With a unique combination of sedan-like driving dynamics, cargo capacity, accessibility and low operating costs, the Transit Connect is an ideal choice for electrification, says Azure Dynamics, manufacturer of record for the Transit Connect Electric.
The five electrified vans will be deployed at multiple Hertz rental locations in mid-November and will be available as part of Hertz Entertainment Services and its Zipcar-like Hertz on Demand car-sharing scheme. The Connects will join Hertz' electrified vehicle stable, which includes the Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf, Smart Fortwo Electric Drive, as well as other hybrid and electric rental rides.
That's quite a few plug-in vehicles, but Hertz wants more. Hertz' head of public affairs and communications, Rich Broome, recently told Green Car Reports:
Five electric Connects is a start.We need more electric cars! We've got about 50 electric cars in our fleets now, and we could use another 2,000 to 3,000 if we could just get the vehicles.
OAK PARK, Mich., Oct. 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Hertz Corporation (NYSE: HTZ), the world's largest general use airport car rental brand, and Azure Dynamics Corporation (TSX: AZD)(OTC: AZDDF) ("Azure"), a world leader in the development and production of hybrid electric and electric components and powertrain systems for light and medium commercial vehicles, today jointly announced the addition of the innovative Ford Transit Connect Electric van into Hertz's fleet, a first for the car rental industry. The five Hertz units will be deployed mid-November at multiple locations as part of Hertz Entertainment Services and Hertz on Demand car sharing.
"Hertz Entertainment Services and Hertz on Demand customers have unique vehicle needs and the Transit Connect Electric is a perfect fit for customers looking for the latest in mobility solutions while also achieving best in class sustainability practices," commented Mark P. Frissora, Hertz Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "We expect to deploy the Transit Connect Electric in our B to B programs for customers who need a light duty van with a high degree of cargo capacity as a part of their fleet solutions."
"Since launching last year, a broad cross-section of businesses including utilities, delivery companies and even law firms have used the Transit Connect Electric to green their fleets," said Nancy Gioia, director of global electrification, Ford Motor Company. "With its new Transit Connect Electric fleet, Hertz will allow even more businesses in a variety of new industries to experience 100 percent electric and zero-emissions driving."
"The value-add of working with a marquee rental company like Hertz is that multiple end-users will get behind the wheel and experience our Transit Connect Electric first hand," said Scott Harrison, Azure Dynamics CEO. "Although driving performance and cargo versatility will be familiar compared to the conventional product, our Force Drive(TM) powertrain runs entirely on electricity, producing zero tailpipe emissions, and will likely be the first electric drive experience for many of Hertz customers."
According to independent data, rental car companies collectively operate approximately 1.63 million vehicles in the United States. As the economy gains traction, it is expected that U.S. rental companies will add vehicles to their fleets including fuel efficient 'green' vehicles.
Hertz Entertainment Services rents vehicles to various studios and entertainment companies that often choose to rent vehicles during periods of increased activity. Hertz On Demand is a pay-on-demand car membership club based on hourly rental services. The Transit Connect Electric program is a chance for both divisions to explore opportunities for the van's inclusion in the fleet.
Hertz continues to improve the fuel economy of its vehicles through is Global EV eco-mobility program, which is championing an electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle mobility ecosystem that incorporates transportation options that minimize the impact of its operations on the environment and enables the company to continue consistent sound environmental behavior.
The Ford Transit Connect Electric utilizes Azure's proprietary electric powertrain system and Johnson Controls' advanced lithium-ion battery to achieve a range of 50 to 80 miles depending on auxiliary usage and drive cycle and is rechargeable using either a 240-volt or standard 120-volt outlet. Commercial vans generally return to a central location at the end of each driving cycle making for easy overnight recharging. Use of the Transit Connect Electric vehicles will also reduce fuel and maintenance costs, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
About Azure Dynamics
Azure Dynamics Corporation (TSX: AZD)(OTC: AZDDF) is a world leader in the development and production of hybrid electric and electric components and powertrain systems for light and medium commercial vehicles. Azure is strategically targeting the commercial delivery vehicle and shuttle bus markets and is currently working internationally with a variety of partners and customers. The Company is committed to providing customers and partners with innovative, cost-efficient, and environmentally-friendly energy management solutions. For more information please visit www.azuredynamics.com.
The Hertz Corporation, a subsidiary of Hertz Global Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: HTZ), is the world's largest airport general use car rental brand, operating from approximately 8,500 locations in 146 countries worldwide. Hertz also operates one of the world's largest equipment rental businesses, Hertz Equipment Rental Corporation, through approximately 320 branches in the United States, Canada, France, Spain, China and Italy. For more information please visit www.hertz.com.