Global Electric Motorcars, LLC, a DaimlerChrysler company, is stepping up its marketing efforts in California by launching an expanded rental program aimed at exposing first-time electric vehicle drivers to its GEM cars and turning them into potential buyers. "We think the rental market is an excellent and easy way for Californians to find out what a GEM can do," says Ken Montler, president of Global Electric Motorcars (GEM). "We believe we will reach even more Californians through rentals — both intrastate tourists and residents — than we have during the last year." Montler points to GEM's years of rental experience in the Florida Keys and other resort areas that shows sales are much more likely once someone has driven a GEM. GEM is selling the electric vehicles to ZAP, which is setting up franchise rental sites throughout the state, EV Rental Cars, a car rental agency specializing in alternative-fuel vehicles, and other rental companies. The rental program is being conducted by independent business entities using GEM's four vehicle product lines: the 2- and 4-seat passenger models, and the short- and long-bed utility vehicle models. ZAP will operate one rental management company, handling all insurance and processing. ZAP’s first franchise location opened recently on Balboa Island in Newport Beach, CA, with more locations expected during the course of the summer.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials