Europcar has secured almost $5 million in Federal Government funding to help it establish its own electric vehicle (EV) charging network and add almost 3100 battery-powered rental cars to its Australian fleet.

    The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) had approved a funding allocation of $4.76 million to be spent towards Europcar’s $110.63 million Electric Rental Vehicle and Charging Infrastructure Rollout project.

    According to ARENA’s approval, Europcar plans to add 3093 EVs to its Australian rental fleet within the next three years.

    At present, the brand’s EV rental offerings include the best-selling Tesla Model Y, Kia EV6 and Cupra Born.

    While other rental firms have remained guarded about their long-term plans for EVs joining local fleets, Europcar will operate the cars for one to two years before then selling the vehicles on the used market “through an established network of dealerships”.

    In addition to the planned EV rental fleet boost, Europcar says it will install a total of 256 EV chargers at 41 of its locations in Australia.

    The units will be sourced with assistance from energy firm Ampol’s Ampcharge division, and will comprise 250 22kW AC chargers and six 75kW DC chargers.

    “Europcar Mobility Group’s project, while helping to reduce emissions in the fleet and rental car market, will also help to get a wider range of EVs into the second-hand market and that’s a win-win for both the company and Australians looking to purchase,” said ARENA CEO Darren Miller. 

    “I hope to see this replicated by other rental car companies.”

    While Europcar is busy adding EVs to its Australian fleet, over in the US rental giant Hertz has been winding down its previous plans to bolster its lineup with battery-powered vehicles.

    Hertz had signed a deal with Polestar to buy 65,000 of the brand’s EVs by 2027, but backed out of the agreement with Polestar’s approval last month.

    The rental car firm also recently announced its plans to sell 20,000 EVs from its US fleet due to rising depreciation and repair costs, coming a handful of months after it reported to have received just 35,000 of the 100,000 Teslas it had initially ordered.

    In October 2022, Europcar was one of 100 companies which called for Australia to have one million EVs on local roads by 2027.

    Jordan Mulach

    Born and raised in Canberra, Jordan has worked as a full-time automotive journalist since 2021, being one of the most-published automotive news writers in Australia before joining CarExpert in 2024.

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