Hertz Expands Electric Car Rental in United States and China

Hertz Expands Electric Car Rental in United States and China

Hertz EV RentalBy John Addison (8/25/11)

New EV Rental and Lease Programs for World’s Largest Market

Hertz (NYSE:HTZ) expands its Global EV initiative to China, making it the first global rental car company to offer electric cars on three continents. Hertz now offers the Nissan LEAF, Chevrolet Volt, Smart ED, Tesla Roadster and other electric cars in U.S. cities including New York, Washington DC, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Hertz is expanding the availability of pure electric cars and plug-in hybrids at airports, downtown hotels, university campuses, condos and co-ops and fleets. Hertz operates in over 8,500 locations in 146 countries.

In London, you can rent the Mitsubishi iMiEV. Mitsubishi will soon start deliveries of the U.S. version of this popular electric city car. In other European cities, Renault electric cars are offered. Now Hertz is expanding into the world’s biggest EV market.

In China, Hertz established a partnership with GE Industrial Solutions China to advance the rollout of EVs and charging stations that includes the co-location of electric vehicles and GE EV Infrastructure as a combined offering. Bundled lease offers of EVs and chargers will make it easy for corporations and government agencies to expand use of electric cars.

“China has committed to rapidly expand electric vehicle travel and Hertz is committed to supporting the ambitious EV Pilot City program,” said Mark Frissora, Hertz Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Working with our existing rental car network in China and partners such as GE, we are dedicated to helping build the necessary EV infrastructure in China and to create a new transportation solution that employs the latest technology and harnesses innovations being launched in China today.”

China’s 100 Million EV Owners

Over one hundred million in China ride e-bikes, e-scooters, and light electric vehicles. A growing middle class and major employers are interested in full-function freeway-speed electric cars. In Shanghai, Hertz will be part of the International EV Pilot City, a program to accelerate EV rentals by building out the infrastructure across the Jiading district of Shanghai. Other EV Pilot City partners include auto manufactures, energy suppliers, and insurance companies. Hertz is the first rental car company to sign an agreement to become a partner of the China (Shanghai) International Electric Vehicle Pilot City.

A few weeks ago, Hertz also reached an understanding with BYD for a rental trial of its electric car the e6 in Shenzhen. BYD is years late in bringing its electric cars to the U.S.

The partnership supports the Twelfth Five-Year Plan objective for the promotion of EVs in China and will serve as a foundation for further innovation and development of the infrastructure.  The current five-year plan identifies EVs as one of the seven strategic initiatives for China in the next few years and calls for a significant ramp up in both EV charging station deployment and EV manufacturing.   The Chinese central government is currently offering 60,000 RMB (about $9,400 USD) rebates for EV purchases and a number of leading cities including Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen are offering additional rebates.

“At the Clinton Global Initiative last September, we announced a commitment to provide electric vehicle access on a global scale – an ambitious goal,” commented Frissora. “In less than one year, Hertz is now the leading provider of EV mobility solutions, offering an unparalleled selection of EVs and PHEVs in cities worldwide. We are firmly committed to adding new retail and business to business EV car rental locations internationally as auto manufacturers ramp up EV and PHEV production over the next few years.”

Hertz plans to increase its global EV presence by deploying vehicles in other countries in the coming months. Hertz Global EV will continue to leverage the company’s rental and car sharing locations as bases for vehicles and charging stations, and tap into its technology – including sophisticated fleet management tools to help form an EV grid.

Car Sharing – Hertz On Demand Competes with Zipcar

Some only think of Hertz as a rental car company. Hertz is also aggressively expanding with its car sharing service Hertz On Demand (formerly Connect by Hertz). Competing with Zipcar, Enterprise, and others, Hertz On Demand eliminated membership fees, expanded one way service to 175 locations, guaranteed availability Monday through Thursday in New York City, added electric cars at select locations, simplified the reservation, and enhanced 24/7 in-car assistance. Hertz On Demand has approximately 40,000 members in six countries and on approximately 60 university campuses.

Electric car sales and charging are off to a good start in the United States with drivers who have single family homes with garages to install chargers, but in multi-tenant dwellings costly utility meters must be added, upgraded transformers, EVSE located near meter rooms, new bylaws, and tenant agreement about preferred parking spaces. Shared electric cars charged in shared spaces provide a wonderful multi-tenant solution. Hertz on Demand has Nissan LEAFs available at Seward Park Co-op is one of the largest free market co-ops in Manhattan with more than 1700 apartments, approximately 50 commercial tenants, 13 acres of land and more than 4000 residents.

