French telecom giant Orange has signed a deal with the Renault-Nissan alliance that will provide the company with 200 electric vehicles, mostly for car-sharing. The deal will see the vehicles delivered by 2015.
Orange, which provides telecom services to some 226 million people, will utilize the Renault and Nissan electric vehicles to move people between its various buildings and campuses throughout France. Currently, Orange has a car-sharing fleet of just 100 hybrid, electric, and diesel vehicles, compared to its conventional fleet of 2,000 vehicles. Even if just half the Renault-Nissan vehicles end up in the car-sharing fleet, that would double the number of options for interested employees.
Not all the EVs will end up in the car-sharing pool though. While the Renault ZOE will end up doing car-sharing duties, the Kangoo Z.E. electric van will probably have more utilitarian tasks to attend to. The same can be said respectively of the Nissan LEAF and e-NV200, respectively, which will also be worked into Orange’s fleet of vehicles.
While it isn’t the largest order of electric vehicles by any stretch of the imagination, with the addition of electric vans to the Renault-Nissan fleet, larger companies may be more willing to take a chance on battery-powered vehicles.
In addition to the vehicles, the automakers will help Orange install a number of charging stations at their many buildings to ensure employees always have a place to plug in. This sort of inter-company effort will show a lot of people just how useful and great driving an EV is, without having them financially commit to this new-fangled technology. It’s a pretty sweet deal all the way around, and may serve as a blueprint for other company partnerships.