Last week, The Hertz Corporation announced that Italo-NTV customers will be able to hire stylish smart fortwo electric vehicles from their train station locations at Rome Ostiense and Rome Tiburtina. This is being made possible through a partnership with Italo-NTV, the first private high speed rail operator in Europe.
The smart fortwo electric cars can be booked from Hertz, the biggest general use car hire brand, from just €8 an hour on the company’s Italian website. Italo-NTV customers will need to use a special discount code. The EVs will be powered at charging units provided by the biggest electric utility company in country – Enel. This programme is an important step in the Rome Manifesto to increase the amount of electric cars and other sustainability initiatives in the nation’s capital. These types of vehicles have no ZTL limits (centre zone limits) and free access to designated parking areas.
The electric drive vehicles offer no compromises to space, comfort, agility and safety. They are powered by lithium-ion batteries developed by Tesla Motors Inc., and a full charge allows for up to 135km of driving. The discounted hire rates for Italo-NTV customers are only part of the exclusive partnership between the company and Hertz.
Hertz is the first car hire firm to deploy plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) and all-electric vehicles on three continents. In the US, the company offers these energy efficient cars in San Francisco, New York and Washington, DC. The smart fortwo EV was added to the group’s fleet in the US two years ago. In the UK, these kinds of vehicles are offered in London, and in China they can be found in Shenzhen. The group plans to increase its worldwide presence of EVs by deploying the vehicles in more countries over the coming months.
The company is introducing multiple groups of drivers – corporations, travellers, urban motorists and university students – to PHEVs and all-electric vehicles. As part of this, it’s forming partnerships with car makers, municipalities, corporations, non-governmental organisations, charging-station providers and other shareholders to make these energy efficient vehicles easier for consumers to get their hands on. The group will continue leveraging its hire and car sharing locations as bases for the vehicles, as well as charging stations. It will also tap into technology – like NeverLost in the US and sophisticated fleet management tools – to form an EV grid.
Hertz International president and Hertz Corporation executive vice president Michel Taride says the company is committed to providing smart sustainability and mobility solutions for leisure and business travellers. They strongly believe offering the smart fortwo to Italo-NTV customers is vital to increase the acceptance of this new form of transport combined with train travel, he added.
Hertz Italy general manager Massimiliano Archiapatti says that Italo-NTV customers can easily get off a train and get into an electric vehicle to complete their journey to their final destination. The smart fortwo offers the perfect and a fun solution to move around a city, and it will help support the Rome Manifesto for EVs, he added.
Italo-NTV general manager Giuseppe Sciarrone says that they are an eco-friendly train operator that offers a greener way to travel – with less energy consumption and noise pollution than other forms of transport. Their train is also 98% built from recyclable materials, which demonstrates their strong commitment to the environment. Thanks to this partnership with Hertz, they are glad to offer their passengers an efficient and sustainable solution to get around Rome when they step off the train, he added.
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