As part of the expansion of Hertz Corp.’s electric vehicle fleet, an electric version of the Smart ForTwo will be offered in three major cities. On Dec. 15 in New York, the ForTwo will start to be available. Washington will receive the ForTwo in the first quarter of 2011 and San Francisco will get it in the second quarter.
In these cities, Hertz will be launching a car sharing network, called Connect. This enables Hertz’s customers to rent by the hour rather than by the day. Hertz believes that by allowing hourly rentals, it will be able to take a piece of the market away from car sharing company Zipcar Inc.
According to Hertz CEO Mark Frissora (the former CEO of supplier Tenneco Inc.), its partnership with Smart USA is one of the strategies included in its long-term plan to provide electric vehicle access on a global scale.
The third generation electric version of the ForTwo will arrive in the U.S. markets in 2012. Smart claims that the ForTwo can be driven for about 84 miles on a single charge.
When using a 220-volt outlet, charging takes less than eight hours. Smart, which is owned by Daimler AG, has already started to offer for lease a limited number of ForTwos to companies, governments and individuals. [via autonews - sub. required]