Turo, the peer-to-peer car rental startup, has seen an uptick in electric vehicle use for summer road trips.
The platform’s “electric” filter saw a 139% increase in use during listing searches, according to Turo’s Chief Data Officer, Albert Mangahas who confirmed Turo guests made summer bookings in 2,700 different cities and towns for travel between June 1 and September 1.
Notable Summer Travel Booking Patterns:
- Last year, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, and Florida saw the most demand for EV bookings.
- Popular electric models include the Lucid Air, Rivian R1T and R1S, and Teslas.
- Luxury travel is rising, with a 21% uptick in searches for high-end vehicles like the Rolls-Royce Ghost and BMW 7 Series on Turo for summer trips.
- Family travel is surging, marked by a 162% increase in the use of Turo’s “family-friendly” filter and a growing demand for added conveniences like car delivery and optional perks.
There are 165,000 active hosts listed on the platform, with 330,000 active vehicles. Electric vehicles made up 7% of active listings, as of April 2023. Mangahas added that electric vehicles accounted for 14% of the company’s overall gross booking value in 2022.
A Push to Eco-friendly Experiences
Turo said it is partnering with hosts to highlight sustainable travel, starting with an upcoming eclipse event in Austin, Texas. A local host will list ten electric vehicles for $14 on October 14, the eclipse day.
Each vehicle comes with two passes to Turo’s exclusive viewing party at Joshua Creek Ranch in Boerne, TX, right on the Path of Totality. The event will feature a live performance by Lindsay Beaver, Texas-style BBQ, and lawn games, providing a unique and eco-conscious way for travelers to experience the celestial event.
“Car rentals are especially popular during solar events, leading to sold-out inventory and price hikes,” said Mangahas, reflecting on the surge in demand during a 2017 solar event.
Skift previously reported on the potential of electric vehicle adoption for tourism with substantial federal funding to expand EV infrastructure, approved by the Biden Administration. Some $5 billion over five years has been pegged for cities and businesses looking to bolster their tourism economies to develop a charging station network across the U.S.
Improved EV infrastructure bodes well for the trends the company sees as it looks to maintain its carbon neutrality certification.
Mangahas declined to comment further when asked about Turo continuously updating its S-1 filings or the company’s readiness to go public.