Wed. Oct 4th, 2023
    Trapped in a Tesla: The Challenges of Renting an Electric Vehicle

    Renting an electric vehicle (EV) can be a convenient and cost-effective option for many travelers, but for those unfamiliar with the technology, it can quickly become a nightmare. A recent incident involving a mother and daughter who rented a Tesla from Hertz highlights the challenges that can arise when renting an EV without prior experience.

    The mother and daughter found themselves trapped inside the Tesla when it ran out of battery. Lacking knowledge of how to charge the car or open the doors manually, they were left stranded. This incident sheds light on the potential pitfalls of renting an EV, particularly when the rental company fails to adequately educate customers on the unique features and requirements of these vehicles.

    Car rental companies, including Hertz, have increasingly added electric vehicles to their fleets due to their lower maintenance costs and the cost savings associated with electricity over gasoline. However, many customers are hesitant to rent EVs, resulting in these vehicles often being discounted or provided as the only option when other vehicles are unavailable.

    In the case of the mother and daughter, they were informed by the rental agent that the Tesla was the only available option, leaving them little choice but to accept it. The Tesla had less than half of its battery charge remaining, and the rental company had not provided a plug adapter, making it impossible for the customers to charge the car at available charging stations.

    As the battery ran out and the 12-volt battery also failed, the customers were unable to open the doors or seek assistance. It was only through the help of a tow truck driver that they were able to exit the vehicle using the tailgate release. The situation was further complicated when the rental company attempted to charge the customer for the battery recharge, despite the fact that it had not been possible. Only after the story gained media attention did Hertz refund the fees and reimburse the customers for their travel expenses.

    This incident serves as a reminder of the importance of proper education and support when renting an EV. Rental companies must ensure that customers are knowledgeable about the charging process, as well as emergency features and safety measures specific to electric vehicles. Failure to do so can result in avoidable incidents and damage the reputation of both the rental company and electric vehicle adoption as a whole.


    – Original article: “Trapped! A Rental Tesla Locked Woman Inside on Battery Failure” –
    – Image source: CBS News