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Back Technology News Autos Opel/Vauxhall and Europcar launch major electric vehicle co-operation

Opel/Vauxhall and Europcar launch major electric vehicle co-operation

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Europcar offers Ampera as rental car across Europe from end of 2011.Cooperation brings Europe’s first electric vehicle offering ‘go anywhere at any time’ mobility to a wider audience

Rüsselsheim/Luton/St. Quentin en Yvelines.  Opel/Vauxhall, one of Europe’s largest automakers, and Europcar, the leading car rental company in Europe, have announced an agreement to introduce the Opel/Vauxhall Ampera as a rental car throughout Europe.

With the market introduction of the electric Ampera by the end of 2011, Opel/Vauxhall is to create a new segment in the European automotive market and underline its role as a trendsetter for initiative mobility solutions. The two companies are joining forces to facilitate the introduction and expansion of electric mobility, broadening the range of people that will be able to enjoy the benefits of electric mobility from the Ampera's launch. The intention is to deploy the first vehicles in Europcar rental outlets in Germany in November of this year, followed soon afterwards by Belgium and the Netherlands. The Opel/Vauxhall Ampera will then be rolled out throughout France, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom from the beginning of 2012.

"Electric cars are among the best long-term solutions to meet society's energy and environmental challenges. The fact that Europcar is going to introduce the Opel/Vauxhall Ampera in its day-to-day business is further proof that our extended-range electric vehicle is completely suitable for everyday use – even as a fleet vehicle in the tough rental car business", says Opel/Vauxhall Vice President Sales, Marketing and Aftersales, Alain Visser.

Full introduction to Ampera on handover to rental customers

The Ampera is as easy to drive as any other car. The electric vehicle also offers a number of intelligent functions that help the driver to operate the vehicle highly efficiently. Opel/Vauxhall and Europcar have together created a comprehensive introduction to the Ampera to present these features to rental customers. On booking, customers are advised to plan 10-15 minutes for the handover to accommodate this. Trained Europcar employees explain a range of topics including battery charging, the range extender, as well as other special functions and features such as the energy consumption and energy efficiency displays. In addition, customers get advice on energy-efficient driving in battery operation and how to recuperate energy when braking. Customers will also have the opportunity to give feedback through online chats and questionnaires.

“At Europcar, we are committed to responsible and sustainable business practices. We see customers’ growing appetite for low CO2, environmentally-friendly solutions, especially in urban areas, and strongly believe that electric vehicles will help enhance access to greenest mobility solutions. Today, we are proud to partner with Opel/Vauxhall/Vauxhall to facilitate expansion of electric vehicles and provide customers, as early as November 2011, with the Opel/Vauxhall Ampera distinctive features”, said Rafael Girona, Chief Operating Officer of Europcar.

Europcar has long been committed to environment protection matters, and has formalised its pledge through an Environmental Charter. The company shares its commitment with its customers by providing them, through its green fleet, with fuel efficient, electric and Hybrid vehicles. For the second time, Europcar was named the World’s Leading Green Transport Solution Company in 2010 by the World Travel Awards.

Opel/Vauxhall Ampera: Electric mobility for everyday use

The Opel/Vauxhall Ampera with extended range requires no changes to driving habits, and offers limitless mobility, even for spontaneous journeys. The wheels of the Ampera are electrically driven at all times. A unique 16 kWh lithium-ion battery pack feeds an advanced, 111 kW/150 hp electric drive unit to deliver between 40 and 80 km of pure electric operation with zero emissions – depending on driving conditions – when fully charged. If the Ampera is driven exclusively in battery mode, it uses no fuel and produces no emissions. For longer stretches, a gasoline engine powers a generator that supplies the necessary electricity. This continuous energy supply makes distances of over 500 km possible, without stopping to charge for hours, and relieves the driver of concerns about being stranded with a flat battery. According to the ECE R101 regulation for measuring fuel consumption and CO2  emissions, the Ampera achieves 175mpg (preliminary data).

The car is therefore perfectly suited for use in the car rental industry as it delivers the no-compromise mobility that rental customers require. Additionally, there is no risk for the rental company of having to recover the car as a result of it running out of battery power.

About Europcar

Europcar is the leading vehicle rental 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 rental. Europcar brand portfolio generated revenue of c.€3.1 billion including c.€2.0 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 customized and innovative car mobility solutions. Europcar is a subsidiary of Eurazeo.