Hertz Details Hourly Electric Car Rentals Including Nissan, Chevy, Mitsubishi, Tesla, Smart, and Coda

By · December 06, 2010

Hertz Global EV initiative at Connect by Hertz

Betting that curious consumers will want to spend some extended time behind the wheel before committing, Hertz will offer by-the-hour electric car rentals starting this month in select markets.

As part of their global "EV Initiative," the company will make electric cars such as the Nissan LEAF, Chevrolet Volt, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Tesla Roadster, Smart ED, and Coda Sedan available for rental under its Connect by Hertz car sharing program. The option to rent an electric car will first become available to New York City residents on December 15, 2010, followed over the course of the next year by San Francisco, Washington D.C., Texas and London. In addition, Hertz is considering making the program available to college campuses in North America and says that China will be included by the end of 2011.

"Hertz is the first to provide consumers with electric vehicle access on a global scale," said Mark P. Frissora, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in a statement. "By introducing EVs in New York, Washington and San Francisco, we're the first to make tomorrow's driving experience available to consumers today and we look forward to continue building out our EV platform, making electric mobility a reality for consumers worldwide."

The program is starting relatively small due to the difficulty in obtaining the vehicles right now; only 20 EVs will be available for the entire program by the second quarter of 2011. Even so, the company says it hopes to have between 500 and 1,000 vehicles in the program by the end of next year.

To book one of the vehicles, you need to first sign up for a Connect by Hertz membership. Similar to other car sharing programs, Connect operates on a first come, first serve basis and reservations are only accepted online. It costs money to join, plus an annual fee, but if you sign up on www.hertzev.com, between now and Christmas, you will receive a one-year free membership. According to the Connect by Hertz site, that's a savings of $50 for an annual membership at the lowest rate.

According to Hertz, its Global EV initiative was established to introduce "multiple groups of consumers—urban drivers, university students, travelers and corporations"—to the next generation of personal transportation. Given the company's vast reach around the world, it could become the most-used outlet for consumers to experience EVs for the first time and experiment with how they might fit into their lifestyle.

Hertz is also promising to use their EV initiative to help develop a charging infrastructure and will make some of their charge stations available for general public use.


· · 7 years ago

Pretty sweet deal. I wonder if Hertz would consider setting up a special offer for EV owners to rent a conventional vehicle for that long-haul drive or other special circumstance that some complain about.

· · 7 years ago

Smidge, interesting thought... kind of like a special EV program but in reverse. I know that Nissan has talked about offering that sort of thing to LEAF owners in Europe (1 week's free conventional car rental per year), but to this point hasn't said it will come to the US.

· · 7 years ago

Now this sounds very interesting... I don't like the yearly fee though... why not just charge a little more to rent an EV?
Still, this is pretty cool.

· Jeffrey Roos (not verified) · 7 years ago

I am a Connect customer. I walked passed a Tesla Roadster displayed with Hertz Connect banners and everything in times square in NYC and thought my dream had come true (I am in love with Tesla). But after contacting Hertz Connect- they verified that the Tesla will NOT be available to rent. Sounds like false advertising to me.

· · 7 years ago

Jeffrey: Very curious. I wonder if they just meant it won't be available for rent right away or if it is a case of corporate not providing complete information to subordinates?

· · 7 years ago

Car rental by the hour... is the reasoning similar to why some hotels rent rooms by the hour?

· · 7 years ago

Darell, I sure hope not... that's icky. I mean, I'd love to have the opportunity to test drive all of these vehicles for an hour or two, but I'm not into sharing bodily fluids like that.

· · 7 years ago

I gather Hertz thinks that a one hour drive will be enough to sort out if the car fits one 'lifestyle.'
or .... call me cynical for saying that Hertz wants to charge for an hour what a regular car goes for a day.

Choices are good, but I'll wait until EVs are treated by Hertz a little more mainstream.

· Michael (not verified) · 7 years ago

Sounds like a good idea. Hopefully, they'll let Hertz Gold members bypass the Connect fee.

· Shawn (not verified) · 7 years ago

To answer smidge, the connect program currently has non electric vehicles that can be used that way. Their website features a prius and a Ford escape, (strange it's not an Escape hybrid) but it sounds like there are different choices,depending on where you rent from.

· karen (not verified) · 7 years ago

yes I was looking to rent a tesla roadster for the day or by the hour, and noticed you are advertising this . please let me know who I contact and how I can do this? thanks Karen Judkin
p.s. please do not put my email address on your promotion list. thanks

· · 7 years ago

Hi Karen -

This forum doesn't rent cars. This is an article ABOUT renting cars. You'll have to contact Hertz directly.

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