New York: electric Smart cars to rent image

Hertz will offer an electric version of the tiny Smart Fortwo for rent in New York, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco in the coming months, the companies announced today.

Hertz says the electric Smart — not available for general sale through Smart dealers until 2012 — can be rented through its Hertz Rent A Car and its Connect by Hertz sites.

The smart fortwo electric drive is powered by a 30kW drive magneto-electric motor and 16.5kWh lithium-ion battery. It can be charged from 20-80% of capacity in three and a half hours using a 220 volt outlet, with a full charge taking eight hours.

“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,” said Jill Lajdziak, president of Smart USA, a subsidiary of Penske Automotive Group Inc. that distributes the Smart in the U.S.

The Smart vehicles are built by Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler AG of Germany.