AVIS car rental, one of the world’s biggest car rental and corporate fleet services companies, has just made the biggest single order for the Nissan LEAF electric car, totalling 400 cars.
Destined to join AVIS’ Denmark fleet of cars, the deal, partly funded by the Danish Energy Agency (DEA) is part of a Danish government push to encourage electric car adoption in the nation.
Owned by Avis Budget Group, Inc. [NASDAQ:CAR], AVIS plans to offer the all-electric LEAFs to Danish businesses on flexible mini-lease deals ranging from one month to thirty-six months in length. The monthly headline cost, which includes all necessary charging cables, insurance and taxes is just 3,495 DKK (£387, $644) per month.
Since business customers should be able to reclaim VAT of the rental back, the effective costs for interested businesses will be far less than for a conventional gasoline powered car. With no downpayment, there’s no additional expenditure required to set up the lease, either.
AVIS says that because the rental deals are so flexible, it expects companies who would ordinarily be put off trying an electric car because of lengthy lease agreements to give electric cars a try. Because of this, companies only have to commit to an initial one month lease, then extend their lease as required if they find an electric car works for them.
The scheme, part of a wider Danish governmental drive to dramatically increase the number of electric cars on the roads of Denmark. By the end of 2014, the Danish government wants at least 1,400 electric cars on its nation’s roads. To help encourage electric car adoption, it has earmarked funds for other electric car related projects, including the improvement of public charging infrastructure and an investigation into grid storage systems to help the grid cope with the added impact of electric car charging.
‘The support from the Danish Energy Agency now makes it possible for us to rent out electric cars at a lower price than conventional cars,” said Kasper Gjedsted, managing director at Avis Car Rental in Denmark in an official press statement made yesterday. “I am convinced that this will encourage many more people to make the switch to electric cars – especially public institutions and companies for whom the electric car is an obvious pool car solution.’
Of course, it’s worth noting too that while this particular project focuses on AVIS Denmark, the wider Avis Budget Group Inc. parent company — the largest general-use rental group in America, Australia and New Zealand and a leading rental provider elsewhere in the world — also now owns ZipCar, the ad-hoc car sharing service.
While the group already offers limited electric car rentals in certain parts of the U.S. through both traditional rental and its ZipCar service, we hope it won’t be long before fleet orders the size of the one made in Denmark become a common acquisition for the rental car group.
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