LeRone J. Goodman Jessica Toledo Duke Rodrigues
Lotus Rental Cars
Although an argument can be made against the cost-effectiveness of hybrid electric vehicles in the rental car market, currently there has been a push to become environmentally and economically conscious by Lotus Rental Car's competitors. If Lotus does not take advantage of this new trend, it could be detrimental to the company's overall standing in a growing market.
An opportunity has presented itself to Lotus Rental Car that will to appeal to a new and growing economically and environmentally aware culture. This presentation will illustrate the benefits of forward thinking in an effort to remain a step ahead of our competitors in the rental car industry. Furthermore, the value of keeping a competitive edge appeals to a new customer base and provides options, technology and affordability to an already established clientele.
Our research will show the advantages hybrid electric vehicles have over their internal combustion engine counterparts. And why consumers are now considering hybrid electric vehicles as an alternative and a primary mode of transportation. This change in the consumer market can be a valuable tool that Lotus Rental Cars can use to appeal to new customers and its current customers. By offering a greener and more cost-effective alternative to its customers, we can continue to increase our customer satisfaction.
Lotus has a present and future consumer base with diverse needs for their car rentals. They may choose to rent due to personal vehicle repairs, travel or other events. Whatever the case, with Lotus' assorted alternative fuel vehicle options, our patrons will have choices available to them that lower their fuel costs, but offer quality and convenience without sacrificing style. In today's market, regardless of the occasion, miles per gallon impacts the choices our customers make.
According to "Benefits and Considerations of Electricity as a Vehicle Fuel" (2013), "HEVs typically achieve better fuel economy and have lower fuel costs than similar conventional vehicles. For example, the 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid has an EPA combined city-and-highway fuel economy estimate of 44 miles per gallon, while the estimate for the conventional 2012 Civic (four cylinder, automatic) is 32 miles per gallon." (Fuel Economy). As the fuel costs continued to rise throughout the last decade, consumers became more aware of how their choice of vehicle affected all aspects of daily living. The availability of multiple versions of a cost effective alternative will not only draw business, but create loyalty.
If Lotus follows through with a plan to offer a wider variety of AFVs (Alternative Fuel Vehicles) to their customers, they will be a step ahead of their competitors in the rental car market. With the expansion of these eco-friendly and cost effective alternatives to internal combustion engine vehicles, over 15,000 public charging stations have been established in the United States. Government websites such as http://www.afdc.energy.gov/fuels/electricity_locations.html also offer station locators and trip planners as valuable tools to the traveling alternative fuel consumer.
Even though the fuel costs may be less, the purchase prices for these vehicles may be higher. There are many discounts and tax breaks available to provide relief "initial costs can be offset by fuel cost savings, a federal tax credit, and state incentives. The federal Qualified Plug-In Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Tax Credit is available for PHEV (Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle) and EV (Electric Vehicle) purchases through 2014 (or until manufacturers meet certain thresholds of vehicle sales). It provides a tax credit of $2,500 to $7,500 for new purchases, with the amount determined by the size of the vehicle and capacity of its battery" ("Benefits and Considerations of Electricity as a Vehicle Fuel", 2013). Cost