SOURCE: The Hertz Corporation

The Hertz Corporation The Hertz Corporation

December 06, 2010 09:13 ET

Hertz Global EV and smart USA Partner to Offer smart fortwo Electric Drive for Consumer Use

smart's Electric Car to Join Hertz's EV Fleet

PARK RIDGE, NJ--(Marketwire - December 6, 2010) - The Hertz Corporation (NYSE: HTZ) and smart USA, a subsidiary of Penske Automotive Group, Inc. (NYSE: PAG), today announced a joint partnership to bring smart fortwo electric drive vehicles to Connect by Hertz car sharing and Hertz Rent A Car locations in New York, Washington, DC, and San Francisco. The vehicle placements 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. The smart fortwo electric drive will be available for rent through Connect by Hertz car sharing in New York City beginning December 15.

"Hertz's partnership with smart USA is another strategic element of our long term plan to provide consumers with electric vehicle access on a global scale," said Mark P. Frissora, Hertz Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "With its worldwide recognition, smart was a logical choice for our program and we're excited to begin offering the smart electric drive to our customers later this month."

"The smart fortwo electric drive is the ultimate statement on conservation, from materials to space to natural resources, and further defines the independent spirit of smart," said Jill Lajdziak, president of smart USA. "We are thrilled to place vehicles with Hertz and offer consumers the opportunity to experience the joy of driving a smart fortwo while showcasing the benefits of electric technology."

As announced in September, 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. 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 EV's 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 a 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.

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 its Global EV strategy, Hertz is forming partnerships with manufacturers, charging station providers, municipalities, NGO's, corporations and other stakeholders. To-date, the company has ordered vehicles from CODA, Nissan, and smart USA, and has signed an agreement with NRG Energy Inc. to support development of a charging infrastructure and services for electric vehicles (EV) in Texas.

smart USA is strategically deploying a fleet of 2011 smart fortwo electric drive vehicles across the United States. Vehicle placement is nationwide, targeting early adopters of electric drive technology who are helping define new alternatives in transportation for the United States and interested in making a passionate statement on conservation and environmental awareness. Series production begins in 2012 for sale through smart USA's dealer network.

During the next several months, Hertz Global EV will leverage the company's car sharing and rental 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. 

For more information on Hertz Global EV, visit www.hertz.com. For more information on smart USA and the smart fortwo electric drive, visit www.smartusa.com.

About Hertz
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. In addition, the Company has licensee locations in cities and airports in Africa and the Middle East. Product and service initiatives such as Hertz #1 Club Gold®, NeverLost® customized, in-car GPS system, SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio, and unique cars and SUVs offered through the Company's Prestige, Fun and Green Collections, set Hertz apart from the competition. 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 and Paris. And, Hertz operates one of the world's largest equipment rental businesses, Hertz Equipment Rental Corporation, offering a diverse line of equipment, including tools and supplies, and new and used equipment for sale, to customers ranging from major industrial companies to local contractors and consumers from approximately 325 branches in the United States, Canada, China, France, Spain and Italy.

About the smart fortwo and smart USA 
smart USA Distributor LLC, headquartered in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, is the exclusive distributor of the smart fortwo in the United States and Puerto Rico and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Penske Automotive Group, Inc. The smart fortwo is a brand of and is manufactured by Daimler AG. The smart fortwo and the smart fortwo electric drive form a portfolio of sustainable, forward-looking technologies for urban mobility. The smart fortwo achieves an EPA estimated 41 mpg on the highway and is an ultra-low emissions vehicle, as certified by the State of California Air Resources Board. The smart fortwo is available in three trim levels ranging in price from $12,490* to $17,690*. The smart fortwo electric drive is the ultimate zero-emission visual statement on conservation and environmental awareness and is available for lease. Both vehicles measure 8.8 feet long, 5.1 feet tall and 5.1 feet wide and come equipped with many functional and safety features. smart is currently sold in more than 40 other countries, and more than one million smart fortwos have been sold since 1998.

*Excludes tax, title, registration, destination charge, options and other dealer fees.

About Penske Automotive Group
Penske Automotive Group, Inc., headquartered in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, operates 321 retail automotive franchises, representing 40 different brands and 25 collision repair centers. Penske Automotive, which sells new and previously owned vehicles, finance and insurance products and replacement parts, and offers maintenance and repair services on all brands it represents, has 170 franchises in 17 states and Puerto Rico and 151 franchises located outside the United States, primarily in the United Kingdom.

Penske Automotive, through its wholly-owned subsidiary smart USA Distributor LLC, is the exclusive distributor of the smart fortwo vehicle and related parts in the United States. smart USA supports over 75 smart retail centers in the United States and Puerto Rico. Penske Automotive is a member of the Fortune 500 and Russell 1000 and has approximately 14,100 employees. smart and fortwo are registered trademarks of Daimler AG.

For additional information, visit www.smartusa.com or www.penskeautomotive.com.