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rent electric car?

Covid permitting, we plan to stay in the Avignon area for 2 weeks next May/April. We will likely get the car in Lyon. Prices seem to have risen considerably since I checked a week ago. Anyone have any inside info on that or suggestions on company to use?

It seems that electric cars are the best price. Our gite charges 10 euros a day if using an electric vehicle. Seems best to get an electric car? We'd have plenty of charge for day trips around Avignon? I'm a newbie to electric vehicles.

And dumb question - electric cars are automatic?

Thanks!

Posted by
2080 posts

If you can charge it during the night you should have plenty of charge for normal day trips (depending a bit on what kind of car you have).

Electric cars have a fixed gearbox, so neither automatic nor manual.

Posted by
2080 posts

The drive from Lyon to Avignon is 150 miles, the best electric cars can manage that without issue but it is a bit close to the limit for smaller "city" models. Charging points are available on the way but may require some sort of registration. Any reason why you don't get the car in Avignon? The drive from Lyon is traffic-prone and uninteresting.

Posted by
11 posts

We fly home from Lyon and wanted to have as few "moving parts" as possible didn't want to bother with returning car in Avignon then train to Lyon but will certainly consider that as an option.

Posted by
113 posts

I can’t imagine that prices won’t fluctuate greatly between now and next spring. I think it’s a bit early to be making decisions based on prices. People have already given useful advice. But I would say wait at least 6 months before looking into the rental situation.

Posted by
4860 posts

There's a lot of information missing from your OP, but I think you may be putting the cart before the horse. Is your prime motivation to avoid $4 per liter gasoline? Auto rental rates, post pandemic, could be more significant for your visit than gas costs - but of course it depends on how you use the car.

Your limited knowledge of EVs suggests that you should not have your first EV experience in a foreign country. There's enough difficulty with credit cards at unattended gas stations. You don't need trouble doing an emergency charge at the only EV charge station for 50 miles!

I drive a Chevy Bolt EV, and used to drive a Prius, not a full EV. But I can confirm that these cars are designed to behave exactly like a gasoline car with an automatic transmission. When you take your foot off the brake, for instance, both those named cars are programmed (because there is no other reason why they should do so) to edge forward the way any auto trans car does. So I'm not suggesting you need special skills. I'm saying that you don't need "range anxiety" and widely separated charging stations to deal with. In the US, I worry about an aggressive Tesla owner checking into a hotel first, and monopolizing the sole EV charging station there! Now, EV-market penetration is minuscule, but it could happen.

Posted by
2760 posts

Tim, I know this is off topic but it is the weekend. Do Teslas require a longer charge than other EVs? Just curious-not planning to get one. I'm a Prius fan myself.

Posted by
4860 posts

I don't own a Tesla, but the short answer is that they accept higher rates of charge than Bolts or Leafs. The real answer is complicated, involving the Tesla Supercharger build-out, and the use of DC "fast charging" for Bolts if you're willing to pay for it. No one disputes the quality of Tesla engineering design, although I've heard many "build" complaints. I wanted a car with smaller dimensions, and I don't trust Elon to run a company.

You are, indirectly, asking about EV "road trips" rather than EV near-home usage. I'm retired, drive less than 50 miles a day, and have a two-car home garage where I can charge overnight to full. My wife has a gasoline car (ICE) for long trips. I don't argue that an EV fits everyone's needs. And like many EV owners, I don't claim to be a whale-hugger.

On topic, I have rented a car for maybe 15% of 50 trips to Europe. I would not rent an EV in Europe if the agency offered me one. My opinion is that the OP should be worrying about getting the size and transmission car he reserved, using unattended gasoline stations, and avoiding phony damaged-return charges - as well as local insurance and road-usage rules.

Posted by
4679 posts

EVs cost about 50% more to buy than the ICE equivalent, so there aren’t many available from hire companies.

We have an EV and we need about 6 apps to cover the various providers. They take quite a bit of getting used to them and if you haven’t used one before, I would suggest that hiring one abroad in a foreign language isn’t the place to start. I made a long journey last week and it was a pain to be driving around at 10.30pm trying to find a charging station that was working and free. Found one at the third location.

Tesla’s have a separate supercharger network from other EVs in Europe. I would be amazed if you could hire a Tesla as they are very expensive to buy. There are two speeds of non Tesla chargers, with the quicker chargers being more expensive. Depending on what you are hiring, it could take 30 hours to recharge at a gite.

There is no guarantee that if you book an EV that this is what you will get.

Posted by
780 posts

FYI 1 Liter of premium gas in France is euro 1.54 today or approx euro 6.16 for 4 liters which is Close to a Gallon.3.785 Liters equal 1 US Gallon.Electric Car will limit your travels.
Mike

Posted by
31271 posts

There are three charging levels available for electric cars.....

https://www.electronicdesign.com/power-management/article/21751240/understanding-us-and-european-standards-for-electricvehicle-charging

As a visitor, you'll have to get a good list of all the charging stations in the areas you plan on visiting. I wouldn't rent electric if I were in the same position as it will be much easier to find petrol stations.

It would be highly advisable for each driver to have an International Driver's Permit for driving in France.

Looks like the gas prices in my area are a bit less than in France. The prices have been hovering in the range of CDN $1.509 per litre lately, which is €1.01 per litre.

Posted by
321 posts

We recently rented an electric car from eLeclerc, the supermarket. They recently bought thousands (literlally) of electric Dacias. They're a basic car, no bells and whistles, but it only costs 5€ a day, plus 20cents a KM - we did 100km (about 60 miles) on a one day rental and it cost us 25euros.

I quite enjoyed it - you won't be doing much Autoroute bashing, but it's amazingly nimble and quick around town and narrow country roads.

https://www.evspecifications.com/en/model/2ee911a

Posted by
11 posts

Many, many thanks for the wealth of information! It always pays to ask those in the know. A "standard" rental for us seems the most appropriate.

Posted by
400 posts

Keep in mind that if you do rent a car that the choice of vehicles will not be as broad as in the US. Most will be manual, many will be diesel. You will pay more for an automatic/gasoline powered vehicle. At least that has been my experience in the past. Diesel should cost less and you will also get better mileage from a diesel as well.

Posted by
2080 posts

I agree with the suggestion to rent the car in Avignon instead. Lyon to Avignon is one hour on TGV, compared to 3-4 hours if driving.