Avis has signed a pre-order for 500 electric vehicles (EVs) from Renault to offer its customers the chance to experience driving an EV for hire in France, Spain, UK, Germany, Italy, Belgium, and Portugal.

The Renault EVs, which will be available for hire by Avis customers in seven countries from the end of 2011, will include Renault Fluence ZE, a family sedan, and Renault Kangoo, a light commercial vehicle.

The addition of Renault EVs to Avis’ existing eco mobility offering will advance the company’s goal of ensuring maximum fuel efficiency, and reducing CO2 emissions from cars, benefitting customers who are concerned about their impact on the environment.

CarbonNeutral accredited Avis is claimed to have offset more than 156,000 tonnes of CO2 since 1997 by investing in a host of environmental initiatives such as renewable energy, methane capture projects and tree planting.

Renault senior vice president of corporate sales division Uwe Hochgeschurtz said that Renault is the only European carmaker developing a complete range of affordable EVs with its own batteries, own technologies and production system to guarantee a high level of quality and performance.

“By hiring an electric vehicle through Avis, the public will be able to experience new driving technology and learn about the environmental benefits of electric vehicles,” Hochgeschurtz said.