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.
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.