Driving in Europe can be awesome—full speed on the German autobahn, zipping through Spain’s Costa Brava, crossing the Alps over San Bernardino Pass and into Via Mala, circling Scotland’s Isle of Aran. Thrilling drives combined with local culture are, for many motorheads, the best part of visiting Europe. Now, the motoring trip of a lifetime just got a bit greener.
Europcar, one of Europe’s largest car rental agencies, recently announced that it will begin offering the Nissan Leaf electric car to hire on short-term rental in two of the busiest capital cities in the world: Paris and London.
Nissan and Europcar are attempting to make it very easy to rent an electric car. When customers hire a Leaf, they will be given a face-to-face handover by a Nissan-trained Europcar representative fully conversant with the car and its workings. In order to make its customers’ lives even easier Europcar will take care of recharging the cars and won’t charge for the electricity used in recharging the cars after the rentals nor any service fee as it exists for conventional diesel or gasoline vehicles. Nissan has also set up a hotline for customers to call if they encounter any problems. At the end of the rental, Europcar will ask customers to fill out a questionnaire about their experience.
Europcar’s Leaf rental program is, so far, only a pilot, scheduled to run for three months, so those dreams of puttering from village to village in Italy may have to wait a bit. However, according to a statement released by Europcar—which has offices in 190 countries—after the initial pilot runs its course the program could be widened to other cities in France and England and to other countries in Europe.