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Hertz To Rent Smart Electric Cars

Rental company planning a fleet of battery cars.

by on Dec.06, 2010

A Smart Electric Drive cruises New York.

Want to see if you can live with an electric vehicle? Your first step may be to check the fleet at your local Hertz rental office.  The nation’s largest daily rental company is charging into the emerging battery car market, and plans to add the new Smart Electric Drive model to its fleet, starting next week.

Hertz has already signed deals with a variety of other battery car makers, ranging from the start-up Coda to more established manufacturers that include Nissan, General Motors and Toyota.

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Industry experts are divided over the potential market for battery-electric vehicles, especially in the U.S., where so-called “range anxiety” is a factor for buyers used to being able to drive long distances whenever they want.  So, placing products in a rental fleet, like Hertz, can provide a way for potential buyers to try before they buy.

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Coda Hoping Hertz Can Get Motorists To Plug Into Battery Power

EV start-up plans to offer daily rentals in Southern California.

by on Nov.22, 2010

Coda is the latest battery carmaker to team up with a rental car outlet in hopes of reaching potential buyers.

By mid-decade, according to some industry estimates, as many as three dozen battery cars could be available to American consumers.  But recent studies suggest that U.S. motorists remain reluctant to plug into the new technology, citing concerns like price and range anxiety.

So, to give potential customers a safe way to try out their battery offerings, several makers are teaming up with daily rental fleets, where a day’s drive might overcome such concerns.  The latest to announce a rental car program is the start-up battery car maker, Coda, which has to deal with the additional challenge of minimal name recognition.

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Starting next year, the maker says, it will offer some of its new battery sedans at Hertz rental car locations in Southern California, the region many expect to become the largest near-term market for battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs.

“With one of the world’s largest rental car fleets, Hertz is uniquely positioned to catalyze the adoption of all-electric vehicles and infrastructure supporting electric mobility, said Mark Jamieson, CFO & COO, CODA Automotive.

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