Gauteng Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  15 Mar 2010

ENVIRONMENT: Avis Goes Green


Recent Gauteng Business News

Avis reaffirmed its role as the leading car rental company in the environmental area by taking delivery of the 45 Toyota Prius vehicles from Toyota South Africa Motors.

The petrol-electric hybrid Prius will form part of its rental fleet and will be stationed at major Avis outlets in Gauteng and Cape Town. With a name derived from the Latin term for “to go before”, the Prius is the ideal vehicle to emphasise the stated Avis goals of being a leader in environmental and social responsibility in the communities in which it operates.

Avis Chief Executive, Wayne Duvenage, says this is the second generation of Toyota Prius that Avis has featured on its fleet. “The first vehicles were introduced in 2007 with a view to experimenting with hybrid technology and testing the waters with customer appetite for the vehicle.

“Back then, the renting public was not yet ready to pay higher rates for a “green” driving experience, despite the fact that Avis rented these vehicles at cost, which was still higher than the popular Group B category vehicle. Nonetheless, the lessons we learned were important and it remains the role of industry leaders to pioneer and test new technology,” says Duvenage.

Avis salutes Toyota Motor Corporation for introducing the mass produced Prius onto the market. “While many publications may document how other cars consume less fuel than the Prius, no other manufacturer has put its money where its mouth is and developed a mass produced hybrid (or other green technology) for distribution into the public arena to the same extent that Toyota has,” says Duvenage.

The Toyota Prius has won several major accolades for its approach to environmentally friendly motoring. Boasting more than 1 000 patents filed during development and manufacturing, the new generation Prius has reinvented environmentally friendly motoring, with innovations such as interior plastics from organic material, an 85% recyclability rating and no noxious gas emissions (other than CO2) from its Atkinson-cycle engine. In acknowledgement of these advances, the Prius was chosen as Japanese Car of the Year, WhatGreenCar’s Green Car of the Year and it is a finalist in this year’s South African Car of the Year Awards.

Says Ernie Trautmann, General Manager: Vehicle Sales at Toyota South Africa, “We are proud that two leading companies in the field of environmentally friendly business practices could join forces in such a practical way. We believe that the Prius not only emphasises the environmental goals set forth by Avis, but that its low fuel usage and cost of operation makes business sense.

“The Prius has the lowest CO2 emission rating in South Africa at 94 g/km and its focus on environmentally friendly manufacturing, operation and ultimate recycling personifies Toyota’s goals of caring for the environment,” says Trautmann.

As South Africa’s leading car rental company, Avis’ environmental journey began decades ago with sponsorship and support for numerous nature conservation projects. “At the turn of the century, Avis SA stepped up a gear and became South Africa’s first “carbon neutral” company in 2009. In addition, the company introduced large scale water recycling at its major depots, which now saves the country over 100-million litres of water per annum,” says Duvenage.

And, concludes Duvenage, “the Prius is a marvellous car to drive, from the computer system that lets you know how economically you’re driving, to the product’s recyclable qualities, and the easy and comfortable driving experience, which gives you a sense of well-being, knowing that the planet is a better place when you are driving the vehicle.”


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