Posts Tagged ‘electric vehicles’

Enterprise to invest in growing electric fleet

Friday, July 15th, 2011

Enterprise Holdings has announced that it will be investing in growing its fleet of electrically powered vehicles as well as improving its infrastructure by upgrading facilities and introducing more charging stations. The car hire giant also said it was the first company in the US to introduce the Chevy Volt into its electric fleet.

Currently, Enterprise supplies customers with a range of EVs including the Nissan LEAF, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV and the Peugeot iOn. The company will be growing the number of electric vehicles available through its WeCar programme, business schemes and Enterprise branches in territories such as Seattle, San Francisco and Portland.

In a statement, Enterprise chairman and CEO Andrew Taylor said it was vital to the future of the car hire industry to keep vehicles economically viable and acceptable to the consumer. He added that 1.6 million vehicles are introduced by the industry every year, and the way in which those vehicles are powered is going to become increasingly important.

Lisa Martini, a company spokesperson, said Enterprise intended to use 5,500 branches around the US to introduce more customers to the latest alternative technology. She added that the introduction of more EVs would help Enterprise to become more environmentally friendly.

Over the coming five years, Enterprise is aiming to reduce the amount of energy it uses, along with related costs, by 20 per cent annually. By doing this, the firm said it would save around $50 million. As well as Enterprise Rent-A-Car, the firm operates the National and Alamo brands.

European Commission aims to reduce short haul flights

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

The European Union’s transport commissioner has outlined ambitious plans to reduce carbon emissions by 60 per cent by 2050. One of the proposals is to develop Europe’s high-speed rail network so that there will be less need for people to use domestic and short-haul flight services.

Siim Kallas explained that a high-speed link between Barcelona and Madrid was proving extremely popular and had taken a large chunk of the market away from the airlines. He added that customers often found it less hassle and more comfortable to travel by train rather than from an airport.

Kallas went on to say that by reducing their short-haul journeys airlines would benefit because they could work on developing their long-haul itineraries, something he claimed would be better for business. The scheme would also greatly ease the congestion problem currently faced at Heathrow. It would also mean that airport expansion would no longer be necessary and extra runways would no longer be needed. By connecting ports and airports to high-speed rail networks the need for road-freight would also be reduced.

The commissioner also said he would like to see cars banished from the centre of major cities by the middle of the century and motorists weaned off their reliance on diesel and petrol powered vehicles for making short journeys.

Kallas added that a simple cross-over to electric vehicles would reduce carbon emissions but would not solve the problem of congestion. He went on to say that London’s congestion charge model would soon be adopted by other European cities.

Hertz announces solar power plans

Friday, February 11th, 2011

Hertz, one of the world’s best known car hire brands, has announced a new initiative to introduce solar power to selected locations across the US. The plans involve retrofitting facilities with photovoltaic panels similar to the ones installed at the company’s outlet at Denver International Airport in December last year.

Currently there are plans to upgrade 16 locations with the intention of growing the initiative into the future. Hertz senior vice president, Richard Broome, pointed out that the company was continually striving to implement environmentally friendly practices. He said that it had already made large savings on the amount of water being used as well as supplying customers with the option to hire low-emission and electric vehicles.

Hertz has already announced plans to offer its customers the Chevrolet Volt, an electric car designed for extended journeys. The firm will also roll out the Nissan Leaf at a number of locations across Europe and the US as the cars become available, and Californian customers will be able to get their hands on the Coda EV early next year.

Rival car hire giant Enterprise is also aiming to offer more electric solutions. The Chevrolet Volt is already available, and the company will be introducing the Leaf and the Coda EV to its forecourts as soon as they are released.

Enterprise, owner of the Enterprise, National and Alamo brands has also committed itself to reducing its energy bills by around 20 per cent over the next five years. To this end, the firm has announced a $150 million investment plan.

Renault EVs to join Avis’ European fleet

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Car hire giant Avis has announced it will increase the number of electric vehicles in its European fleet by the end of 2011. The firm recently signed an order for 500 new Renault electric cars. The Kangoo Express ZE and the Fluence ZE will be available to customers in seven EU countries including Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy and the United Kingdom.

Uwe Hochgeschurtz, Renault’s corporate sales senior vice president, said: ”We are the only European carmaker who is developing a complete range of affordable electric vehicles with our own batteries, our own technologies and our own production system to guarantee a high level of quality and performance. By hiring an electric vehicle through Avis, the public will be able to experience new driving technology and learn about the environmental benefits of electric vehicles.”

Renault is also developing two other vehicles which will run exclusively on electric power. The Renault ZOE is a hatchback designed for use on a day-to-day basis and the Renault Twizy will be a two-seat car specifically designed for manoeuvrability in the city.

