Last March, rental agency Europcar pre-ordered 500 electric vehicles from Renault to add to its fleets in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. In July 2011, Europcar was back at it, adding an undisclosed amount of the "go anywhere at any time" Opel Amperas to its fleet. Now, Europcar will add electric Peugeot iOns to its fleet.
Europcar says the Peugeot iOns will initially only be available for rentals of 24 hours or less, a move that Europcar says will ensure the vehicles don't often run out of juice. Additionally, the iOns will only be available at Europcar locations set up to recharge plug-in vehicles – Heathrow, Gatwick and Luton airports, Kings Cross and at Marble Arch.
Now, here's something we'd like to see transfer to the U.S.: Europcar says specific CO2 emissions data is available on all vehicles in its rental fleet and it will only label the greenest of autos "eco-friendly."
TEDDINGTON, England, August 25, 2011/PRNewswire/ --
Europcar, the leader in car hire services in Europe for both leisure and business users, is reinforcing its commitment to the environment by being the first UK rental provider to add the new Peugeot iON to its fleet. This follows the announcement of Europcar's global partnership with PSA Peugeot Citroen last October and responds to increasing demand for access to electric vehicles to rent.
Providing travellers arriving at several of London's airports and heading into the Capital with a congestion-charge-free option, Peugeot iONs will be available for customers at Europcar's Heathrow car hire [http://www.europcar.co.uk/car-hire-LONDON_HEATHROW__AIRPORT.html ], Gatwick car hire [http://www.europcar.co.uk/car-hire-LONDON_GATWICK_AIRPORT.html ] and Luton Airport car hire [http://www.europcar.co.uk/car-hire-LUTON-airport.html ] locations. Vehicles are also available from the company's King's Cross location - ideal for travellers arriving on the Eurostar - and at Marble Arch.
"This is a tremendously exciting initiative for us," confirmed Ken McCall, Managing Director, Europcar Group UK. "Demand for electric vehicles to rent is really starting to pick up as both businesses and leisure drivers want to make the most of both the environmental and cost advantages. Demonstrating the fact that we are listening to our customers' constantly evolving needs, Europcar is the first UK rental provider to add the new Peugeot iONs to its fleet. This also reflects our core commitments to sustainable development and technological innovation."
The first new-generation electric vehicles to hit the European market, the Peugeot iON will allow Europcar customers to drive up to 60 miles (100 kilometres) with a fully recharged battery. These electric vehicles are silent and will not emit any CO2 or other pollutants, further enhancing their ecological benefits. They are also exempt from congestion charges in key UK cities providing important cost advantages for business users.
Initially, the vehicles will be available for one day hire only, in order to ensure they are properly recharged, and can only be returned to the Europcar locations designated for electric vehicles - at Heathrow, Gatwick and Luton airports, Kings Cross and Marble Arch.
As well as the addition of the Peugeot iONs, Europcar is continuing to pursue a range of other green initiatives in support of the environment, including giving maximum visibility to its eco-friendly cars and encouraging consumers to choose a greener car when making reservations. Europcar's eco-friendly fleet includes vehicles with CO2 emissions of less than 140gr/km and models equipped with alternative engines (hybrid or electric).
In addition to adding a section dedicated to eco-friendly cars, specific information is available on CO2 emissions for all models of its rental car fleet. The European energy rating system from A to G is given with the description of each vehicle, the greenest of which is labelled "eco-friendly".
"Our goal is to give our customers the widest possible choice," concluded Ken McCall. "That includes giving them access to the new generation of electric vehicles. Ideal for short city journeys we anticipate these will be immensely popular with many of our business customers who will really relish the cost savings they offer."
Europcar is the leading vehicle hire company in Europe, providing car mobility to 6 million customers. Through its franchisees and partners in over 150 countries, Europcar gives access to the #1 network in car hire. Europcar brand portfolio generated revenue of c.EUR3.1 billion including c.EUR2.0 billion Europcar group revenue. Supported by 6,600 dedicated staff and with long-standing local presence, Europcar facilitates the mobile lives of its customers around the world, offering them customised and innovative car mobility solutions. Winner of the first World Travel Award recognising the World's Leading Green Transport Solutions Company, Europcar also was honoured with the Award in 2010, the second time it was presented. Europcar is a subsidiary of Eurazeo.