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Enterprise and Wal-Mart Boost Their Alternative Fuel Vehicle Fleets

Enterprise Rent-a-Car is betting big on hybrid cars with the addition of thousands to its nationwide fleet, as well as special "hybrid branches" that will make it easier to rent one at 80 locations throughout the U.S.

The company said Tuesday it added about 5,000 hybrids to its fleet, including the Toyota Prius, Nissan Altima, Ford Escape and Toyota Camry.  Now the company has more than 7,000 hybrids, in addition to another 2,000 of the gas-electric vehicles at its sister companies National and Alamo.

Enterprise has also designated 80 rental locations in 24 markets as "hybrid branches," which will have a greater proportion of hybrids that can be reserved online or by telephone. The hybrid branches are located in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, Fresno, Calif., Orlando, Tampa, Albany, Ithaca, New York City, Rochester, Eugene, Ore., Portland, Ore., Austin, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.

The company had previously created eight E85/FlexFuel branches, which offer a higher concentration of flex-fuel vehicles in locations near E85 fueling stations.

The addition of the new hybrids propelled Enterprise to the top of the list of large U.S. alternative fuel vehicle fleets included in's just-released State of Green Business report.

Meanwhile, Wal-Mart added 26 new trucks to its fleet that use alternative fuels or hybrid technologies. The new vehicles include: a full-propulsion, duel mode diesel-electric Arvin Meritor; 15 trucks at its Buckeye, Ariz., distribution center that will be converted to run on reclaimed grease, while remaining trucks will run on 80/20 biodiesel; five trucks working out of a Southern California distribution center will operate on liquid natural gas; and five heavy-duty diesel-electric hybrids developed by Eaton and PACCAR will be deployed throughout the country.

Wal-Mart has improved the efficiency of its fleet by 25 percent between 2005 and 2008. It now plans to double fleet efficiency by 2015.

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