Pascal Bazin, Avis Europe chief executive officer, said: At Avis, we’re committed to providing customers with choice when it comes to mobility and our partnership with Renault is another way in which we are fulfilling this commitment by expanding our fleet to include electric vehicles.”

“The vehicles complement our existing mobility offer, providing an alternative to traditional car hire that will benefit both business and leisure customers who are concerned about their impact on the environment,” he added.

Hertz encourages development of electric vehicle infrastructure

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Hertz has announced its intention to use its leverage as one of the world’s leading car hire firms to promote electric powered vehicles. It aims to form strategic partnerships with other industry leaders to develop an infrastructure which is capable of supporting electric technology. The rental giant said it was in the perfect position to introduce the new technology across a wide and diverse range of customers.

Hertz’s electric vehicle programme is due to roll out over the coming months. It aims to introduce a range of electric and hybrid electric vehicles onto the market. In February, Hertz said it would be partnering with Nissan to bring its zero-emission, 100 per cent electric LEAF to select locations in Europe and the US.

Hertz also plans to work with manufacturers such as Toyota, GM and Mitsubishi in providing its customers with the option of choosing their electric powered vehicles. As well as providing vehicles and charging stations the Hertz Global Electric Vehicle programme will compliment the electric technology with new technology in other areas such as supplying the latest in Sat Nav and GPS systems.

Hertz boss, Mark P Frissora, said his company was in the perfect position to lead the world in new electric vehicle technology because of its global footprint, expertise in the car sharing and rental markets and excellent industry relationships.

Fred Krupp, of the Environmental Defence Fund, said he was extremely pleased to be working alongside Hertz in making sure that the new leap in technology was beneficial to consumers and the global environment.

Enterprise to add Nissan LEAF to its fleet

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

Enterprise customers in a number of major US cities will soon be able to book the Nissan LEAF at their local dealership. Enterprise Rent-A-Car has ordered 500 of the electric vehicles and they will start entering the car hire company’s fleet in December. Initially, the vehicles will be rolled out in seven major markets where the infrastructure already exists for maintenance and charging.

In preparation for the introduction of the cars Enterprise has taken delivery of a test LEAF which it will take around selected outlets to educate staff and customers about the new technology. Lee Broughton, director of sustainability at Enterprise, said he felt there was still a great deal of mystery when it comes to electric vehicles.

Broughton added that by taking the Nissan LEAF out to the firm’s customers and employees he hoped some of that mystery would begin to evaporate. He went on to say that Enterprise was in a perfect position to show people the tremendous advantages to choosing an electric vehicle next time they rent.

On a single charge the Nissan LEAF can cover around 100 miles. This makes it an ideal commuter car. It is also the car of choice for those who wish to do their bit for the environment. The vehicle can be charged in several ways including through a customer’s home outlet, at a public outlet or at a special high-speed charging outlet.

Broughton said that with the introduction of the Nissan LEAF to the Enterprise fleet, the company was showing just how committed it was to allowing cleaner, more efficient technologies to prove themselves in the marketplace.

21% of all vehicle purchases will be electric by 2020

Friday, August 13th, 2010

As electric cars are becoming more mainstream, manufacturers have been doing more to encourage motorists to buy in to electric vehicles (EVs).

Consumer confidence is still mixed on the subject, and Nissan’s latest endeavor into the electric vehicle industry, the Nissan Leaf, has yet to earn customer feedback. According to a report, 21 per cent of all vehicles sold by 2020 will be electric-based. However, anaylsts at Eurotax Glass’s have said that manufacturers must do more to ensure motorists’ are confident that EVs will retain longevity and not depreciate faster than petrol-fueled cars.

The firm said further that hybrid cars are currently dominating the ‘green’ market and will continue to do so until 2019, when electric vehicle sales are expected to rise. Glass’s predicts that 2.4 million vehicles will be sold within the UK during 2020, and of those 11 per cent will be EVs.

However, the key issue remains that manufacturers will increasingly be met with tough targets to reduce overall emissions ratings for vehicles across the board. As these targets become more stringet, electric vehicle production will become increasingly popular. Andy Carroll, Managing director for Glass’s, said that a key issue for vehicle makers will be to get consumers to want to by electric and hybrid cars.

Mr Carroll also said that the industry will see an evolution towards learning how to estimate the residual value impact of improved technologies and batteries as well as end of life disposal. According to the analyst, the key to making electric vehicles more popular will be for manufacturers to completely remove the risk of residual value in batteries from falling into the hands of the customer.