Fancy putting your pedal to the metal as you zip through Casino Square? Pebbles guests may follow the Monaco Grand Prix circuit – from just €1.60 per hour – thanks to Nice’s brand new electric car company. GreenRent is the brainchild of two young Niçois, Albert Gasore and Matthieu Perrone. Not only does their rental fleet appeal to eco-conscious clients. As these electric cars don’t take gas, they are completely free to run. If necessary, vehicles can be recharged gratis at one of 100 points along the French Riviera.
More importantly, vehicles of this size can be hand-delivered throughout Nice. Pebbles rental guests can simply book an EDrive Smart cabriolet online, which will be deposited at their front door. The tax breaks associated with electric vehicle purchase in Europe make for cheap rental rates. The Smart cabriolet costs from €59 per 24 hours. Their two-person Renault Twizy is just €39 – or €1.60 per hour. Not that Lewis and Nico have much to fear.
We took a Twizy around the streets of Monaco last week and passed under Hamilton’s €12m apartment in the portside suburb of Fontvieille. There’s just 4hp under the bonnet, as opposed to 700hp in his Mercedes F1 car. Only on the infamous Tunnel straight did we near the vehicle’s top speed of 45km/h. But that’s no bad thing. Given the traffic lights and obstacles in Nice and Monaco, even Ferraris were trapped behind our Twizy. We got to the beach as fast as any Bugatti. And the ride was as cheap as the bus.
Long term Nice Pebbles rental guests can subscribe to an even more economical option. Auto Bleue is Nice’s citywide car-sharing scheme. Users simply swipe their memberships card to unlock one of 200 Peugeot Ion four-person electric cars, which are ideal for longer journeys into the Provençal countryside. Rates start from €45 per day.