PARK RIDGE, New Jersey, April 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Hertz Corporation (NYSE:HTZ) has announced its global car sharing company Connect by Hertz is expanding its London fleet with electric vehicles (EV) for members to drive in and around the capital. This includes the introduction of pure electric i-MiEV vehicles from Mitsubishi Motors in the UK, as announced separately today, starting with two cars available for booking from immediate effect, with an hourly rate of just GBP4 (pounds sterling) per hour.
The company is also providing 16 charging stations across central and greater London, as well as enabling its customers to access Source London's planned public charging points. In addition, corporate and university customers of Connect by Hertz will have the opportunity to add electric vehicles to their pool fleets throughout the UK.
As well as the i-MiEVs, Connect by Hertz members will be able to hire a Nissan LEAF electric vehicle in London soon, and Renault's new and innovative range of electric vehicles by early 2012, as announced in February. Connect by Hertz first introduced an electric vehicle to its London Camden location in January 2010.
Mark Frissora, Chairman and CEO of Hertz Corporation, said: "The ability to book and drive electric vehicles by the hour has proven very popular with our Connect by Hertz members in the U.S and given the appeal of the cars' zero emissions and low noise coupled with state-of-the-art driving features and the convenience of car sharing, we are excited about the future in London and the UK for both members of the public and our corporate customers."
PwC has agreed a pilot deal to offer employees two electric vehicles as part of the firm's sustainability and travel strategy. Based at their Westminster and Southwark locations in London, the pure-electric cars will operate with Connect by Hertz technology, and be charged on site at PwC offices as well as through the Hertz and Source London charging network.
Bridget Jackson, head of corporate sustainability, PwC, said: "We want to work with new technologies, to test how they fit in with our mix of needs, and find out what the practical issues of using electric vehicles more widely would be. It's a pioneering initiative for PwC and is part of our commitment to lower our overall transport emissions."
Connect by Hertz members will be able to use the company's 16 charging stations, based on Chargemaster technology, at London City Airport, Heathrow Airport, Russell Square (London), Marble Arch (London), Old Kent Rd (London), and Uxbridge. Connect by Hertz will also work closely with its corporate and university customers to launch dedicated charging stations on location.
London is a prime location for electric vehicles and already has the highest number registered in the Capital than elsewhere in the UK. This is soon set to rise with the upcoming launch this spring of Source London - the Mayor of London's electric vehicle charging network. With 1300 publicly accessible points to be installed across the city by 2013, it will mean London will have more charge points than gas (petrol) stations, putting London on the road to become the electric vehicle capital of Europe.
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London said: "Electric vehicles are perfect for city driving and great for London's environment, so I am pleased that Hertz and Connect by Hertz are helping promote their use to give more people the opportunity to try one out. These new vehicles will also soon be able to take advantage of our Source London's network, the first ever city wide electric driving scheme launching this Spring."
Terri Wills, City Director for London, Clinton Climate Initiative, added: "The Clinton Climate Initiative is helping cities across the world to become more electric vehicle-friendly, so we welcome the addition of electric vehicles to Connect by Hertz in London. Not only will it enable people and companies to access electric vehicles more easily, but it could also help to grow the market."
The GBP4 hourly rate for Connect by Hertz members includes insurance, maintenance, cleaning, and roadside assistance. The current annual membership rate of GBP50 is currently free for a limited period. The vehicle has keyless entry via a smart chip-enabled Connect Card and is also kitted out with iPod/MP3 player connectivity. While in the vehicle, members can request assistance from the Member Care Centre via the in-car communications system.
The Connect by Hertz electric vehicle placements in London and the UK are part of the Hertz Global EV program, which will offer a variety of 100 percent electric and plug-in hybrids to car sharing and rental customers worldwide.
Hertz Global EV is championing an electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle mobility ecosystem, incorporating transportation options and a charging station grid for ease of use. As the world's largest general-use car-rental brand, Hertz is uniquely positioned to introduce multiple groups of consumers - urban drivers, university students, travelers and corporations - to all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. As part of this strategy, Hertz is forming partnerships with manufacturers, charging station providers, municipalities, NGO's, corporations and other stakeholders.
During the next several months, Hertz Global EV will 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 and the consumer-facing NeverLost GPS system - to help form an EV grid.
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, operating both corporate and licensee locations in cities and airports in North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. The Company also operates the Advantage car rental brand at 26 airports in the U.S. and the global car sharing club, Connect by Hertz, in New York City, Berlin, London, Madrid, Melbourne, and Paris. In addition, Hertz operates one of the world's largest equipment rental businesses, Hertz Equipment Rental Corporation, offering a diverse line of rental equipment, including tools and supplies, and new and used equipment for sale from approximately 325 branches in the United States, Canada, China, France, Spain and Italy.
For more information please see http://www.hertz.com.
Note to Editors:
A picture accompanying this release is available through the PA Photowire. It can be downloaded from http://www.pa-mediapoint.press.net or viewed at http://www.mediapoint.press.net or http://www.prnewswire.co.uk.