London (9 February, 2012)
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 worlds 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.
Please click on link below to view accompanying photography:
Nissan LEAF joins the daily rental market with Europcar
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About the Nissan LEAF:
The Nissan LEAF is a sleek fivve-door hatchback, powered by a compact electric motor propelling the front wheels. The AC motor develops 80 kW of power and 280 Nm of torque, enough for a maximum speed of 90mph. The electric motor is powered by a Nissaneveloped laminated lithium-ion battery with an output of more than 90 kW. Recharging from empty to 100% takes eight hours with a normal charger and just 30 minutes from empty to 80% using a quick charger in optimal conditions. Nissan LEAF has been awarded five stars in the tough Euro NCAP tests, making it one of the safest cars on the road. Nissan LEAF comes fully equipped with air conditioning, satellite navigation, rear-view parking camera.
About Nissan in Europe:
Nissan has one of the most comprehensive European presences of any overseas manufacturer, employing more than 12,500 staff across locally-based design, research & development, manufacturing, logistics and sales & marketing operations. Last year Nissan plants in the UK, Spain and Russia produced more than 528,000 vehicles including mini-MPVs, award-winning crossovers, SUVs and commercial vehicles. Nissan now offers 24 diverse and innovative products for sale in Europe today, and is positioned to become the number one Asian brand in Europe.
Europcar is the leader in car rental services in Europe. Present in 150 countries, the company provides customers with access to the worlds largest vehicle rental network through its own operations, franchisees and partnerships. Through Europcars portfolio of brands, the company and its franchisees generated more than 3 billion in revenue in 2010, including nearly 2 billion in consolidated revenue. With 6,600 employees committed to delivering customer satisfaction and an average fleet of close to 200,000 vehicles, Europcar is conscious of its corporate citizenship responsibilities. Winner of the first World Travel Award recognizing the World’s Leading Green Transport Solutions Company, Europcar also was honored with the Award in 2010 and 2011. Europcar is owned by Eurazeo.