Nissan just announced a partnership with Europcar, one of the leaders in the rental car arena in Europe with a global presence in 150 countries, to make the Nissan LEAF available in Paris and London for a three month trial. This initial period is a trial for both Nissan and Europcar to evaluate the acceptance of the LEAF as a rental vehicle, and to introduce potential owners to electric vehicle (EV) transportation.
Every customer renting a LEAF will have a personal introduction to the car and its operation to optimize the rental relationship. One financial benefit to the customers, at least during the pilot program – Europcar will not invoice for electricity used. As anyone knows who has rented a vehicle before, fuel costs can add significantly to the cost of the rental. In Europe, with gasoline costs higher than they are in the US, there will be potentially even greater benefit.
At rental’s end, Nissan will survey customers about their experiences with an eye toward improving the vehicle. One advantage of vehicle rental programs for any manufacturer – it can broaden the scope of potential customers for your brand.
Should the experiment prove to be a success, the program could expand to other cities in England, France and possibly other European countries. In the US, the LEAF is available as a rental car at certain Hertz and Enterprise locations.