 

Hertz is showing smarts and agility with its electric car programs from San Francisco to Shanghai and for everyone from fleet managers, to people living in large apartment buildings, to new university students. If you’re a business traveler, you know what its like to be late to catch a plan and have a corporate requirement to bring back the car with the gas tank fuel. When renting electric cars, there is no added cost with Hertz if you bring back the EV with the battery mostly empty.

Hertz Brings Nissan LEAF Electric Car Sharing to New York

Hertz Brings Nissan LEAF Electric Car Sharing to New York

Hertz LEAF Seward Park NYBy John Addison (5/12/11)

Electric Cars Shared by the Hour for City Dwellers

Most trips in New York are done with transit and walking. Some people are saving over $10,000 per year by using car sharing, rather than own a car and pay New York City parking fees. Thanks to Connect by Hertz Car Sharing, cars are available by the hour for special trips, loading up during weekly shopping, or heading out of the city. Those hourly cars can now be electric cars such as the Nissan LEAF or Chevrolet Volt.

As part of its Global Electric Vehicle (EV) expansion throughout New York City, Connect by Hertz (NYSE:HTZ) is adding the LEAF to Manhattan’s Seward Park Co-op.  In an effort to make electric cars a viable option for its residents, Seward Park has installed four Coulomb Technologies networked charging.

New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said, “By opening this electric charging station and electric car rental hub, Seward Park Cooperative has put our Lower East Side community on the leading edge of our vitally important effort to make renewable and sustainable energy a viable option for New Yorkers. It is past time that we develop workable and clean alternatives to gasoline. In a city with high asthma rates and heavy pollution from car exhaust, encouraging people to use electric cars will not only let us breathe easier, it could literally save lives”

Electric Car Charging in Multi-Tenant Dwellings

Electric car sales and charging are off to a good start in the United States with drivers who have single family homes with garages to install chargers. This limits the potential market for electric cars now that most Americans live in urban areas. Manhattan isn’t exactly loaded with single family homes, nor is Chicago, nor San Francisco. The electric utility industry has tried to promote plug-in hybrids and charging at work as the solution because these have little effect on their infrastructure. Multi-tenant dwellings often need added utility meters, upgraded transformers, EVSE located near meter rooms, new bylaws, and tenant agreement about preferred parking spaces. Shared electric cars charged in shared spaces provide a wonderful multi-tenant solution.

Seward Park provides an effective model for city dwellers across the country. Located on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Seward Park Co-op is one of the largest free market co-ops in Manhattan with more than 1700 apartments, approximately 50 commercial tenants, 13 acres of land and more than 4000 residents.   Celebrating its 50th year, Seward Park has a strong commitment to the environment, working with demand response provider Comverge and the Clean Energy Network NY, and is in the process of opening a green market on Hester Street.

Chevrolet Volt, Nissan LEAF, Smart ED, Prius from Connect by Hertz

Connect by Hertz car sharing has approximately 30,000 members, is available in six countries and on 54 university campuses. Connect by Hertz offers its members a fee free program, one way usage for New York City area members, guaranteed reservations; a variety of electric cars, including the Nissan LEAF, Chevrolet Volt, and the Smart ED which fits in New Yorks smallest parking spaces; an in-house 24/7/365 Member Care Center; an in-car GPS system in every vehicle, included in the hourly rate; easy website and smart apps; and rates as low as $5 in Manhattan.

ChargePoint Network

Electric car drivers, like those living at Seward Park, can join the ChargePoint Network. Coulomb Technologies is a leader in electric vehicle charging systems and application services, with the ChargePoint Network now operating in 14 countries. The ChargePoint Network provides multiple web-based portals for Hosts, Fleet Managers, Drivers, and Utilities, and ChargePoint Networked Charging Stations ranging in capability from 120 Volt to 240 Volt AC charging with plans for DC fast charging. The ChargePoint Network gives all EV drivers real-time status and location of unoccupied charging stations, tracking and reporting greenhouse gas and gasoline savings, and charging status notification, all by SMS, email or smart phone applications. ChargePoint America will provide 4,600 public and home ChargePoint Networked Charging Stations by October 2011.

Hertz Green Competition with Enterprise and Zipcar

Car sharing is popular in cities with good transit, in universities, and in fleet programs. Zipcar has taken a lead with the most carshare members, most locations, and a successful IPO, but it now faces increased car share competition from rental giants Hertz and Enterprise. Connect by Hertz,  Hertz global car sharing club, has more than 700 vehicles, approximately 30,000 members and more than 200 locations worldwide, including corporate offices and universities.

Enterprise ordered 500 Nissan LEAFs, but only has a handful in rental lots. Hertz announced deployment of lots of Smart ED, but little has happened since Penske’s handoff of Smart to Daimler. Both Hertz and Enterprise have announced plans with Coda, which continues to delay production. Zipcar was first to carshare Prius converted to plug-in hybrids and has bigger electric car plans. Yes, there have been expected delays, but now electric car deployment is accelerating. Hertz, Enterprise, and Zipcar could each have over one thousand electric cars available for members sometime next year.

