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Renault Fluence ZE concept - click above for high-res image gallery

For those in Europe that want to try out life with a battery electric car but aren't necessarily ready to commit full time, Avis may have just the deal for you. The Renault-Nissan alliance has made the biggest commitment to electric vehicles of any automaker. Starting in 2011, Avis will be making Renault electric vehicles available for rent through its outlets in Europe as part of its green fleet (see more on this green fleet here).

Renault will introduce four electric vehicles between late 2010 and 2012, including the Fluence sedan (above) and Kangoo MPV. Avis has not announced what the pricing model will be for the EVs or even which vehicles will be available. Given the limitations of electric vehicles, renting one for several days would seem like a good way for potential customers to evaluate the option.



[Source: Renault]

PRESS RELEASE

AVIS INTRODUCES ELECTRIC VEHICLES FOR HIRE TOGETHER WITH ITS LONG- TERM PARTNER RENAULT

Building on its long-term environmental heritage, leading car hire company, Avis, has partnered with the Renault-Nissan Alliance to offer electric cars to its customers from 2011.

The partnership will add to Avis' already well-established environmental programme, which has seen the company maintain a CarbonNeutral® status since 1999.

Pascal Bazin, Chief Executive for Avis Europe, explains: "At Avis, we are committed to reducing our carbon footprint and are always looking for new ways to improve our environmental performance."

"We are delighted to sign this important partnership with Renault to offer electric vehicles as part of our green fleet, which is an increasingly central part of our customer offering. Despite the impact of the recession, consumers are just as aware of the issues of climate change and it is only by working together with our partners that will we be able to make a difference."

Senior Vice President, Renault Corporate Sales Division, Uwe Hochgeschurtz, adds: "Avis is an important long-term partner for Renault, so we are thrilled to be able to expand our offering with the company to include electric vehicles. We are confident that the partnership will play an important role in enabling customers to experience the new technology and learn about the environmental benefits of electric vehicles, which are sure to become a significant alternative for car travel in the future."

With electric vehicles, which produce zero emissions during use, Renault is preparing a breakthrough solution that provides sustainable mobility for all. From 2011, Renault will progressively roll out four electric vehicles.

These include two derivatives of internal-combustion vehicles: • Renault Fluence Z.E., an electric version of Fluence. • Renault Kangoo Express Z.E., an electric version of Renault Kangoo Express, intended primarily for fleet and business use. The range of electric vehicles will later be extended to cover other segments, including two new cars whose architecture will be designed to run exclusively with electrical power:

• A car derived from the Twizy Z.E. Concept for motoring in built-up areas. • The fourth vehicle will take its inspiration from Zoe Z.E. Concept and is scheduled to be released at the beginning of 2012. It will be a particularly versatile vehicle
intended for everyday motoring in and around cities.

With a long history of environmental awareness, Avis has offset more than 147,000 tonnes of CO2 since 1997 by investing in a host of environmental initiatives such as renewable energy, methane capture projects and tree planting, which mean the company has now been CarbonNeutral® accredited for more than a decade.

Average CO2 emissions have also been successfully reduced year on year through the introduction of further environmentally friendly technologies and practices, including motion detector lights in many of its European offices, an extensive recycling scheme for staff and the development of a Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) plan to prevent spills from storage and during fuel loading at rental stations across Europe.

Meanwhile, Avis customers can already benefit from an extensive eco-offering. Each car on the Avis fleet is typically only six months old, to ensure maximum fuel efficiency, whilst the average CO2 emissions for cars purchased in 2009 was just 144.6g CO2/Km.

All Avis customers also have access to environmental driving tips to help lower their emissions and can choose a vehicle from a wide ranging green fleet, including hundreds of vehicles which run on fuels other than petrol or diesel. Leisure and business customers also have the option to offset their carbon emissions prior to their journey.

For more information about Avis and its green fleet, please visit avis-europe.com. For more information about Renault and its future electric range, please visit Renault.com

Avis
1) For further information please contact the appropriate representative on behalf of Avis Europe plc from the list below.
2) Avis Europe is a leading car rental company in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia, where it operates the globally recognised Avis and Budget brands, serving more than 8 million customers each year
3) The Avis brand operates across four continents via a network of over 2,800 locations in 109 countries, through wholly owned subsidiaries in 13 corporate countries complimented by licence arrangements in a further 96 countries.
4) Avis Europe tries harder to meet customer's needs with the complimentary Avis Preferred scheme providing customers with the quickest and easiest way to rent a car, including pre-prepared paperwork, priority counters and dedicated reservation lines
5) Avis Europe has also developed a series of other initiatives designed to improve speed, clarity and choice for customers including its jargon free Rental Agreement in 8 languages, Fuel up Front scheme, Rapid Return service and Satellite Navigation rental option.
6) CSR is an integral part of Avis Europe's 'We Try Harder' philosophy. Avis is committed to reducing the impact its business has on the environment and has been awarded CarbonNeutral® operation status since 2006. This was achieved through measuring and reducing its CO2 emissions to net zero through internal reduction initiatives such as, introducing more environmentally friendly vehicles into the fleet and through external reduction initiatives, i.e. offsetting.
7) Further details can be found at www.avis-europe.com

