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As we begin to move into the age of electrically-driven cars, cost will become a hurdle that customers will have to overcome. For the foreseeable future, the cost of batteries will mean that the up-front layout for EVs will be higher than for combustion engined equivalents. Even with the lower operating costs, many people will have a hard time getting past that.

Business that acquire vehicles for fleet use by employees account for such things in a different way than individuals typically do. Such fleets are often leased rather than purchased and that's where a company like Athlon Car Lease comes into the picture. Athlon is a Dutch company that provides vehicle leasing services to companies in eight European countries.

Athlon has reached a partnership agreement with Renault to distribute the four electric vehicles that the French automaker will be launching in the next several years. EV leasing will be part of Athlon's Sustainable Mobility Plan going forward.

[Source: Renault]

press release

Athlon Car Lease and Renault become Partners in Rollout of Electric Vehicles

Today Renault and Athlon Car Lease International have announced their cooperation in the joint delivery of Electric Vehicle (EV)-solutions to their mutual clients.

Renault and Athlon have agreed to offer their customers innovative solutions developed jointly and involving the staff and networks of both partners. Athlon supports Renault's EV project.

Constituting a clean means of transportation, electric vehicles are providing an increasingly attractive solution to changing current mobility requirements. According to Renault research, 80% of all Europeans currently travel less than 60 kilometers per day. Athlon's and Renault's partnership aims at making zero-emission vehicles available to as many people as possible, starting in 2011.

As part of its CSR strategy, the Dutch based leasing company, Athlon Car Lease International has developed the 5-step Sustainable Mobility Plan in which it is taking the first step to becoming a provider of mobility services. Part of the 5-step Sustainable Mobility Plan is Athlon's development program "CHARGED" for EV's. "CHARGED" will help us creating a new business model in the new EV value chain enabling new values for both cars and batteries, infrastructure and developing a one-stop-shop for our customers and end-users. It is in Athlon's interest to cooperate with all stakeholders within the new EV-domain.

Commenting on the cooperation, Hans Blink, President of Athlon Car Lease International, says: 'we have noticed a broad interest among our clients to experience and get involved in EV driving. Renault is the first OEM that will have a full range of EV's available in the near future and therefore we are happy to collaborate with and receive support from Renault. By joining efforts in our common interest in the EV demand, we aim to provide our customers with end-to- end solutions in EV driving.'

"Thanks to our 'Zero-Emission' mobility program, Renault will offer a broad range of zero- emission vehicles starting in 2011. For Renault, electric vehicles with zero carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide or particle emissions constitute a real answer to current environmental concerns. We are proud that Athlon has chosen Renault as its partner," commented Uwe Hochgeschurtz, Director of Renault's Corporate Sales Division.

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