Tesla had to lend ICE cars to customers in Portugal before.
Portugal is a country that receives more and more tourists every year. Many of them would like to keep driving a Tesla in the places they visit, but this was not the main reason for the creation of Watts On Wheels, a Portuguese car rental company dedicated to EVs. Currently, it only has Tesla cars, eight in total.
Check out the gallery, courtesy of the Watts On website:
Gallery: Portuguese Tesla Owners Create A Car Rental Company: Watts On Wheels
“The company was born at the end of 2018 from 17 Tesla owners and enthusiasts that wanted to have the first 100 percent electric car rental company in Portugal,” said João Marcos Marchante, one of the founders of Watts On Wheels.
“All of us love the experience of driving a Tesla. And we realized nobody here offered a Tesla for rent. Tesla itself had issues to find one of its cars for rent when its loaners were not enough. So they had to hand ICE vehicles instead, which was not something the company or the owners wanted.”
In other words, Marchante and his partners saw a business opportunity in renting Teslas for Tesla itself. “It was a chance to help the brand and simultaneously of being better served when our cars needed any assistance,” he told InsideEVs.
Watts On Wheels offers all Tesla models. None of the vehicles belong to the shareholders themselves, like in Teslička. “We had to follow all Portuguese rules for this sort of business and Watts On Wheels is like any other car rental company. We started only with Tesla cars because they are the ones that are more suitable for the business model we wanted, based on performance, comfort, and sustainability.”
That means Watts On Wheels is not a Tesla-exclusive company. “When other electric cars with larger ranges arrive in Portugal, we will surely considerate adding them to our fleet,” said Marchante.
The entrepreneur adds another factor for choosing Tesla: Superchargers. "The Supercharger network also influenced our decision. The Portuguese charging network is undersized for the EV demand. With Superchargers, our clients have fast charging without having to wait. When Ionity comes to Portugal, we will have a much more diverse range of cars."
The rates for the vehicles depend on the renting time and on the vehicle that the client chooses. “The Tesla Model 3 Long Range costs €200 per day and prices get down if the customer decides to stay with the car for more time. The Model S 75D costs €250 and the Model X 100D has a rate of €300.”
When asked about the problems Nextmove had with Tesla in Germany, Marchante said he did not have any sort of issue when taking delivery of the cars. “Our came ready for renting. Like Nextmove, we have a fantastic relationship with Tesla. Perhaps we had no problems because we have ordered fewer cars, from different production batches.”
Business is going very well, according to the Portuguese entrepreneur. “Cars are currently a commodity, so it is difficult to explain to the people that makes our product different. Renting a Tesla is more than renting a car. It is a transforming experience.”