Nissan and Europcar, the leading car hire company in Europe, announced today that Nissan LEAF, the award-winning 100% electric car, will be available for short term hire in two of the world’s busiest capitals: London and Paris. From February, the 2011 World and European Car of The Year will be available for hire bringing the LEAF to a wider audience.
“There are two distinct reasons for joining forces with Europcar to introduce Nissan LEAF to the short term rental market in these two busy cities,” said Guillaume Cartier, Vice President for Sales Operations at Nissan International SA. “The first is obvious: with its absence of tailpipe emissions and an outstanding driving pleasure, the Nissan LEAF is the perfect car for the inner city. The second is for drivers currently unsure whether an EV is suitable for their needs. By renting a Nissan LEAF and living with it in real world conditions they can evaluate the car in their own time,” he added.
The Nissan LEAF has a homologated range of 110 miles (175km), which is more than 90% of UK commuters drive in a day.
“Europcar has long believed in electric vehicles as a sustainable means of mobility and is committed to enabling early adoption of this type of vehicle. We are proud to partner with Nissan to facilitate expansion of electric vehicles and provide our customers with the greenest possible mobility solutions” said Rafael Girona, Chief Operating Officer of Europcar.
Although the Nissan LEAF is as easy to drive as a conventional car, every customer hiring a LEAF will be given a face-to-face handover by a Europcar representative who has been fully trained on the car and its workings.
For Londoners, this will be a particularly important development as Mayor, Boris Johnson, aims to make London the electric car capital of Europe.
In order to make hiring the LEAF even simpler for customers, Europcar will recharge it completely free of charge, even waiving the standard service fee usually made for vehicle refuelling. For total peace of mind, customers can call a Nissan Hotline with any queries they might have about the vehicle, plus, at the end of the hire every customer will be surveyed by Europcar with feedback used to help shape future generations of Nissan electric vehicles.
Ken McCall, Managing Director, Europcar UK Group said: “Hiring a Nissan LEAF could be the ideal option for motorists keen to reduce their fuel costs and avoid congestion charges. At the forefront of electric vehicle technology, it fits perfectly with our philosophy of pioneering sustainable car hire solutions, giving customers a real choice when it comes to car hire.”
The pilot scheme, which will initially run for three months, forms a Definitive Agreement between the two companies, and follows a Memorandum of Understanding in which both organisations undertook to investigate ways of jointly promoting the concept of emission-free motoring.
Success of this scheme could potentially see it widened to other cities in France and Great Britain, as well as other countries in Europe.