By Paul Nijssen, Founder and President of EVCharge4U Inc.
As an avid EV enthusiast and ambassador, I'm always on the lookout for opportunities to drive electric whenever I can. So, when I embarked on a journey back to the Netherlands, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that not only Sixt but also Hertz had embraced the electric revolution by offering electric vehicle (EV) rental options. While the road to electric mobility is undeniably exciting, it's important to acknowledge that a few bumps along the way can still exist.
Enjoying the Dutch Countryside in a Rented Tesla Model Y.  Photo Credit: Paul Nijssen
When it comes to recharging your EV, Sixt takes a tech-savvy approach, directing you to a charge app that you need to download. On the other hand, Hertz simplifies the process by providing you with a Fob key for charging, and they'll take care of the billing later. If you're fortunate enough to rent a Tesla from Hertz, you're granted access to Tesla Superchargers – a fantastic convenience, although unnecessary for those of us who tend to follow the Dutch way of charging, often in residential neighborhoods or at hotels.

On this particular trip, I had the pleasure of renting a Tesla Model Y. It was like having a slice of home with me, especially since Europe's penchant for speed traps made the familiar cruise control an absolute blessing. However, my enthusiasm was dampened when I realized I didn't have the Tesla phone app handy. This minor inconvenience took an unexpected turn when I locked the car using the touchscreen but accidentally left the keycard inside. Fortunately, the car was safely nestled within the confines of the hotel's garage.

Navigating a solution on a Sunday evening was a challenge in itself. However, after persistently dialing various numbers, I was connected with an emergency service representative. Swift verification procedures later, I found myself asking the impossible – could they unlock my car remotely? As fate would have it, the representative wasn't entirely sure how to execute this maneuver. With a bit of quick thinking, I suggested they contact Tesla directly, as the car was, after all, owned by the rental company. Alas, the attempt yielded no success, leaving me with an alternative – anticipate the arrival of a service technician from the ANWB, a Dutch equivalent of the American AAA, renowned for their automobile expertise.

True to their reputation, the ANWB service technician arrived punctually, ready to put their magic to work. One of the benefits of my EV experience came to the forefront; I was well-versed in the location of the emergency door release button. Within minutes, the car was unlocked, and I was back on my journey.
The purpose of recounting this experience is not to dwell on the hiccup but to shed light on an opportunity for improvement. As electric vehicles become an integral part of rental fleets, it's imperative for rental companies to consider implementing systems that could circumvent such incidents. A mechanism allowing remote car unlocking could potentially save on service costs and ensure a smoother experience for all drivers.

Even for someone like me, who has been navigating the world of EVs for the better part of a decade, unexpected situations can arise. The key is to evolve alongside the technology, learning from each experience and advocating for advancements that enhance the electric driving experience.
So, to all the car rental companies out there, here's an invitation: let's drive the future together, and let's make it a seamless journey for everyone involved.