Avis isn't the only rental car company interested in Renault's electric vehicles (EVs). Europcar announced last fall that it would work with the Renault-Nissan alliance to put EVs into the rental fleet in Europe (and Australia and New Zealand) sometime in 2010. The rental agency has now pre-ordered 500 EVs from Renault and says they will be delivered to fleets in Europe's largest cities sometime in third quarter of 2011. So, later than expected but still moving forward.

Which EVs will be available? Europcar says it will offer "the new Renault Zero Emission range," so that means the production versions of the cool Z.E. concepts we've seen recently (more details here). In the past, Europcar has given discounts for E85 vehicles and shown the CO2 emissions of the vehicles it rents. More details after the jump.

[Source: Renault]


PRESS RELEASE

EUROPCAR PRE-ORDERS FROM RENAULT ITS FIRST 500 ELECTRIC VEHICLES AVAILABLE FOR RENTAL

Following on from the Memorandum of Understanding on electric vehicles signed at the Frankfurt International Motor Show on September 16, 2009, Europcar and Renault have taken the next step, with Europcar pre-ordering 500 Renault electric vehicles for delivery in Europe's largest cities from the 3rd quarter of 2011.

Europcar, Renault's principal short-term rental partner in Europe, has given substance to the partnership agreement signed at the recent Frankfurt International Motor Show with Renault to promote zero-emission* mobility solutions. Through a roll-out targeting its rental outlets in Europe's largest cities, Europcar is set to offer its customers the new Renault Zero Emission* range from 2011 in the European short-term rental market.

With electric vehicles, which produce zero emissions during use, Renault is preparing a breakthrough solution that provides sustainable mobility for all. The four show-cars demonstrated at the Frankfurt Motor Show-Twizy Z.E. Concept, Zoe Z.E. Concept, Fluence Z.E. Concept, Kangoo Z.E-are a foretaste of the electric vehicle (EV) range, whose market launch will begin in 2011 with three models:
  • a family sedan,
  • a small city car,
  • an LCV-version Kangoo for fleets and business users.
They will be followed in 2012 by a compact 4-meter 5-seater sedan. After 2012, the EV range will continue to expand into all segments to meet the needs of a diverse range of customers.

"Europcar reaches a decisive point in bringing electric vehicles into the rental market; they will join the eco- friendly fleet that already features on our web sites", stated Rafael Girona, Chief Operating Officer of Europcar Groupe. "The interaction between our network and Renault's technology will genuinely pave the way for a major advance in mobility solutions. With the addition to its fleet of the Renault Fluence Z.E. and Kangoo Z.E. models from 2011 and then of the Zoe Z.E. in 2012, Europcar is giving substance even more tangibly to the commitments set forth in its Charter for the Environment".

"Renault firmly believes that the leverage created by short-term rentals will help to drive adoption of electric vehicles by individual customers, in addition to its distribution network. As part of our vision of electric vehicles for everyone's daily use, we are delighted to be teaming up with Europcar, a global provider of mobility solutions. To enable our partner to launch its range of electric vehicles at the earliest opportunity, we have now reserved 500 Zero Emission* Vehicles", commented Uwe Hochgeschurtz, Senior Vice President, Renault's Corporate Sales Division.

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.

About Europcar :
Europcar is the European leader in passenger car and light utility vehicle rentals. The company serves business and leisure customers throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Asia-Pacific. Excluding franchise operations, in 2008 Europcar signed more than 10 million rental contracts, with 8,000 employees and a fleet exceeding 225,000 vehicles. In September 2008, Europcar and U.S. market leader Enterprise Rent-A-Car joined forces in a strategic commercial alliance to form the world's largest car rental network, with more than 1.2 million vehicles and 13,000 locations around the world. Europcar is owned by the French investment company Eurazeo.

In addition to being the European market leader, Europcar is leading in its environmental approach to car rental. It opened its first "environmental agency" in Paris in 1999, and in 2008 it was the first company in Europe to have its "Environmental Charter" – which formalizes its commitments in favor of sustainable development -- certified by Bureau Veritas. In 2008, Europcar was also the first company ever to win the World Travel Award for "the World's Leading Green Transport Solution Company."

* in use
For more information: www.europcar.com