Renault
The Renault group, present in 118 countries, designs, develops, manufactures and sells passenger cars and light commercial vehicles under the Renault, Dacia and Renault Samsung Motors brands.
To meet the new challenges facing the automotive industry, both environmental and economic, Renault is improving existing technologies with new generations of carbon- efficient engines and by implementing the breakthrough "Zero Emission" program. Renault will launch a zero-emission range with three electric vehicles in 2011 and a fourth in 2012. This offering will make innovation accessible to the greatest number. With its partner Nissan, Renault is targeting world leadership in the mass marketing of zero-emission vehicles.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 14 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Having been to the Brussels autoshow in January, I was lucky enough to see the zoe and the fluence prototypes in the flesh as it were... they are really nice cars.. The twizzy was not there... so no comment.

      They are fully worked out ready to go vehicles.. not some pressed plastic idea of what a car might look like.. I just bought a 2010 Prius... (which I am not happy with, after having driven the 2008 model for two years - uses more gas and feels less substantial.. dont care what the press says).. so as soon as the Renaults or the Nissans appear I will be on the waiting list!!! AVIS will have me at the door for a test drive PDQ...
      • 5 Years Ago
      I know the Avis fleet manager in Germany. Thanks ABG for this article. I am going to rent one next time I am over there.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I thought two such perfectly hideous vehicles as the Zoe and Twizzy would remain concept vehicles and have a stake driven through their pustulent bodywork.
      I guess I did not count on French panache, or remember some of the other offerings!
      These seem to be aimed at French sales only!
        • 5 Years Ago
        This looks better than most sedans on the road today...so what's your point?

        • 5 Years Ago
        I would have thought it obvious.
        We disagree.
        Unless you are talking about the Fluence rather than the cars I refer to.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Design of the car is beatufull, that samll green datils look so sick!
      http://www.onlyhothotgirls.com/
      • 4 Years Ago
      Good Job!!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      If they don't have a decent charging infrastructure available, I think this will have a more negative impact than a positive one. Avis will be constantly sending out towtrucks to pick up those cars that the renters either couldn't charge, or forgot to charge. I think the casual use of EVs is the wrong way to go. An EV owner has to be committed to the idea, knowing the limitations of range and availability of charging. I think it's too early to be renting EVs for anything more than a day at a time. Once there's plenty of convenient charging available, then by all means go for it. But I think this will have to be more for the press coverage than the bottom line for Avis. And hopefully the press coverage will be supportive for the green effort, rather than dismissive for the amount of service calls (for towing, charging, etc.) it will most surely generate.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Depends who's hiring the car, I don't see it as an issue in the EU as the average member of the public tends to be quite aware of progress in the car industry and embraces new technology... Plus they will no doubt screen potential customers to determine if they are doing a cross country trip or just need a car for the day around the city.

        Although a conventional car, back in late 2004 Ford did a deal with Hertz in the UK with special pricing to get people into the Mk2 Focus (£30 for the day or something) - cheap and effective advertising/exposure judging from the sheer number of them on the roads.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I wish governments would mandate that all petrol stations install even a single plug where cars can be recharged.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The concept cars are just that, concepts. The idea of renting out EVs is a good one, I think I'd like to rent one for a while before deciding between a EV and a plug-in hybrid.
        • 5 Years Ago
        ???
        ' A car derived from the Twizy Z.E. Concept for motoring in built-up areas. • The fourth vehicle will take its inspiration from Zoe Z.E. Concept and is scheduled to be released at the beginning of 2012. It will be a particularly versatile vehicle
        intended for everyday motoring in and around cities.'

      • 5 Years Ago
      @Mark: Why would the government need to mandate this when every Starbucks/McDonalds/shopping mall/hotel in the country will be scrambling to add recharge points on their own as soon as there's even a few EVs for sale in their area?

      Of course, the tax incentives given to companies to do this won't hurt any...
      • 5 Years Ago
      This car looks great, not too over the top. Renault's 3 electric cars have already been heavily advertised in the UK for release this year, and although ambitious, there's no reason to believe they won't as they always take chances with their cars for better or worse.
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