Mike Jerue is hoping people will turn over a new Leaf when it comes to car rentals and take a drive in one of his electric vehicles.
He has a Nissan Leaf and a Chevy Volt at Hotel Indigo in downtown Athens. Both are available for hotel customers and for community members. He started his Juice Car Sharing in the summer and then installed a charging station at the hotel.
"It's just another amenity the hotel can offer their customers," Jerue says. "It's a way for them to enhance their brand."
Jerue says many customers rent a Leaf just to know how an electric car rides. They may be interested in buying an electric vehicle themselves, they may be curious or they may want to reduce their carbon footprint. Whatever the reason, Jerue subjects everyone to an extensive check before renting his cars.
Tax credits make purchasing an electric car attractive for many people. The base price is $29,000, the loaded price is $36,000. The federal government is giving a $7,500 credit for cars bought in 2013, while the State of Georgia provides a $5,000 tax credit. No wonder, says Jerue, that Georgia is number three, nationally, in sales of electric vehicles.
The rental rates fluctuate, but it's about $7.50/hour or $35/day for a Leaf and $9/hour or $45/day for a Chevy Volt.