By John Addison (12/6/10)
Hertz (NYSE:HTZ) now offers electric cars to the 20,000 members of Connect by Hertz, the car sharing service that competes with Zipcar and others. Starting next week, Connect by Hertz will be offering the Smart ED to New York City members. Connect by Hertz already offers the smart fortwo which can fit into tight city parking spaces, often saving drivers ten, twenty, or even fifty dollars daily.
Hertz is starting with the Smart ED, but will expand next year to include battery electric cars and plug-in hybrid offerings from Nissan, Chevrolet, Toyota, and other cars on Clean Fleet’s Best Electric Cars 2011 list. Hertz Global EV initiative will soon expand to Washington DC and San Francisco, where competitors Zipcar and City Car Share are already offering plug-in hybrid Priuses. Hertz will make next generation of electric vehicles available to the general public through its .
Hertz, a rental car giant, will give electric cars important exposure. Hertz is the largest worldwide airport general use car rental brand operating from more than 8,500 locations in 146 countries worldwide. Hertz is the number one airport car rental brand in the U.S. and at 81 major airports in Europe. Hertz competes with Enterprise, which has ordered 500 Nissan Leafs and started LEAF rentals in Carson, California
The Smart ED is built by Daimler, which also offers the Mercedes. Daimler has also expanded into the car sharing business with Car2Go where 500 smart fortwos can be picked-up in one part of Austin, Texas, and left in another. Ironically, Connect by Hertz will be offering the Smart ED before Car2Go. Hertz is also testing the car sharing with separate airport drop-off locations in select Connect by Hertz locations.
Hertz Global EV will be the first company to provide a range of all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles and charging stations on a car sharing and rental basis at global scale. The smart fortwo electric drive joins EVs from other manufacturers as part of Hertz Global EVs diverse fleet. The smart fortwo electric drive vehicle is engineered to package advanced technology while maintaining the car’s design history. It is powered by 30 kW drive magneto-electric motor and 16.5 kWh lithium-ion battery. Using a 220V outlet, it takes only three and a half hours to charge the battery from 20 to 80 percent of its capacity and less than eight hours to fully charge it.