Europcar is giving Australians a chance to experience day-to-day life with an electric vehicle.

    The car rental agency is introducing 40 MG ZS EV crossovers to its Melbourne fleet over the next four months, with plans to expand availability to other cities.

    Europcar executives say rates will be positioned “close to parity” with similarly-sized, internal-combustion engine offerings and it will offer longer-term rentals.

    The agency is aiming to have one third of its global fleet consist of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles by the end of 2023.

    Local executives cite the lower cost of operation and reduced maintenance downtime of electric vehicles as some of the reasons to include them on the Europcar fleet.

    The ZS EVs will initially be available only in Melbourne, which is home to the company’s local headquarters.

    Europcar will advertise the availability of the ZS EV to its business customers, though it expects increasing interest from retail customers.

    Next on its agenda is plug-in hybrids, which present another opportunity for MG which recently introduced its HS Plug-In Hybrid.

    The rental agency wants to introduce plug-in hybrid models in the second half of this year, but no deal has been announced with MG just yet.

    The Europcar fleet also includes vehicles from Mitsubishi, which manufactures the Outlander PHEV, and Kia, which is introducing plug-in Niro and Sorento crossovers this year.

    It’s already been offering electric vehicles across the pond in New Zealand since 2017, where it initially offered the Volkswagen e-Golf and now includes the BMW i3 in its fleet.

    The agency already includes internal combustion engine-powered MG models in its fleet, including the MG 3 and HS.

    “This exciting partnership will provide many people who are thinking of electric motoring the chance to try it for themselves, on their own terms,” said MG Motor Australia CEO Peter Ciao.

    “And this is only the first step in the EV journey for MG and Europcar.”

    The ZS EV is currently Australia’s cheapest electric vehicle, priced at $43,990 drive-away.

    The next cheapest electric vehicle is the Hyundai Ioniq Electric Elite at $48,970 before on-roads, with the Nissan Leaf just above that at $49,990 list.

    MORE: MG ZS EV news, reviews, comparisons and videos

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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