Alex Goldmark is the senior producer of Note to Self, a storytelling show about how technology is changing society. Subscribe here to get Note to Self shows delivered right to your devices. Follow him on Twitter @alexgoldmark.
First Chevy Volt Rental Happened Today in NYC
Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - 07:33 PM
(Alex Goldmark, Transportation Nation) A tiny milestone in the march towards an electric car market just crossed the Transportation Nation news desk. The very first rental of a Chevy Volt occured today, according to Hertz.
A company spokesperson tells TN, "Hertz rented the first Volt in its fleet from its East 64th Street location in New York City. The company plans to make additional vehicles available in other locations over the next few months." As we reported last month, Hertz began renting all-electric Smart cars through its Hertz Connect hourly car sharing program. The Volt is a gas-electric hybrid with a much longer range and thus a more likely candidate for wider adoption for conventional car rental.
Zipcar has dabbled with renting EVs and electric hybrids in the past. Spokesperson Ashley Cheng told TN last month, “We were the first major car sharing company in the US to have EVs. We had them in Boston starting in 2003 and we currently have them in London and San Fransisco. We clearly have experience with EVs and continue to evaluate the technology… as are the world’s largest automakers. We welcome Hertz to the space.”
The Volt has been getting considerable attention since earning four "car of the year" awards in recent months. EVs as car share options are a strong sign of corporate confidence in electric cars, and they offer an opportunity for potential buyers to test out the technology. We'll keep you posted on on EV rental expansion as it happens.
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