Eying 2011 as the year that they bust into the mainstream, Hertz announced it will begin renting electric vehicles (EVs) in New York, Washington, DC, and San Francisco on December 15 through its Connect by Hertz car-share program, which currently lists rates up to $10/hour depending on which plan is chosen. Right now, the company said, customers can line up for EV reservations at Hertzev.com.

Smart got headline treatment from Hertz as it launched what it’s calling “Global EV,” but the company had already revealed that the Coda and Nissan Leaf would be available for rental in 2011. Hertz also announced this week that its EV fleet will be available at “key Starwood select-service hotels in North America.”

Hertz EV, electric vehicle rental, car share
image via Hertz

“By introducing EVs in New York, Washington and San Francisco, we’re the first to make tomorrow’s driving experience available to consumers today,” Hertz Chairman and CEO Mark P. Frissora said in a statement. “We look forward to continue building out our EV platform, making electric mobility a reality for consumers worldwide.”

Hertz is proving to be an enthusiastic backer of electric vehicles. Just last month, the company said it was getting behind the eVgo Network in Houston, committing to installing charging stations at rental locations and integrating eVgo into its NeverLost GPS system for the Nissan and Coda EVs it will rent there.

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