To mark the launch of the Volkswagen Polo BlueMotion, with its combined fuel consumption of 74.3 mpg and CO2 emissions of just 99 g/km, Streetcar, the UK’s largest pay-as-you-go car club, will be trialling the Polo BlueMotion across 25 locations in London.
Streetcar provides a flexible, convenient and cost-effective alternative to car ownership. Members book a car online or over the phone, as little as 30 seconds ahead of time, and use remotely activated smartcards to unlock the vehicle, which is typically within three minutes walk of their home. The company, which has tripled in size each year since its launch in 2004, now has over 20,000 members and 600 cars across 400 locations in London and five other cities. By 2012, Streetcar expects to have 150,000 members across the UK.
Streetcars start from £3.95 per hour with the first 30 miles of fuel free. The cars are available 24/7 for rent by the hour, day, week or month. Membership is £49.50 per year. At the end of each journey, members return their car to a dedicated Streetcar parking space and a travel log is automatically sent to Streetcar HQ.
The first UK examples of the Polo BlueMotion join Streetcar’s fleet this month, with a view to a potential expansion in the future. Next year, Volkswagen will introduce BlueMotion models in its Golf, Golf Plus, Golf Estate, Jetta, Touran and Passat, Passat Estate ranges.
Andrew Valentine, Streetcar co-founder, said: “Streetcar is committed to efficient driving – for every Streetcar introduced we take 20 privately-owned cars off the road. And, along with rapid expansion comes the need for us to maximise the efficiency of our fleet. BlueMotion technology provides us with a great opportunity to offer a more efficient option, without compromising the quality, style and comfort our members have come to expect from us. We view this as a very exciting development.”
Vincent Kinner, Head of Volkswagen Fleet Services said: “We’re delighted to move our relationship with Streetcar forward with the Polo BlueMotion. The Polo is a highly efficient, practical and benchmark model and new BlueMotion products will enhance our choice to customers in future. Transport is changing and we recognise customers – particularly in cities – are seeking new mobility solutions.”
The Polo BlueMotion is powered by Volkswagen’s three-cylinder 1.4-litre TDI 80 PS engine. Additional fuel economy benefits come from lower aerodynamic drag, low rolling resistance tyres, longer gearing in 3rd, 4th and 5th and small weight savings that do not affect safety or durability. In summary the Polo BlueMotion can seat five, has a top speed of 109 mph and returns a combined fuel consumption figure of 74.3 mpg with prices starting at £11,995 on the road. It is available with three or five doors and aimed at customers seeking benchmark environmental credentials in a car with conventional service and repair requirements, ease of ownership and low overall running costs.