Europcar has welcomed the creation of the UK’s first Go Ultra Low cities, announced earlier this week.
And the company believes that its mobility solutions can play a fundamental role in the ‘try before you buy’ strategy that forms a central plank of the initiative.
With a publically stated commitment to move its fleet to five per cent electric vehicles by 2020, Europcar has been working with its manufacturer partners to integrate both electric and hybrid vehicles into its mainstream fleet for some time.
In 2015, electric vehicles were introduced for the company’s Delivery and Collection services in London and Birmingham, as well as making the vehicles available for hire with charging points installed at key Europcar locations.
These initiatives were specifically aimed to encourage urban customers to experience greener rental choices by exploring Europcar’s electric fleet.
When Europcar launched its electric vehicle delivery and collection and rental service in London in March 2015, Matthew Pencharz, the deputy London mayor for environment and energy said: “It is good to see major companies like Europcar expanding their electric fleet and giving consumers greater, greener choices.
“Electric cars are perfect for urban journeys, driving around busy cities, and help boost the environment by cutting emissions.”
Last year the Europcar Lab, the Group unit dedicated to innovation, also acquired a majority stake in E-Car Club, the UK’s first entirely electric pay-per-use car club.
With a vision to improve urban mobility whilst reducing the cost and environmental impact of each journey decision made – the E-Car Club model means that drivers can have easy access to an electric vehicle available for hire by the hour.
E-Car Club is already working with a number of public sector organisations across the UK including local authorities, NHS trusts, universities and housing associations.
“Europcar has already demonstrated a strong commitment to the use of electric vehicles through additions to our fleet and new business acquisitions” said Ken McCall, managing director, Europcar UK Group.
“The challenge for the Go Ultra Low cities is to take electric cars from being a niche solution embraced by a minority to a transport option that is accepted by the mainstream motoring population.
“And we firmly believe that the ‘try before you buy philosophy’ has to be at the heart of that ambition.
“The car hire and car share solutions that are already part of the Europcar offering, can play a very credible and easy to integrate role.”
Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin announced the winners of the Go Ultra Low City Scheme earlier this week, with the winning cities – London, Bristol, Milton Keynes and Nottingham – set to roll out a range of initiatives, from rapid-charging hubs and street lighting that double as charge points, to access to bus lanes and free parking for electric cars.