Hertz is serious about being green. Hertz now has megawatts of solar covering buildings and parking structures. Hertz is an Energy Star Partner with the U.S. EPA, doing everything from installing LED lighting to minimizing energy used by idle computers. Energy efficiency and flexwork save energy and fuel. Hertz offers renters a Green Traveler Collection for rentals of hybrids such as the Prius, Camry Hybrid, and Altima Hybrid.

Enterprise Starts Renting the Chevrolet Volt Electric Car

Enterprise Starts Renting the Chevrolet Volt Electric Car

Chevy VOLTBy John Addison (1/6/11)

Thousands of Potential Locations for EV and PEV Car Rental and Car Share

Enterprise Rent-A-Car picked the perfect place to start renting the Chevrolet Volt. It is right in the middle of Southern California’s hot electric car market at the Mark Christopher Auto Center in Ontario, California. Daily people test drive hundreds of Chevrolet, Cadillac, and other GM cars. Rentals at car dealerships are ideal for letting people drive EVs in real world conditions.

This will be the first Chevrolet Volt available for daily and weekly rentals. Later this month the Volt will be available in Ontario, along with a new charging station. One hour away, Enterprise is currently renting its first Nissan Leaf in Carson, California.

Enterprise is just getting started and plans to leverage its network of more than 6,000 rental locations throughout the United States to connect customers with EV technology.  Enterprise is also installing charging stations at select nationwide locations where the EVs will be available so customers can learn about the EV charging process. More than 5,000 of these Enterprise Rent-A-Car offices are located within 15 miles of 90 percent of the U.S. population.  As Enterprise Rent-A-Car continues to add EVs and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles throughout its network, more customers will have an opportunity to try the new technology for consideration of purchase, out of curiosity, or to choose an environmentally friendly car rental option. It also gives customers a chance to learn more about the charging process.

“Purchase demand for electric vehicles has been impressive, and we anticipate similar demand from rental customers,” said Jeff Morrell, vice president of Enterprise Rent-A-Car. “Making the Volt available will provide an extended test drive for curious customers, for those with cars being serviced and for those interested in possibly purchasing an EV.”

Enterprise Stays Ahead of Hertz and Zipcar

Additional EVs will be offered at other Enterprise locations as manufacturers make them available.  For example, 500 Nissan LEAFs will be available at select Enterprise locations nationwide, and on-site charging stations will be installed to support the vehicles.  Charging stations already have been installed at Enterprise offices in Los Angeles, San Diego and Santa Monica, Calif.

“EVs can be charged using a standard 110-volt home outlet, or a 220-volt home or public charger, or 480-volt commercial “fast” charging station,” states Enterprise. Most pure battery-electric cars, like the Nissan Leaf, can travel about 100 miles on a single charge, accommodating the travel habits of the daily commuter, who drives an average of approximately 40 miles a day.  However, an extended-range EV like the Volt can travel further due to an on-board gas-powered generator.

Enterprise also competes with Zipcar and other car sharing services with WeCar, which has locations in 17 states. WeCar offers cars by the hour university students, individuals, and fleets that do not want to own all of their cars. Google has 11 WeCar Priuses that are converted to be plug-in hybrids. WeCar will offer more plug-in vehicles. Part of the growth is driven by corporate, university, and government fleets. Enterprise Holdings also owns and operates Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Alamo Rent A Car, and National Car Rental brands.

Hertz Now Offers Electric Car Sharing

Hertz Now Offers Electric Car Sharing

Hertz Smart EDBy John Addison (12/6/10)

Hertz (NYSE:HTZ) now offers electric cars to the 20,000 members of  Connect by Hertz, the car sharing service that competes with Zipcar and others. Starting next week, Connect by Hertz will be offering the Smart ED to New York City members. Connect by Hertz already offers the smart fortwo which can fit into tight city parking spaces, often saving drivers ten, twenty, or even fifty dollars daily.

Hertz is starting with the Smart ED, but will expand next year to include battery electric cars and plug-in hybrid offerings from Nissan, Chevrolet, Toyota, and other cars on Clean Fleet’s Best Electric Cars 2011 list. Hertz Global EV initiative will soon expand to Washington DC and San Francisco, where competitors Zipcar and City Car Share are already offering plug-in hybrid Priuses.  Hertz will make next generation of electric vehicles available to the general public through its Connect by Hertz car sharing.

