Rental Company of the Year
This award recognises the efforts of the car rental sector to offer lower CO₂ models and incorporate a robust environmental policy into its present and future operations.
In 2013, Northgate Vehicle Hire began its latest phase of growth but this was organic. In just over 12 months, 10 branches were opened in the Greater London area alone. With over 70 branches and 50 workshops nationwide to support fleet customers, downtime through breakdowns, maintenance and repairs is kept to a minimum.
Northgate designed a flexible van hire solution for previous GreenFleet Award winner Gateshead Council, helping it replace large-scale capital expenditure with predictable weekly costs. It enables the council to flex the number of vans on hire to meet peaks in seasonal demands. Northgate’s vehicle tracking and telematics software provides powerful real-time information from a simple, intuitive user interface, and by offering the council the ability to tailor its choice of vans, the acquisition process was simplified. Northgate is committed to ensuring no one van is out of action for more than two hours without repair or replacement. The council extended its fleet of Northgate hire vehicles from 108 to 267.
Europcar UK Group
In 2017, Europcar has focused on giving public and private sector organisations greater choice when it comes to finding the right mobility solution for each journey. Current fleet analysis shows that 55% of vehicles are considered low emission at less than 120 g/km and 12% of these vehicles have a CO2 emission of less than 100 g/km. On average Car CO2 values on fleet has reduced to 116g/km. Furthermore, Europcar has committed to moving its fleet to 5% electric by 2020.
Europcar currently holds over 100 alternative fuel vehicles including investment in 3 hydrogen fuelled Toyota Mirai as a result of the company’s successful bid for an Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) grant. In October 2017 the Europcar-Go Ultra Low Electric Vehicle Roadshow gave businesses and residents of Manchester the opportunity to see that electric vehicles can be accessed in many different ways, from outright ownership, to hire by the hour, day or longer.
Celebrating its 10th birthday, Green Motion continues to go from strength to strength with further expansion of its brand which is now present in over 30 countries. The company’s standard fleet is getting greener, with the overall emissions sitting at just over 90 g/km. The carbon emissions from the entire UK franchise operation are offset through a reforestation project in Brazil, making Green Motion carbon neutral.
The company’s Green Heart Fee donation programme proactively engages the customers in the effects of carbon emissions and helps to educate safer and greener driving, and in November this year, Green Motion launched its new service Key & Go, which allows customers to book a vehicle online and collect the key directly from a dispensing key locker. It will be rolled out to universities and businesses and aims to dramatically reduce the number of vehicles required.
Established in 2007 and a previous multi GreenFleet Award winner, Green Motion, the brainchild of Richard Lowden, is currently present in 26 countries and is concentrating on the further strengthening of its home market of the UK. The company continues to work closely with some of the world’s largest manufacturers, including Citroen, Toyota, Honda, Lexus and BMW to procure vehicles that are at the cutting edge of environmental technology. The all-electric Nissan Leaf is available to hire in several branches, while sub 100g/km cars and vans are commonplace in its fleet, as are a range of filtered diesels and hybrids.
Green Motion has concentrated on ensuring that the principle activities of its business have the lowest impact on the environment as possible. Each installation adheres to a list of environmental specifications from power generation through to shop fitting materials and paper use.
This year, French manufacturer Renault delivered its biggest UK order of electric vehicles (EVs) to date, after agreeing to supply 55 all-electric Renault Zoes to rental company Europcar for its car hire service throughout major UK cities. This forms part of its drive to ensure that five per cent of its UK vehicles are electric by 2020. Last year saw also saw Europcar on the aquisition trail, snapping up a majority stake in E-Car Club, the pure electric car share club which operates from 20 sites across the UK. Vehicles are available for hire from just £4.50 per hour including power and insurance, with the all electric fleet made up from the Renault Zoe and Kangoo ZE light commercial, Nissan’s Leaf and the BMW i3. The latest installation, in Stornoway in the Outer Hebrides, features a fleet of nine Renault Zoes and one Kangoo van powered by energy generated by the local wind farm.
Electric Blue is providing a fleet of fully licensed, electric taxis for short term hire to local taxi drivers and fleets in a bold attempt to demonstrate the benefits and suitability of electric vehicles as a hackney carriage option. Potential drivers can try before they buy, renting by the day for just £25 and 2 pence per mile. The partnership with Nissan offers bespoke packages of the e-NV200, which include a free home charger, trade-ins, advice on grants, specialist insurance, warranty & breakdown cover plus the added incentive of reduced licensing fees – Electric Blue has worked with local authorities to secure reduced rates for electric taxis. Primarily to support the vehicles, Electric Blue is installing a rapid charger network across the UK with dedicated ‘Taxi Only’ bays. These are all powered by renewable energy through a partnership with Good Energy and can charge the e-NV200 to 80 per cent in 25 minutes.