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Like a lot of people, you may not be willing to take the plunge and buy an electric car. But now, you can rent one from Hertz.
It was announced recently that Hertz Corp. and Smart USA are joining forces to bring the all-electric version of the Fortwo mini to Connect by Hertz car sharing and Hertz Rent A Car locations in New York, Washington, DC, and San Francisco.
Starting December 15, you’ll be able to rent the Smart Fortwo in New York City through Hertz’s car sharing program, followed shortly by San Francisco and Washington DC. More cities will be added later next year. The Hertz Global EV program will offer a variety of electric and plug-in hybrids, including the Chevy Volt and Mitsubishi i-MiEV, to car sharing and rental customers.
Hertz has plans to employ a fleet of 2011 Fortwo electric drive vehicles across the United States, hoping to target early adopters of electric drive technology before series production begins in 2012 and as the car goes on sale through Smart USA’s dealer network.
Struggling with diminished sales, Daimler’s Smart Car division will expand its lineup in the U.S. with a new Nissan-made small car. The subcompact five-door will be powered by a gasoline engine and go on sale late next year.
As a B-segment car, this subcompact fits in a class with models like the Honda Fit, Ford Fiesta, Mazda2, Toyota Yaris and Chevy Aveo.
“The new vehicle will expand Smart USA’s product lineup, offering five-seat capacity while maintaining the core principles of efficiency and conservation,” Smart USA President Jill Lajdziak said in the statement.
While neither automaker has commented on the product, it will likely be based on Nissan’s new global Micra platform, which comes with a choice of either a 1.2L three-cylinder gasoline engine rated at 79 hp or a supercharged 1.2L direct injection engine version. And considering Smart’s naming strategy, we expect the new model to be called the Smart forfive.
[Source: Automotive News]