Avis introduces electric vehicles for hire together with its long-term partner Renault

The partnership will add to Avis’ already well-established environmental programme, which has seen the company maintain a CarbonNeutral® status since 1999. Pascal Bazin, Chief Executive for Avis Europe, explains: “At Avis, we are committed to reducing our carbon footprint and are always looking for new ways to improve our environmental performance.”

“We are delighted to sign this important partnership with Renault to offer electric vehicles as part of our green fleet, which is an increasingly central part of our customer offering. Despite the impact of the recession, consumers are just as aware of the issues of climate change and it is only by working together with our partners that will we be able to make a difference.”

Senior Vice President, Renault Corporate Sales Division, Uwe Hochgeschurtz, adds: “Avis is an important long-term partner for Renault, so we are thrilled to be able to expand our offering with the company to include electric vehicles. We are confident that the partnership will play an important role in enabling customers to experience the new technology and learn about the environmental benefits of electric vehicles, which are sure to become a significant alternative for car travel in the future.”

With electric vehicles, which produce zero emissions during use, Renault is preparing a breakthrough solution that provides sustainable mobility for all.

From 2011, Renault will progressively roll out four electric vehicles. These include two derivatives of internal-combustion vehicles:

· Renault Fluence Z.E., an electric car version of Fluence.
· Renault Kangoo Express Z.E., an electric version of Renault Kangoo Express, intended primarily for fleet and business use.

The range of electric vehicles will later be extended to cover other segments, including two new electric cars with lithium ion batteries whose architecture will be designed to run exclusively with electrical power:

· A car derived from the Twizy Z.E. Concept for motoring in built-up areas.
· The fourth vehicle will take its inspiration from Zoe Z.E. Concept and is scheduled to be released at the beginning of 2012. It will be a particularly versatile vehicle intended for everyday motoring in and around cities.

With a long history of environmental awareness, Avis has offset more than 147,000 tonnes of CO2 since 1997 by investing in a host of environmental initiatives such as renewable energy, methane capture projects and tree planting, which mean the company has now been CarbonNeutral® accredited for more than a decade.

Average CO2 emissions have also been successfully reduced year on year through the introduction of further environmentally friendly technologies and practices, including motion detector lights in many of its European offices, an extensive recycling scheme for staff and the development of a Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) plan to prevent spills from storage and during fuel loading at rental stations across Europe.

Meanwhile, Avis customers can already benefit from an extensive eco-offering. Each car on the Avis fleet is typically only six months old, to ensure maximum fuel efficiency, whilst the average CO2 emissions for cars purchased in 2009 was just 144.6g CO2/Km.

All Avis customers also have access to environmental driving tips to help lower their emissions and can choose a vehicle from a wide ranging green fleet, including hundreds of vehicles which run on fuels other than petrol or diesel. Leisure and business customers also have the option to offset their carbon emissions prior to their journey.

Avis Europe is a leading car rental company in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia, where it operates the globally recognised Avis and Budget brands, serving more than 8 million customers each year. The Avis brand operates across four continents via a network of over 2,800 locations in 109 countries, through wholly owned subsidiaries in 13 corporate countries complimented by licence arrangements in a further 96 countries.

Avis Europe tries harder to meet customer’s needs with the complimentary Avis Preferred scheme providing customers with the quickest and easiest way to rent a car, including pre-prepared paperwork, priority counters and dedicated reservation lines.
Avis Europe has also developed a series of other initiatives designed to improve speed, clarity and choice for customers including its jargon free Rental Agreement in 8 languages, Fuel up Front scheme, Rapid Return service and Satellite Navigation rental option.

CSR is an integral part of Avis Europe’s ‘We Try Harder’ philosophy. Avis is committed to reducing the impact its business has on the environment and has been awarded CarbonNeutral® operation status since 2006. This was achieved through measuring and reducing its CO2 emissions to net zero through internal reduction initiatives such as, introducing more environmentally friendly vehicles into the fleet and through external reduction initiatives, i.e. offsetting.

The Renault group, present in 118 countries, designs, develops, manufactures and sells passenger cars and light commercial vehicles under the Renault, Dacia and Renault Samsung Motors brands.

To meet the new challenges facing the automotive industry, both environmental and economic, Renault is improving existing technologies with new generations of carbonefficient engines and by implementing the breakthrough “Zero Emission” program. Renault will launch a zero-emission range with three electric vehicles in 2011 and a fourth in 2012.

This offering will make innovation accessible to the greatest number. With its partner Nissan, Renault is targeting world leadership in the mass marketing of zero-emission vehicles.