Hertz, a rental car giant, will give electric cars important exposure. Hertz is the largest worldwide airport general use car rental brand operating from more than 8,500 locations in 146 countries worldwide. Hertz is the number one airport car rental brand in the U.S. and at 81 major airports in Europe. Hertz competes with Enterprise, which has ordered 500 Nissan Leafs and started LEAF rentals in Carson, California

The Smart ED is built by Daimler, which also offers the Mercedes. Daimler has also expanded into the car sharing business with Car2Go where 500 smart fortwos can be picked-up in one part of Austin, Texas, and left in another. Ironically, Connect by Hertz will be offering the Smart ED before Car2Go. Hertz is also testing the car sharing with separate airport drop-off locations in select Connect by Hertz locations.

Hertz Global EV will be the first company to provide a range of all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles and charging stations on a car sharing and rental basis at global scale.  The smart fortwo electric drive joins EVs from other manufacturers as part of Hertz Global EVs diverse fleet.  The smart fortwo electric drive vehicle is engineered to package advanced technology while maintaining the car’s design history. It is powered by 30 kW drive magneto-electric motor and 16.5 kWh lithium-ion battery. Using a 220V outlet, it takes only three and a half hours to charge the battery from 20 to 80 percent of its capacity and less than eight hours to fully charge it.

Clean Fleet Electric Car News

Enterprise Orders 500 Nissan LEAF Electric Cars

Enterprise Orders 500 Nissan LEAF Electric Cars

Nissan LEAFBy John Addison (updated 9/14/10; original 8/3/10)

Electric Car Potential in Fleet of 1 Million Vehicles

Enterprise Rent-A-Car will be renting the Nissan LEAF electric car in key locations in 2011. In January it will start taking delivery of the LEAF with plans for 500 by the end of 2011. This is the first phase of its plans to offer electric vehicles (EVs) at select offices throughout its neighborhood network of more than 5,000 U.S. locations.

To get more details, I had breakfast with Lee Broughton, director of sustainability for Enterprise Holdings, which owns and operates Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Alamo Rent A Car, National Car Rental, and WeCar Sharing. Enterprise Holdings will also offer customers electric vehicles from other manufacturers as they become available. Enterprise Holdings owns and operates the world’s largest fleet of passenger vehicles.

Mr. Broughton said, “With airport and neighborhood locations within 15 miles of 90 percent of the U.S. population, our Enterprise Rent-A-Car offices are uniquely positioned to test the market viability of new alternative fuel technologies like the electric vehicle with daily commuters nationwide.” The LEAF’s 100 mile range per electric charge will meet the needs of most car rental customers.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car initially will offer electric cars to customers in 8 markets where over 10,000 charge stations are being installed, including Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz.; Knoxville and Nashville, Tenn.; San Diego; Los Angeles; Portland, Ore.; and Seattle.

Beginning this October 2010, Enterprise will start pilot tests with its first Nissan LEAF in Carson, California, where it is installing its first charge station. In 2011, charging stations will be installed at select locations, including several of the Enterprise “hybrid branches” – nearly 100 designated locations which offer hybrids. Some charging will be from solar parking structures at some Enterprise locations.

Hybrid Car Rental Leader

Enterprise Holdings rents 8,000 hybrid vehicles to its individual and fleet customers. This is the world’s largest hybrid fleet. Enterprise has 450,000 cars with an average highway fuel efficiency rating of at least 28 mpg or better and nearly 230,000 that average 32 mpg or better.

Enterprise Fleet Management offers comprehensive programs to help fleet customers reduce their carbon footprint. Enterprise also works with employers in developing ride sharing programs.

WeCar Sharing

Enterprise also competes with ZipCar and other car sharing services with WeCar which has locations in 17 states. WeCar offers cars by the hour university students, individuals, and fleets that do not want to own all of their cars. Google has 11 WeCar Priuses that are converted to be plug-in hybrids. More plug-in vehicles will be offered by WeCar with part of the growth driven by B2B solutions requested by corporate, university, and government fleets.

Enterprise Sustainability

Enterprise Holdings’ introduction of electric vehicles is just one facet of a comprehensive environmental sustainability platform, which includes initiatives such as a customer carbon offset program; a pledge to plant 50 million trees over the next 50 years; and a commitment to alternative fuels research. Since 2006, Enterprise’s environmental stewardship has resulted in:

  • Establishment and funding of the Enterprise Institute for Renewable Fuels, which conducts biofuel research using algae, soybean and camelina.
  • A commitment to reduce both energy use and energy costs by 20 percent over the next five years.
  • With partner TerraPass, a customer carbon offset program offset 42,000 metric tons of carbon in one year.
  • The Taylor family which owns the Enterprise Holdings and their companies have contributed or pledged more than $120 million to environmental initiatives.
  • In 2010, the planting of the 5 millionth tree through the company’s 50 Million Tree Pledge, a partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation and U.S. Forest Service.