|Opel Ampera. Click to enlarge.|
Opel and Europcar have agreed to introduce the Opel Ampera extended range electric vehicle (earlier post) as a rental car throughout Europe. The market introduction of the Opel Ampera (the European cousin of the Chevy Volt) is due by the end of 2011.
The goal 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 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 Ampera to 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.—Opel/Vauxhall Vice President Sales, Marketing & Aftersales Europe, Alain Visser
On booking, customers are advised to plan 10-15 minutes for the handover to allow for an introduction to the features of the Ampera. Trained Europcar employees will 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 will receive 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.
Europcar provides 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.
The wheels of the Ampera are electrically driven at all times. A 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.
According to the ECE R101 regulation for measuring fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, the Ampera consumes less than 1.6 L/100 km (147 mpg US) and emits less than 40 g/km CO2 (preliminary data). The car is not only suited for use in the car rental industry as it delivers the no-compromise mobility that rental customers require, the partners say, it also eliminates the risk for the rental company of having to recover a car as a result of it running out of battery power.
Europcar is the leading vehicle rental company in Europe, providing car mobility to 6 million customers.