half of its rentals soon to be FFVs, odds favor FFV availability.

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