S.F. Airport Launches Green Rental Car Incentive Program

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is launching the nation’s first Green Rental Car program that rewards customers for renting "green" alternative-fueled vehicles and rental car companies for increasing rentals of high mileage and alternative-fuel vehicles.

The program is expected to eliminate more than 4,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year.

"San Francisco is a leader in developing creative, sustainable programs that benefit the environment," said Mayor Gavin Newsom. "The Green Rental Car program is an innovative, market-based incentive program that will produce very tangible results in a short period of time. The benefits of this program extend far and wide – travelers, rental car agencies, and the environment all gain through this program."

Customers who rent hybrid cars that achieve an EPA rating of 18 or higher will receive a $15 discount at the counter. Cars in this category include the Honda Civic Hybrid, Nissan Altima Hybrid, or Toyota Prius.

Likewise, airport rental car companies will qualify for a 20 percent reduction of their airport rent fees if they achieve a goal of increasing the percentage of their overall transactions to 15 percent for rentals of hybrid cars or high mileage vehicles – those with an EPA rating of 17 or higher. Cars in this category include the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, and Ford Focus, as well as the hybrid cars. By offering these incentives to customers and rental car companies, SFO hopes to increase the total number of high mileage and hybrid cars in the rental fleet to more than 15 percent.

"The Green Rental Car program is the first of several green initiatives the airport is rolling out in 2009," said John L. Martin, director of San Francisco International Airport. "We’re committed to making SFO the sustainable airport of choice for California travelers."