Hertz Will Rent the Nissan Leaf EV by 2011

This December, Nissan will roll out its first mass-market electric vehicle, the 2011 Leaf, to select fleet customers. A few short months later, Hertz plans on offering the EV in its U.S. and European rental fleets.

“The partnership with Nissan seals Hertz’s commitment to green-car rentals and firmly demonstrates our mission to advancing zero-emission mobility on a global scale,” said Mark P. Frissora, Hertz chairman and chief executive officer. “With unique solutions like the Hertz Green Collection already available to our customers, we believe in continuously providing innovative mobility solutions to sustain the growing demand for eco-travel.”

The rental company’s Green Collection already offers the Nissan Altima Hybrid, along with Toyota’s Prius and Camry hybrids. With a 100-mile range, Hertz will only be able to rent the Leaf in cities equipped with a charging infrastructure. The rental option may be an excellent opportunity for consumers to try out the Leaf for a few days before taking the estimated $30,000-plunge into buying the EV.

“Our partnership with Hertz is an important step towards our goal of promoting widespread acceptance of electric vehicles,” said Toshiyuki Shiga, Nissan’s chief operating officer.

The partnership will help catapult the Nissan-Renault alliance in its move toward mass marketing EVs globally by 2012. The automaker has already formed partnerships with more than 40 partners worldwide, including some dedicated to installing charging infrastructures.

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