Spain is the latest European country to promote car sharing as the perfect way to introduce the benefits of zero emission electric vehicles to drivers.
Backed by Nissan, new schemes in Madrid and Barcelona will see no fewer than 23 examples of the Nissan LEAF – the most popular pure electric vehicle in the world – being made available for drivers to sample by the hour, or longer, as part of their daily routine.
The Spanish schemes, run by a division of ALD Automotive, are aimed primarily at small business without the resources or need for a full company car fleet. Instead, employees can take advantage of strategically located ‘shared’ Nissan LEAFs to go to meetings or make deliveries.
Cars can be hired for as long as needed with transactions completed quickly and simply using just a mobile phone – which effectively becomes the vehicle’s key – negating the need to visit a rental company’s office to pick up a vehicle.
As well as streamlining logistics and reducing business costs, by using the zero-emission all-electric LEAF, the users will be making a positive contribution to the environment.
Pedro Malla, CEO of ALD Automotive, said: “With this delivery of 23 Nissan electric vehicles we are kicking off a service which is designed to maximise the use of EVs by businesses and which reflects our commitment to environmental stewardship.”
Marco Toro, Managing Director Nissan Iberia, S.A. said: “Nissan’s zero-emission mobility project is being built with transactions like the one we have signed with ALD Automotive. By adding Nissan LEAF to its fleet, it helps reduce emissions and noise pollution in cities and also introduces electric vehicles to new customers.”
The Spanish initiative follows similar schemes recently started in Estonia and Germany.
In November 2012, an EV sharing scheme was established in Essen, Germany, as part of the Ruhr Auto Project. With a fleet of 40 EVs, including five Nissan LEAFs, for short-term rental, the Essen scheme is the first of a planned network of EV car sharing clubs across the country.
Professor Dudenhöffer from the Duisburg-Essen University and founder of the scheme explained: “Nissan has supported us from the very beginning. It has provided five Nissan LEAFs about which our users are always full of praise. More recently it donated one of its quick chargers (QC) to reduce the time it takes to recharge the cars’ batteries. It takes immense courage be the first to choose another route in the field of mobility; Nissan has shown this courage.”
In July 2013, Estonian Governmental foundation Kredex established a project in partnership with ELMO Rental to introduce a fleet of 24 EVs, 16 of which are Nissan LEAFs, to two large towns – Tallin and Tartu.
The scheme has proven very popular. The price (€6 for the first hour, €3 for every subsequent hour and no more than €30 for 24hrs) includes unlimited charging throughout the extensive Estonian QC network.
Customer Kaija Kullat said: “Everything was much smoother than I thought it would be; opening the doors with a phone is an innovative and practical solution as one does not need to depend on anyone or wait until keys are delivered. As I am a huge fan of electric cars, I will definitely use ELMO Rental in the future.”
“Car sharing is a growing and important part of mobility for the millions of people in Europe who do not own a car, as well as for drivers who want to use a different vehicle to their regular car,” said Jean-Pierre Diernaz, Director of Electric Vehicles at Nissan Europe.
“We believe electric cars like the Nissan LEAF will be a big part of these schemes thanks to their zero emissions, low fuel costs and ease of driving which make them very accessible for occasional drivers. We know from our own experience with the Nissan LEAF that once people have driven an electric vehicle they are convinced they will have an important role in making cities cleaner and quieter in the future.”