The Hertz Corporation, the world’s largest general use car rental brand, has announced it has entered a joint commitment with Nissan to bring zero-emission mobility to car rental in the U.S. and Europe by early 2011. Under the terms of their memorandum of understanding, Hertz will develop a program for the roll-out of Nissan LEAF at select rental sites in those two major markets.
“The partnership with Nissan seals Hertz’s commitment to green-car rentals and firmly demonstrates our mission to advancing zero-emission mobility on a global scale,” said Mark P. Frissora, Hertz chairman and CEO. “With unique solutions like the Hertz Green Collection already available to our customers, we believe in continuously providing innovative mobility solutions to sustain the growing demand for eco-travel.”
As the world’s first affordable, zero-emission car, Nissan LEAF ushers in a new era of eco-mobility that is in line with rising consumer demand across Europe, Hertz says. Designed specifically for a lithium-ion battery-powered chassis, the medium-size hatchback comfortably seats five adults and has a range of about 100 miles (160km) as tested by the LA4 Test Cycle, to satisfy real-world consumer requirements. The car will go on sale in Japan, the U.S. and Europe in late 2010.
Toshiyuki Shiga, COO of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. said, “Our partnership with Hertz is an important step towards our goal of promoting widespread acceptance of electric vehicles. Together with our Alliance partner Renault, we aim to be the leader in zero-emission vehicles which we believe are one of the best solutions for sustaining the growing need for transport across the globe.”
The Renault-Nissan Alliance will start mass-marketing electric vehicles globally in 2012, according to Hertz. To lay the foundations for widespread expansion, the Alliance has already formed partnerships with more than 40 governments, cities and other organizations in Japan, the US and Europe to advance the deployment of EVs worldwide. This includes developing a comprehensive charging infrastructure through public and private investment; incentives and subsidies from local, regional, and national governments; and public education on the individual and societal benefits of zero-emission mobility.
In the future, Hertz and Nissan plan to expand Nissan LEAF electric vehicles into Hertz’s global car share service, “Connect by Hertz.” By applying the same innovative model to car sharing, this would allow the Renault-Nissan Alliance to scale up availability and acceptance of electric vehicles across a wide consumer base in some of the world’s most densely populated cities, the company said.
“The flexibility and environmental credentials offered by the existing Connect by Hertz fleet presents an ideal opportunity for the expansion of electric cars into the car-share market,” added Frissora. “With its performance and energy efficient technology, we’re confident that Nissan LEAF will be popular with existing customers and help attract new eco-conscious motorists.”