The Hertz Corporation (NYSE: HTZ), has announced that Hertz On Demand, the global car sharing club, and IBM are together piloting a program in Germany to advance electric vehicle (EV) mobility and user adoption through intelligent recharging solutions. In a special agreement, Hertz On Demand in Germany will supply electric vehicles to the car share fleet used by IBM employees to drive between Stuttgart Airport and the company’s campus in Ehningen, about 30 km away.
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.