Initially the electric cars provided by Hertz will be charged using decentralized generation of electricity on the IBM campus. The charging stations will be operated with intelligent IBM software that optimizes the usage of generated power by renewable energies. Furthermore, the software balances demand and availability of electricity power to prevent load peaks.
The companies are using this program as a field test to gauge acceptance and practicability of the electric vehicle and the intelligent recharging infrastructure usage. Upon success of the pilot program, they intend to add further electric vehicles to the Ehningen campus, as well as to extend the project to other IBM sites.
Michel Taride, President, Hertz International, and Executive Vice President, Hertz Corporate said: "Hertz and IBM see their electric mobility collaboration as a means of reinforcing their pioneering roles in this field in their respective areas of business, as well as helping to increase acceptance for this new form of transport."
Discounted rates have been available to IBM staff since October 2011 as part of the special car sharing agreement in place between the IBM campus in Ehningen and Stuttgart Airport. From April, IBM’s frequent flyers will have one electric car at their disposal, with numbers increasing as the year goes on. The cars can be booked quickly and simply through the Hertz on Demand website using the IBM account.
Hertz is the first car-rental company to deploy EVs and PHEVs (plug-in hybrid electric) on three continents — in the U.S. (available to the public in New York, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco), the U.K. (London), and China (Shenzhen). As the world’s largest airport general-use car-rental brand, Hertz is introducing multiple groups of consumers – urban drivers, university students, travelers and corporations – to all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. As a result, the company is forming partnerships with automakers, charging-station providers (e.g., GE), municipalities, non-governmental organizations, corporations and other stakeholders to make EVs easily accessible to consumers.
Hertz plans to increase its global EV presence by deploying vehicles in other countries in the coming months. Hertz Global EV will continue to leverage the company’s rental and car sharing locations as bases for vehicles and charging stations, and tap into its technology – including sophisticated fleet management tools and consumer-facing GPS systems, including Hertz NeverLost in the U.S. – to help form an EV grid.
Hertz is the largest worldwide airport general use car rental brand, operating from approximately 8,500 corporate and licensee locations in approximately 150 countries in North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia, Australia, Africa, the Middle East and New Zealand. Hertz is the number one airport car rental brand in the U.S. and at 119 major airports in Europe.
Product and service initiatives such as Hertz Gold Choice, Hertz #1 Club Gold®, NeverLost® customized, onboard navigation systems, Sirius XM Satellite Radio, and unique cars and SUVs offered through the Company’s Adrenaline Prestige and Green Traveler Collections, set Hertz apart from the competition.
In 2008, the Company entered the global car sharing market with its service now referred to as Hertz On Demand which rents cars by the hour and/or by the day, at various locations in the U.S., Canada and Europe.
Hertz also operates one of the world’s largest equipment rental businesses, Hertz Equipment Rental Corporation, offering a diverse line of rental equipment, from small tools and supplies to earthmoving equipment, as well as new and used equipment for sale, to customers ranging from major industrial companies to local contractors and consumers, from approximately 315 branches in the United States, Canada, China, France, Spain, Italy and Saudi Arabia, as well as through its international licensees.
Hertz also owns Donlen Corporation, based in Northbrook, Illinois, which is a leader in providing fleet leasing and management services.
Hertz On Demand has more than 800 vehicles available to drive from more than 250 locations worldwide, including corporate offices and universities. Hertz On Demand offers vehicles equipped with keyless entry, and benefits covered by the competitive hourly rate including fuel, insurance, 24/7 roadside assistance, and 24-hour in car Member Care Center communication.