THINK City on hire in the Alps - Photo: M-Way
THINK City on hire in the AlpsEnlarge Photo
If you're lucky enough to be traveling to the Swiss Alps this Summer for a bit of skiing and sightseeing, you might consider hiring a car to enjoy the picturesque villages and winding mountain roads at your own pace.
Swiss eco-tourism specialist Alpmobil now has the perfect option for the EV lover: Hire one of 60 2012 Think City EVs available through as many as 30 hotels, resorts and tourist attractions in the Goms and Haslital region of the Swiss Alps.
Your driving will be truly zero-emissions, as all the electricity used to change the cars is generated through natural, renewable sources such as hydroelectric power from local rivers, resevoirs and dams.
More than 20 charging points have been installed in the area, so you should never be far from somewhere to recharge while you sail down a mountain using zero-emission gravity power. You might not have to recharge too frequently anyway, as the 2012 City's 100 mile range should be enough for trips between mountain and resort.
Performance is leisurely with a 60-70mph top speed, but you'd probably want to drive slowly anyway to appreciate the mountain views.
If you book through Alpmobil, you'll benefit from a special hire rate of around $60 per day, and their website lists the cars available at each location.
"We are proud to have made a start and to show both the public and other resorts in sensitive regions that driving ecologically and without noise pollution is possible, affordable and fun" says Alpmobil's Dionys Hallenbarter.
The trial has been in place since the beginning of July, and runs until the end of September 2010, though should it prove successful there may be plans to extend the duration of the scheme. It was made possible through a collaboration between Think, their Swiss distributor M-Way and Alpmobil.
If you can't stretch to an Alpine holiday before September, you might have to wait a while before driving the 2012 Think City EV. The roll-out schedule for the U.S. is patchy, and you're likely to pay around $28,000 before State and Federal tax incentives. This puts the City into the ring with cars like the 2011 Nissan Leaf, which certainly won't be the easiest competition.
As a rental proposition though, the Think makes much more sense, and just like Enterprise's decision to put the Nissan Leaf on their fleet, this could be the first EV experience for a great many motorists.
And what could be better holiday transport than a silent and easy to operate EV?
Time to hit the slopes!
[Think via The Green Car Website]