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Hertz Launches First Wireless Car Charging Program

February 9, 2012 By: George Dooley Travel Agent

Electric vehicles got a boost from Hertz who reports that the Hertz Corporation and Hertz Global EV are implementing the first wireless charging system for electric vehicles (EVs) in the car rental industry. Hertz says the move supports Hertz' diverse fleet of EVs for both rental and carshare.
“Hertz is committed to its Global EV program, introducing electric vehicles into our rental fleet on three continents – North America, Asia and Europe,” commented Mark P. Frissora, Hertz chairman and chief executive officer. “We’re excited to participate in Plugless Power’s pilot program so that we can be on the ground floor of this new technology; learning key findings about EV wireless charging.  As we move forward our goal is to have a variety of charging options for EV customer use, aligned with the charging equipment installed by EV manufacturers," Frissora said.
The trial, the first of its kind in the world, will help to establish the United States as the EV market leader, Hertz says. The trial will follow Hertz, and leaders from five other industry segments, as they trial Plugless Power systems on their own electric vehicles.
Participants will provide feedback on daily usage routines, user interfaces, and any additional functionality needed. The Plugless Power system is supplied by Evatran based in Virginia.
Installation at Hertz’s corporate headquarters will be completed in February 2012.
Hertz notes it is the first car-rental company to deploy EVs and PHEVs (plug-in hybrid electric) on three continents -- in the U.S. (available to the public in New York, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco), the U.K. (available in London), and China (available in Shanghai). 

As the world’s largest airport general-use car-rental brand, Hertz reports it is introducing multiple groups of consumers – urban drivers, university students, travelers and corporations – to all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

As a result, the company reports it is is forming partnerships with automakers, charging-station providers (e.g., GE), municipalities, non-governmental organizations, corporations and other stakeholders to make EVs easily accessible to consumers.
Hertz said it plans to increase its global EV presence by deploying vehicles in other countries in the coming months. Hertz Global EV will continue to leverage the company’s rental and car sharing locations as bases for vehicles and charging stations, and tap into its technology – including fleet management tools and consumer-facing GPS systems, including Hertz NeverLost in the U.S. – to help form an EV grid.
Plugless Power, developed by Evatran, is the first electric vehicle (EV) charging system on the market to offer customers a simple way to charge their EVs with the ease of hands-free technology, Hertz says. Utilizing inductive power transfer, which has been used in electrical transformers for more than 100 years, Plugless Power streamlines the charging of electric vehicles by eliminating the cord and the plug.

In addition to aftermarket distribution, Evatran is currently working with automotive manufacturers to integrate the Plugless Power technology into mass-market EVs as a factory or dealership option, Hertz said.

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George Dooley
George Dooley, Travel Agent’s senior contributing editor covering retail and technology, has a long-standing reputation as one of the top travel industry journalists. He notes...

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By George Dooley | February 9, 2012
Hertz expects the industry-first “Plugless Power” system to be installed in its corporate headquarters in February 2012. The trial, the first of its kind in the world, will help to establish the United States as the EV market leader, Hertz says.
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