The import of electric vehicles to Europe is growing, since the environmental agenda adopted by the local authorities provides for a rather active migration away from internal combustion engines, and the market will not be satiated by local manufacturers. For Chinese automakers, this is a great chance to shine in Europe, and in the case of electric vehicles, the expansion could start with car rental companies.
Car rental company Eurocar is already appreciating the quality of Chinese-made electric vehicles, according to Reuters .. In this business, cost control is important, and electric vehicles are more profitable to operate than cars with internal combustion engines, while cars of Asian origin are usually cheaper than Western counterparts. In the US, for example, a tenth of all new cars are bought by car rental companies every year, and for consumers who want to gain experience in operating electric vehicles, renting a similar car can be the first step towards acquiring a similar vehicle. At the same time, this way of acquaintance will allow consumers to form an idea about Chinese electric vehicles, if the emphasis is on them. In fact, Chinese companies can gain popularity points in the eyes of potential buyers through leasing.
The pandemic, with its self-isolation requirements, has boosted the revenues of car rental companies. In the US, unit monthly revenue from a rental car, for example, increased by one-third. At the same time, part of the used cars was sold, and it turned out to be difficult to renew the fleet in the face of a shortage of chips and cars. A combination of factors makes rental companies think about increasing the share of electric vehicles in their fleet. Eurocar intends to convert up to 20% of its fleet to electric or hybrid drive by 2024. This means that the company will have to buy up to 70,000 electric vehicles or hybrids in two years.
In this situation, Eurocar is increasingly interested in Chinese electric vehicles Great Wall, SAIC or the Polestar brand, owned by Geely through Volvo Cars. Among the European suppliers of Eurocar are Renault and Stellantis. However, priorities may change as Volkswagen could complete its $3.4 billion Eurocar deal in the second quarter.
This year, the Chinese concern Great Wall Motor will begin official deliveries of the Ora Cat compact electric car to the European market. A car with a power reserve of about 400 km will be offered for 20,000 euros, and it will be possible to replenish the charge by 80% in 45 minutes. A compact car with a retro motif in design will surely appeal to European car rental customers.