Model 3 electric cars from Tesla Motors.
Tesla Motors File Photo | Reuters
LONDON – European car rental company Virtuo is adding dozens of Teslas to its fleet to electrify more of its vehicles.
The company, which enables people to rent and unlock premium cars through an app, aims to be 50% of its vehicles by 2025 and 100% electric by 2030.
The company plans to add around 50 Tesla Model 3 Long Range vehicles to its fleets in London and Paris, which will be available to customers from June 22nd.
Karim Kaddoura, co-founder and CEO of Virtuo, told CNBC that there is “an amazement” associated with the Tesla brand, adding that customers have a say in which cars are added to the Virtuo fleet.
“Over the years, and in the last survey we did, it was very clear that the Tesla Model 3 was specifically the model that everyone wanted to drive,” he said.
The Model 3 can go from 0 to 100 km / h in 3.1 seconds and, according to Tesla, has a range of 360 miles.
Kaddoura is optimistic that customers will choose the Tesla. “It’s a different experience,” he said. “It is undeniably packed with the latest features and innovations that cannot be compared to any other car.”
Virtuo customers can pick up a Tesla Model 3 or have it delivered at an additional cost. Prices vary depending on the length of the rental, but the company says they start at around £ 69 ($ 96) a day.
The Tesla Model 3’s introduction to Virtuo’s fleet comes after investors pumped $ 60 million into the five-year-old company last month, bringing the company’s total investment to $ 96 million. The company intends to use the money to accelerate the electrification of its fleet.
Virtuo CEO Karim Kaddoura
Kaddoura declined to comment on Virtuo’s earnings, but said the company had 150,000 active customers and 4,000 rental vehicles in France, the UK, Spain and Italy.
The 125-person company has been talking about adding Tesla vehicles to its fleet for several years, but Kaddoura said he wanted to understand the additional operational challenges electric cars pose before they are introduced.
The greatest challenges that the company is holding back include the lack of infrastructure for electric vehicles and the range of electric cars.
Virtuo added a number of Hyundai Kona Electric vehicles to its fleet in the first quarter to learn what it takes to run EV cars, Kaddoura said. “We didn’t want to include Tesla in the catalog without at least some experience with it,” he said.
There are other companies, such as EV Hire, that already let customers rent a Tesla.
The renewed focus on electric vehicles comes as some of the largest automakers in the world have pledged to abandon the internal combustion engine in favor of electric drives over the next few years.
And countries are also involved. Britain, for example, will cease sales of new diesel and gasoline cars and vans from 2030 under plans announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson last year.