Lotus car Rental Company is a leading thirty year old car rental company in Greece. This company is having an excellent name in the automobile rental market.
Lotus Car Rental Company is considered as one of the most consistent car rental company in Athens..As per the client requirement company bound to provide kind of vehicles ranging from 1000cc to 2000cc such as luxury cars, 9 seat buses and open cars as well. (Lotus car rental, 2005). Lotus is offering great services to the customer through their highly trained, service-oriented and qualified staffs. The customer can make reservations through telephone, fax, mail or email. (Lotus car rental, 2005). The aim of the lotus car rental is to create services that increase the experience of buying, or leasing a car. They can accomplish this by leading the industry with modern proprietary technology, admirable customer service and years of industry experience. Energy is the essential force powering business, manufacturing, and the transportation of goods and services to the world economies.
Purpose of this study and research hypothesis
This study wishes to research the feasibility of whether hybrid vehicles could be introduced into the fleet of car rental companies.
A hybrid vehicle is a vehicle that uses two or more power sources to move the vehicle. The great achievement of the hybrid vehicles are greater fuel economy and lower emission than conventional internal combustion engine vehicles. There are different engine types of hybrids vehicles are there. Fluid power hybrid, Dual mode, hybrid electric-petroleum vehicles, continuously out board recharged battery electric vehicle (CORBEV) the power sources like gasoline or diesel fuel. (Mello, 2008). Hydrogen, compressed air, wind, compressed or liquefied natural gases, solar energy are using for hybrid vehicles. Generally, conventional vehicles are spending more fuels while accelerating start- to- stop process. But in the case of hybrid vehicle the electric motor is used to supplement or help the combustion engine to propel the car. By the reason of rise of fuel cost rising, alternative fuel vehicles are becoming more and more attracting to the consumers. (Mello, 2008).
Advantages by using of hybrid vehicles
.Hybrid vehicles benefited in both case either they conserve fuel very effectively or, release low level of toxic fumes. Because of these benefits many people are trying to put up for sale out their conventional cars and purchase a hybrid car.this vehicle has the conventional gasoline engine and it also has an electric motor and batteries. These two engines to help in reducing fuel consumption.because of this technology you will be able to cut fuel consumption by more than half. By this reason hybrid cars are considered as the car of the future.recently, the United States has put an agreement that hybrids owners will get tax benefits. This means that hybrid car owner will be able to save money on taxes. Hybrid car do not required to be charged you’re your home electric outlet. The brake is configured to capture the energy released and it is used to charge the batteries inside the hybrid car.
According to the survey conducted the main advantages of using hybrid vehicles in a Company like Lotus Rental could be the savings in fuel costs. It is estimated that nearly $1500-2000 savings in fuel costs could be made by drivers of rental cars that work on hybrid systems. Again, pollution is a major aspect that could be countered with hybrid vehicles. According to the survey conducted, at least 1/3 less environmental carbon pollution cold be made by using hybrid cars.
Further, it also has lesser maintenance costs that transpire from hybrid cars.
Disadvantages by using of hybrid vehicles
The main disadvantages of hybrid cars are very expensive than conventional cars. Due to the fact that heavy battery installed in the car the weight of the car is heavier than conventional car. Therefore, manufacturers integrate smaller internal combustion engine and construct with light materials in order to maximize efficiency the reason which is mentioned above, hybrids car will not go very fast. Hybrid car stores high volume of voltage stored their batteries. One of the major advantages of hybrid cars, viz. stored power could become fatal if the occupants are involved in accidents. Even rescue operations cannot be possible due to live electricity generated inside the accident ridden car. Incase of an accident, there is a high chance of getting electrocuted. Company Researchers are now putting on extra effort to get rid off the disadvantages. (Hybrid Cars Advantages and Disadvantages, 2008).
Cost of hybrid vehicles
One of the major prohibitive aspects that hybrid vehicles are prone to are in terms of its costs. Compared to conventional cars, the cost of hybrid cars could be almost double. Moreover, another aspect, especially in the context of rental cars is whether the revenues could justify the investments made, specially other infra- structural needs also need to be met in the case of non-conventionally powered vehicles.
