This week, Europcar announced that it has teamed up with Opel, one of the biggest automakers in Europe, to make 30 Opel Ampera electric cars available for short-term hires. The vehicle has been available for hire since early March in Amsterdam, Netherlands, but now Europcar is adding it to its fleets in Brussels, Belgium and Frankfurt, Germany.
The Opel Ampera with extended range doesn’t need any changes to driving habits and offers limitless mobility. The vehicle was voted 2012 Car of the Year. It can deliver between 25 and 50 miles of battery-powered electric drive, thanks to its unique 16kWh lithium-ion battery pack, and emits zero tailpipe emissions.
The car’s sophisticated propulsion system includes an extended range of up to 360 miles to allow drivers to take it on longer journeys. The range-extending engine helps sustain battery life – with a 1.4-litre petrol-fuelled engine/generate, which operates at optimum efficiency to create enough electricity to power the motor and run seamlessly as part of the powertrain. Four adults can ride in the Ampera in comfort, while the hatchback design is very practical for travel.
To support the joint effort in promoting electric mobility, Europcar and Opel plan a joint communication campaign in Germany. The campaign will be spread to airports, at point of sale supports in all of the rental company’s stations, and online – including social media. The programme could be rolled out to other countries and cities in Europe throughout the year.
Europcar Groupe chief executive Roland Keppler says they are very happy to be able to provide customers with the Opel Ampera to help facilitate the expansion of electric vehicles. Additionally, the Ampera is perfectly adapted to their short-term rental market with its unique battery pack and Range Extender. This partnership demonstrates once again that their range of vehicles help consumers make cleaner and better environmental choices, he added.
Opel mobility launch director Enno Fuchs says the Ampera has a range of over 500km and combines all of the capabilities their customers expect from a vehicle for all-round and everyday use. The vehicle won many global awards, including the Car of the Year 2012, while it has done more than gain praise from the media. It’s also strongly appealing to their customers, and including it in the Europcar fleet is more proof of the strong fleet capability of their electric vehicle, he added.
Europcar is the leading car hire provider in Europe and has locations in 140 nations to provide consumers with access to the largest vehicle rental network in the world through its own operations, franchisees and partnerships. Europcar is aware of its corporate citizenship responsibilities and employs 6,500 workers and a fleet of 190,000 vehicles. The company, which is owned by French firm Eurazeo, was the winner of the first World Travel Award that recognises Leading Green Transport Solutions in both 2010 and 2011.
Opel was founded in 1862 in Rüsselsheim, Germany and has a sister brand (Vauxhall) headquartered in the UK. The company sells vehicles in more than 40 nations and operates development centres and plants in seven European countries, which employ 40,000 people. Last year, the company sold more than 1.2 million passenger cars and light commercial vehicles across the continent, reaching a 6.1% market share.
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