Hertz to Offer Electric Cars, Rivals Will Soon Follow Suit

Hertz to rent electric cars like the Smart FortwoWant an extended test-drive of an electric car?

Hertz will offer an electric version of the diminutive Smart Fortwo for rent in New York, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco in the coming months, the companies announced.

The electric cars will be available starting Dec. 15 through a car-sharing program in New York, with Washington to follow in the first quarter of next year and San Francisco in the second quarter.

The rentals are part of Hertz's global electric-vehicle program, which offers electric and plug-in hybrids to car-sharing and rental customers worldwide.

The electric Smart Fortwo has an estimated range of 84 miles on a single charge, although that will vary with terrain and weather conditions. It takes less than eight hours to charge the car's batteries from a 220-volt outlet.

Hertz said in November that it will offer Coda Automotive cars at its California locations beginning next year provided that Coda delivers its electric cars, which have been delayed to market. It also has agreements with General Motors, Mitsubishi and Toyota to provide their electric cars and plug-in hybrids.

Also, Nissan will sell 500 Leaf electric cars to Enterprise Rent-A-Car starting in January, as the Japanese automaker tries to put more drivers behind the wheels of its battery-powered vehicles.

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