Again, coming to infra-structure, it is necessary for separate refueling stations as compared to fossil fuel vehicles, and whether it would be feasible and convenient for rental care drivers to visit such refueling stations for refuel.
Another aspect that needs to be considered, especially in the case of car rentals company is the preference given for such vehicles, especially for short drives.
Considering rental costs, for such vehicles that would be definitely higher than other fossil fuelled vehicles, so it is to be seen how the market would accept such innovations in rental companies. There are so many types of hybrid cars are in the market. All the car manufacturing giants such as Toyota, General Motors, and Ford are launching hybrid vehicles. Comparatively, the sticker prices of a hybrid vehicle are quiet expensive than gasoline vehicles. Hybrid cars will not pay itself back very quickly on fuel savings. The hybrid car owner likely to get more money out of the when you decided to sell it. The hybrid cars cost roughly started from $1,700 to $11,200 more than comparably equipped gasoline vehicles. Promoting to hybrid vehicle insurance companies called “some insurance companies — including Geico, the Travelers, and Farmers.” offering more tax benefits to the consumer. (Buhayar & Palmintier, 2008). A review of the research conducted points out that the feasibility of adding alternative fuel vehicles is not reasonable for Lotus Car Rental. The main reason for this evaluation is that the travelers will not take the high amount of time to take travel who just need car for a moment. the hybrid cars are used by the customers only. These customers do not want to drive all over the place in search of an alternative fuel re-charge station. Furthermore, they are not worried about the long term effect of the vehicle or the cost of the vehicle, because they are not purchasing themselves. Mainly the travelers of Lotus Car Rental are very short term car users. Therefore Lotus car rental will not get much benefit from adding hybrid vehicles in to their fleet.As of now most of the car rental companies are relying on conventional vehicles. The government is providing incentives to hybrid consumers even though gasoline powered vehicle also inevitable in the car rentals market. It is seen that vehicles that are used by rental companies are generally smaller than other vehicles with smaller engines. It is seen from the outcome of this survey that non-conventional forms of fuel would be definitely counterproductive in the case of travel companies who operate car rentals.
It is seen from the deliberations of the survey that the productivity of rental companies may not be improved with the use of hybrid cars. This emanates from the fact that they are not used as extensively and intensively, or for long haul drives, like owner cars. The fact of ownership is also important in this context since this is directly linked with ownership of the vehicle. In the case of owner driven vehicles, the owner has a direct interest in saving fuel costs, which may not be the case in fleet cars.
In the case of fleet cars, it is seen that since fuel costs are adjusted against driver’s emoluments, the company does not have any direct linkage in it, and they would not be interested in savings in fuel costs since they do not directly bear that costs. Similarly the exercise of monitoring fuel costs would only be of academic interest. However, in the case of a large rental company like Lotus, the premier Rental Company, it is seen that the cost benefit exercises need to accept that hybrid cars need to be replace conventionally powered cars.
It is believed that with the massive fall in oil prices over the last few months, the future of fuel energy powering vehicles has begin to look up. Deciding to switching over to Hybrid systems cannot be taken overnight by rental car companies. It is necessary that thorough study needs to be made, with respect to comparative studies of conventionally powered and hybrid systems in order to ascertain how it would impact upon the future of car rental business.
Thus it could be seen that a careful, comprehensive and consolidated study considering all aspects of hybrid systems and how it impacts business and profitability needs to be conducted, including the perceived benefits to the company, the stakeholders and investors, the public and also the owners and hirers of rental cars. The financial impacts of switching over to hybrid systems, wholly or partially has to be viewed with respect to current costs, benefits and challenges in terms of carbon emissions, environmental threats, legal compliances and a host of factors, direct or indirect that impact upon conduct and performance of car rental companies like Lotus Rental company.
Buhayar, Noah., & Palmintier, Bryan. (2008). Rethinking the cost of hybrid cars. Yahoo Green. Web.
Hybrid Cars Advantages and Disadvantages. (2008). Articles Base: Free Online Dictionary. Web.
Lotus car rental. (2005). Transport Web: Information Service for the Transport industry. Web.
Mello, Tara Baukus. (2008). Hybrid Cars: The Real Costs of Owning a Hybrid. Edmunds. Web.