The Opel Ampera will be available through a car rental company called Europcar in eight different European countries by 2012. The Ampera, which will be sold by both Opel and Vauxhall as European versions of the Chevrolet Volt, will first be available to rent in Germany in November, and will then spread throughout the rest of the continent during the first part of next year. The availability of the Ampera as a rental car will coincide with its market launch late in 2011.
Opel is joining with Europcar to rent the Ampera to European motorists as "proof that our extended-range electric vehicle is completely suitable for everyday use - even as a fleet vehicle in the tough rental car business," according to Alain Visser, VP of sales for Opel and Vauxhall. The Amperas in the rental fleets will serve as test beds, to show customers that the electric drivetrain and gasoline-engine generator can survive even the high levels of wear-and-tear that rental cars are subjected to.
Motorists interested in renting Opel Amperas through Europcar will go through a 10-15 minute introduction to the vehicle before setting off, going through the procedures of safely charging the batteries and energy-efficient driving to maximize the Ampera's fuel economy. Customers will then have a chance to voice their opinions of the Ampera after the rental period through online surveys and chatrooms.
Europcar has not yet announced the daily rates for renting an Ampera, but a premium price is to be expected.