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Hertz Asks New Yorkers Where They Should Rent Electric Cars

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Smart Electric Drive at Hertz Global EV rental launch, New York City, December 2010

Smart Electric Drive at Hertz Global EV rental launch, New York City, December 2010

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New Yorkers are reputedly never shy to offer opinions, whether or not they've been asked for.

Now Hertz is partnering with a NYC government outreach program to ask residents where they'd like to see electric cars located for short-term rentals through its Hertz On Demand EV program.

The Mission Electric project lets residents vote on electric-car choices in their cities. Last month, it let New Yorkers choose seven local Duane Reade drugstore locations to have deliveries made by electric truck.

Voting will take place over the next month.

"Shared vehicles are a great option" for those New Yorkers who need to drive, said Sergej Mahnovski, Director of the city's Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability.

"Electric shared vehicles are even better" in the effort to make New York "a healthier, greater city."

Of the seven locations for which residents can vote, five are in Manhattan (two in midtown, one each on the Upper East and Upper West sides, and one at Union Square).

One more is in the trendy Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, and the last is located in Long Island City, Queens.

"Hertz is committed to expanding its EV program," said Mark P. Frissora, Hertz chairman and CEO, "by providing our customers with more rental options at our locations."

Hertz first said it would rent electric cars in selected areas in September 2010, even before the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt went on sale.

Its first New York City plug-in electric car rental event was held that December.

A year ago, Hertz said it would take another two or three thousand EVs to expand its small fleet of 50 electric rentals, if the cars were available.

This summer, the company said its electric rental cars had proven more popular than expected with corporate and fleet renters.

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