European Auto Rental Agency All-Electric Car Fleet
February 14, 2019
With car rental companies hinting at further transitioning over to green fleets, one agency in Europe has taken it a step further. UFODRIVE, based at airports in Brussels, Hamburg and Luxembourg, is differentiating itself away from the rest of the market by having nothing but electric powered vehicles in its rental inventory.
After officially launching Feb. 12 in Brussels, the company promises a few other conveniences, such as no paperwork, no line-ups or keys to hamper a fast and convenient pick-up of a zero-emission ride. With that, is a guarantee of no hidden costs that might otherwise include refueling charges. And by simply accessing an app, the fully-automated service is at a user’s disposal with a choice of vehicles that include the Tesla Model S, the Jaguar I-Pace and the Nissan Leaf.
UFODRIVE is the dreamchild of founder Aidan McClean, who started the company after several frustrating years of trying to book a vehicle right after his flights touched down on the tarmac. Even after booking through several different car rental companies, he found the results were disappointingly the same. That’s when he decided to launch UFODRIVE, which he declares is the first totally-digital and all-electric car rental agency in the world.
“I had enough of sucking in diesel fumes when a car goes past me. I thought, ‘This is wrong, this has to stop.’ It has to change,” said McClean to Electrek.
Avoiding what was coming out of the exhaust was one thing, but wasting time trying to rent a vehicle was another. McClean’s business model is based on convenience that enables customers to book via a smartphone app downloadable from the company website.
Once accessed, UFODRIVE displays only one price, with all those expenses built into the figure. That avoids the hassle of checking for extra and hidden charges in the fine print. A security feature allows a potential user to scan a driver’s license. And once the transaction is complete, that same app will provide directions to find the vehicle at the airport. Getting into and starting the car is totally keyless.
“Time saving, that was the number one thing that was bugging me,” added McClean. “There’s no value in queuing to pick up your keys at a car rental desk.”
So far, McClean claims it only takes as little as two minutes to book and get their cars started. When it is due back customers simply bring it back and plug in the vehicle for recharging. If the vehicle needs recharging while in use, UFODRIVE doesn’t pass that cost onto the customer.
McClean is setting his sights on more UFODRIVE locations in Europe as well as trying to break into the U.S. market. Also on tap is adding other car models to the fleet like the Hyundai Kona Electric and the Audi e-tron.
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