Hertz Partners with Smart USA to Offer Renters Electric Car Option
PARK RIDGE, NJ -- The Hertz Corporation (HTZ) and smart USA, a subsidiary of Penske Automotive Group, Inc. (PAG), today announced a joint partnership to bring smart fortwo electric drive vehicles to Connect by Hertz car sharing and Hertz Rent A Car locations in New York, Washington, DC, and San Francisco. The vehicle placements are part of the Hertz Global EV program, which will offer a variety of 100 percent electric and plug-in hybrids to car sharing and rental customers worldwide. The smart fortwo electric drive will be available for rent through Connect by Hertz car sharing in New York City beginning December 15.
"Hertz's partnership with smart USA is another strategic element of our long term plan to provide consumers with electric vehicle access on a global scale," said Mark P. Frissora, Hertz Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "With its worldwide recognition, smart was a logical choice for our program and we're excited to begin offering the smart electric drive to our customers later this month."
"The smart fortwo electric drive is the ultimate statement on conservation, from materials to space to natural resources, and further defines the independent spirit of smart," said Jill Lajdziak, president of smart USA. "We are thrilled to place vehicles with Hertz and offer consumers the opportunity to experience the joy of driving a smart fortwo while showcasing the benefits of electric technology."
As announced in September, Hertz Global EV is championing an electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle mobility ecosystem, incorporating transportation options and a charging station grid for ease of use. 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 EV's 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 a 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.
Hertz is uniquely positioned to introduce multiple groups of consumers -- urban drivers, university students, travelers and corporations -- to all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. As part of its Global EV strategy, Hertz is forming partnerships with manufacturers, charging station providers, municipalities, NGO's, corporations and other stakeholders. To-date, the company has ordered vehicles from CODA, Nissan, and smart USA, and has signed an agreement with NRG Energy Inc. to support development of a charging infrastructure and services for electric vehicles (EV) in Texas.
smart USA is strategically deploying a fleet of 2011 smart fortwo electric drive vehicles across the United States. Vehicle placement is nationwide, targeting early adopters of electric drive technology who are helping define new alternatives in transportation for the United States and interested in making a passionate statement on conservation and environmental awareness. Series production begins in 2012 for sale through smart USA's dealer network.
During the next several months, Hertz Global EV will leverage the company's car sharing and rental locations as bases for vehicles and charging stations, and tap into its technology -- including sophisticated fleet management tools and the consumer-facing NeverLost GPS system -- to help form an EV grid.
For more information on Hertz Global EV, visit www.hertz.com. For more information on smart USA and the smart fortwo electric drive, visit www.smartusa.com.
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