Zipcar and Vauxhall charge up electric vehicle sharing pilot in London
Zipcar, leading car sharing network, has announced a pilot partnership with car manufacturer, Vauxhall, that sees the all-new electric Ampera join its fleet of self-service, pay as you go vehicles for the next six months.
It’s the first time in the UK that a car sharing club has offered access to an Extended-Range Electric Vehicle (E-REV), and Zipcar members from today will be able to reserve the Ampera online or using their smart phones, just as they would any other of the 1,700 cars across the Capital.
However, unlike other vehicles in the Zipcar fleet, the Amperas will be extremely easy to spot on the Capital’s busy streets. In fact, the electric vehicles are set to become movable London landmarks thanks to their eye-catching full-body wrap liveries of spots and country meadows.
Commenting on the partnership, Mark Walker, General Manager of Zipcar UK said: “At Zipcar we are committed to positive change in our city environments. We believe that this pilot marks a step change in the evolution of electric vehicles in London and represents a major advance for London and Londoners. Thanks to the Ampera’s unique technology, on any given day, Zipcar members can be doing multiple short trips using only the stored electric battery power or longer trips powered by electricity generated by the on board range extender. For the first time in an electric vehicle, members need not worry about range or recharging.
“To make this pilot possible – specifically the provision of dedicated charging points – we will be partnering with five London Boroughs: Camden, Croydon, Islington, Wandsworth and Westminster,” continued Walker. “For a number of years, we have worked closely with these Boroughs to develop the uptake of car sharing in London and their continued commitment to advancing the concept of car sharing is crucial for making London an even better place to live and work.”
European Car of the Year for 2012, the Ampera is a full-performance and full-speed Extended-Range Electric Vehicle, which can travel free of tailpipe emissions for up to 50 miles, after which it shifts to a petrol generator that produces electricity to keep it going an additional 310* miles on a full tank of petrol. Because many trips taken by Zipcar members are less than 35 miles, it is anticipated that a large number of journeys will use electric power only.
Stewart Gibbs, Vauxhall’s New Business Fleet Sales Manager, added: “With the Ampera, Vauxhall has brought to market the first electric vehicle that can go anywhere anytime. It’s a vehicle designed to lower emissions and boost fuel economy, and partnering with an innovative company like Zipcar who is committed to helping the environment, is a partnership we’re delighted to be involved with.’’
Zipcar is the world's leading car sharing network with approximately 700,000 members and 9,000 vehicles in urban areas and college campuses throughout the United Kingdom, United States and Canada. Zipcar offers more than 30 makes and models of self-service vehicles by the hour or day to residents and businesses looking for an alternative to the high costs and hassles of owning a car.