Rent a Tesla for an Hour, For a Day
Startup Vukee Car hopes to launch a Zipcar-style car-sharing service featuring the Model S.
Ramin Talaie/Getty Images
Lincoln MKZ Hybrid
If you have love for both the planet and your car, there's no reason you can't have it all. As hybrid, electric and fuel-efficiency have established themselves as the buzzwords of the automotive world, makers of luxury cars have listened. These eight cars make fuel efficiency look good. The MKZ Hybrid gets a remarkable 41mpg in the city and 36 highway, so you can drive more than 500 miles around town before you need to gas up. That means you spend a lot more time looking good in your ride and enjoying the heated and cooled leather seats in the near silent interior. Simply put, this car is a winner.
Porsche Cars North America, Inc
Porsche Panamera S Hybrid
The 2012 Porsche Panamera S Hybrid may have been beaten by Infiniti’s M Hybrid in a race, but it's still among the best of the fuel-efficient luxury cars. The 3.0-liter V6 produces 333 horsepower; an electric motor adds another 47. The $95,000 price tag puts it at twice the cost of the MKZ- so it comes down to just how much you want the Porsche name on your ride.
Mercedes E350 BlueTec Diesel
There are plenty of reasons to switch to diesel, not the least of which is improved fuel mileage. The E350 fits into a long line of diesel-powered Mercedes cars, dating back to 1935. The mid-size sedan's V6 engine only pumps out 210hp, but comes back with 400lb-ft of torque. It goes from zero to 60mph in 7.2 seconds. For $51,775, you can bring home the BlueTec Diesel, with 24mpg city, 34mph highway.
Nissan North America, Inc.
Infiniti M Hybrid
When it comes to speed, Infiniti is ahead of the game: the M Hybrid is officially the fastest accelerating full hybrid in the world, even taking down Porsche's Panamera S Hybrid in a head to head race. With a combined fuel efficiency of 29mpg, the new record holder brings a lot of muscle and luxury to the green car market.
Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Imag
Fiat 500 Abarth
For $22,000, you can be the owner of the Fiat 500 Abarth, the car that "feels like a double shot of espresso straight to your veins,” according to Tim Kuniskis, Head of Fiat Brand for North America, Chrysler Group LLC.. With a different look for a luxury car, the 500 gets a combined 33mpg, enough to power its 160 horsepower and 170 lb-ft. of torque all day.
Audi of America
Knocking out combined 28mpg, the A6 runs for $41,700. Audi knows how to build a luxury car. The A6 comes with a keyless start function and can turn on your house lights as well as open your garage door. The cruise control function lets you stay a set distance back from the car in front of you, and an infrared camera can detect pedestrians up to 300 feet away at night.
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
Lexus CT 200h
With an impressive 43mpg in the city and 40mpg highway, the CT200h is among the best green cars on the road today. Priced at just below $30,000, the CT features a warning sound when in EV mode, so unassuming pedestrians stay safe.
Audi of America
Audi A3 TDI
Audi's A3 Turbocharged Direct Injection burns diesel for an impressive 42mpg highway, and gets 30mpg in the city. It's been popular since its 2010 debut, largely thanks to its exquisite interior. Follow Alex on Twitter.
Not everyone can afford a Tesla Model S, but what about renting one? It turns out that getting behind the wheel of this luxury electric car for just one day may be quite expensive.
Just take a look at this eBay posting from exotic-car rental company Club Sportiva, which offers a one-day Tesla Model S P85 rental for $899. That price includes 100 miles of driving, although Club Sportiva does not specify what the cost may be if you exceed that mileage.
According to the posting, drivers can pick up the car at Club Sportiva's San Jose, California, site, or have it delivered elsewhere for an additional fee. This likely applies only to other locations in California, the sole state where the company operates.
Keep in mind that Club Sportiva specializes in expensive cars from brands like Ferrari and Lamborghini, so its rates are on the high end. Nor is it the only Tesla rental option available. Far from it, in fact. MORE: Tesla Model S: Yes, Writers, Higher Speeds Use More Energy In Electric Cars
It's also possible to rent a Model S through Hertz's Dream Cars program for $400 per day. That price includes 75 miles per day, with $0.49 charged for each additional mile.
The Hertz Tesla rental is also offered only in California. The Model S is available at Hertz locations in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and San Francisco.
Yet another option for drivers in California is MPG Car Rental -- a rental company specializing in hybrid, diesel, and other green cars -- which offers Tesla Model S rentals at its locations in Los Angeles and Venice, Calif. MPG lists a rate of $499 a day for a Model S, including 100 miles per day with an additional $2.00 charge for each extra mile. MORE: Tesla's 100th Supercharger Electric-Car Charging Site Now Open
If conventional rental services seem too restrictive, startup Vukee Car hopes to launch a Zipcar-style car-sharing service featuring the Model S, once again in select California cities.
While the project is still being crowdfunded, it would theoretically work like other car-sharing services, with users coordinating rentals through smartphone apps, and never having to visit a rental office.
Finally, there's San Francisco Bay Area startup Getaround, which eschews even the formality of a car-sharing service like Zipcar for peer-to-peer rentals coordinated through an iPhone app. A quick perusal of Getaround's website netted a black Model S available for $25.00 an hour. That comes with 200-mile-per-day limit, (there's a $0.40 charge for each additional mile), and a request from the owner not to scuff the rims.
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This article originally appeared on Green Car Reports, a High Gear Media company.