Zipcar plans all-electric fleet of over 300 Volkswagens in London

Zipcar is rolling out a fleet of 300 Volkswagen e-Golfs in London this year — in what the company is touting as the largest rollout of electric cars in a single English city.

Details from the company are still sketchy, but Zipcar said the first electric vehicles will be available over the summer, with more hitting city streets throughout the remainder of the year.

Zipcar expects the fleet to top out at 325 by the end of the year.

The Boston-based company is offering those new e-Golfs under its Flex service, which allows customers to pick up cars and drop them off anywhere in London. They’re accessible via the Zipcar app, the company said.

“With over 200,000 Zipcar members now in London, we are already seeing Londoners embracing car sharing rather than car owning in growing numbers. If we are to achieve healthier, cleaner streets, as set out in the Mayor of London’s latest Transport Strategy, this change away from car ownership and towards car access is essential,” said Zipcar’s U.K. general manager Jonathan Hampson, in a statement.

For Zipcar’s partner Volkswagen, the deal is a way to burnish the company’s now-tarnished reputation in the wake of the diesel emissions scandal that has cost the company roughly $25 billion billions and seen the company’s former chief executive indicted.

“This is an exciting step for Volkswagen. Thousands of Zipcar members will experience electric driving, perhaps for the first time, and we know they will love the functionality and ease of use that the all-electric e-Golf provides,” said Alison Jones, managing director of Volkswagen U.K. “Inner-city residents are looking for alternatives to car ownership and this development of the relationship between Volkswagen and Zipcar offers the best of both worlds: on-demand driving and zero emission motoring across the U.K.’s capital.”