Electric cars are already available for rental in Spain. IBIL, a company in which Repsol and the Basque Energy Agency have a 50% stake, has set up IBILEK car sharing, a service that offers electric vehicle rental by the hour. Bilbao and Barakaldo are the first Basque towns where IBILEK is operating and it already has fourteen 100% electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles available to customers. The service is scheduled to be extended this year to another two major Basque towns so as to promote electric mobility throughout the Basque Country.
The rental vehicles are parked in a number of municipal car parks in Bilbao and Barakaldo and users can reserve them through IBILEK's website, stating the car park and the time they will be using the car. The price includes both the energy cost and insurance and represents a significant saving compared to owning your own car, since you only pay when you use it and you don’t having to pay for the fixed costs. From the new control centre, which is the first in all of Spain, IBIL manages all of the recharging stations and the car-sharing vehicles as well as the purchasing conditions of the renewable energy, which means a better quality, safer service for its customers.
Car-sharing offers a new model for urban mobility and according to research that has been carried out, each vehicle of this type could replace between four and ten private cars with the subsequent reduction in polluting emissions and traffic. This new system is being introduced in European countries such as Switzerland, Germany, France and the United Kingdom and has proved very successful in cities such as Zurich and Paris.
IBIL, the charging company for Repsol electric vehicles, ended 2011 with the installation of 109 charging stations in the Basque Country and also signed agreements with the main manufacturers of electric cars such as Renault, Nissan Peugeot, Toyota, and BYD to offer joint marketing services to promote electric mobility. The company is going to extend its business throughout Spain, so it is setting up new sales offices.