|// (c) 2011 Hertz|
Hertz is expanding its Global EV initiative to Washington, D.C., adding all electric (EVs) and plug-in hybrid electric (PHEVs) vehicles, including the Chevy Volt and Nissan LEAF to its Union Station fleet. Hertz is making the next generation of electric vehicles available to members of Congress, employees on the Hill and the general public through its car sharing operation. Drivers can go to the Hertz location at Union Station or visit www.connectbyhertz.com to be among the first to try an EV.
“As the leading provider of mobility solutions, we are able to offer the best car sharing program in the world, a no-fee program that allows members to use a car on a one-way basis, including access to electric vehicles on a global scale,” commented Mark P. Frissora, Hertz chairman and CEO. “Washington, D.C., a major transportation hub in the northeast corridor, is a natural city for Hertz Global EV, and we look forward to helping move the ‘electrification of transportation’ dialog from policy to practice in D.C.; building awareness and interest in EVs and PHEVs among the city’s residents.”
The EV and PHEV Hertz fleet in Washington, D.C., will serve as a testing ground for consumers as automakers ramp up production to achieve the goal of becoming the first country to have 1 million EVs on the road by 2015, Hertz reported. The first vehicles will be located at Union Station, just blocks from Capitol Hill and ideal for visitors commuting to the city for work or play.
“This is an opportunity for policy makers to experience first-hand the capabilities and pleasure of driving advanced EV vehicles,” said Rep. Jay Inslee, a leader on clean energy and innovation. “EV vehicles are paving the way for our clean energy economy and will help foster our nation’s energy independence.”
To book an available EV, consumers must sign up for a free Hertz car sharing membership at www.connectbyhertz.com . Hertz car sharing has approximately 30,000 members and is available in six countries and on 54 university campuses. The car sharing service offers its members products and services that are unmatched in the car sharing industry, Hertz says. Recently announced U.S. member benefits include the elimination of all membership fees, guaranteed vehicle availability Monday through Thursday, increased vehicle options and an enhanced member website.
Hertz is also the only major car sharing source to provide a 24/7 member care center, as well as proprietary in-car technology connecting members to the care center and other leading edge applications, Hertz says. The company also recently announced a significant expansion of its one-of-a-kind “one-way” program for car sharing members, which includes Hertz’s Union Station location.
Hertz says it plans to deploy of EVs and PHEVs in both the U.S. and other countries throughout 2011. “As the world’s largest general-use airport car-rental brand, 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 strategy, Hertz is forming partnerships with automakers, charging station providers, municipalities, NGOs, corporations and other stakeholders. To date, the company has ordered vehicles from GM, Nissan, Toyota and Mitsubishi, and has signed an agreement with NRG Energy Inc. to support development of a charging infrastructure and services for electric vehicles (EV) in Texas.
During the next several months, Hertz Global EV will leverage the company’s rental and car sharing 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.