The Hertz Corporation, has announced the launch of the new “Hertz on Demand/MoveAbout partnership to provide Electric Vehicle car sharing services to corporations, utilities and municipalities in Germany (http://www.moveabout.net). The companies will also explore further European market opportunities together. The move follows the five year strategic partnership agreement signing by Hertz International and Move About A/S, a pioneering electric vehicle car sharing company from Scandinavia, to jointly develop their European mobility-on-demand business. The service will complement Hertz on Demand’s Berlin car sharing operation launched in 2008.
“Hertz believes that electric cars and mobility-on-demand services go hand-in-hand as the public and private sectors develop new and sustainable travel solutions. Partnering with a pioneer such as Move About complements both our Hertz on Demand car sharing strategy and Global Electric Vehicle (EV) mobility platform,” said Michel Taride, President of Hertz International and Executive Vice President, Hertz Corporation.
Germany is a promising market for e-mobility, with large players such as E,ON setting the tone: “E.ON believes that electric vehicles will play an important role in future mobility,” says Dr. Johannes Eckstein, who manages E-Mobility Innovation and Projects at the German electricity group . “EVs and mobility-on-demand models are a perfect fit, since vehicle and infrastructure costs are shared by multiple users, and utilization, being critical to economic success, is increased.”
The Hertz on Demand/Move About partnership is designed to meet the growing demand by corporations, utilities and municipalities for using EVs on a shared “Mobility-on-Demand” basis. The service offers a unique “zero hassle – zero emission” solution to organizations wishing to reduce the carbon footprint of their fleets and meet sustainability goals without the costs of ownership.
With Hertz on Demand/ Move About, organizations can reduce expenses and control costs through pooling dedicated electric vehicles placed on site. Shared cars can be used for professional purposes, including trips to nearby offices and off-site business meetings. In addition, businesses can give employees a money-saving perk by offering Hertz on Demand cars at work, making cars available for personal usage.
Hertz On Demand/Move About employs the latest in technology to provide a safe and superior customer service. Upon enrolling in the service, members receive a smart chip enabled membership card, which gives them keyless entry to any car in the fleet that the member reserves. In the car, a hands-free audio kit connects members to a Member Care Center representative should they have questions, need assistance or need to extend their rental. The in-car technology also enables Hertz On Demand to “communicate” with the vehicle, enabling representatives to unlock, engage and locate vehicles. The technologically savvy cars are also equipped with iPod connectivity and in-car satellite navigation systems.
Hertz on Demand launched the first international car sharing club in December 2008 and has grown to more than 800 vehicles, 70,000 members and more than 300 locations worldwide, including corporate offices and universities. Corporate customers include Marriott International, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, and London Heathrow Airport. The Hertz on Demand fleet features electric vehicles and plug-n hybrids. Its EVs include the Chevy Volt, Nissan LEAF, and smart fortwo electric drive in the US and Mitsubishi i-MiEVs in London.
Move About, headquartered in Norway, launched the world’s first EV car sharing service called EV Mobility on Demand for companies in Scandinavia and Germany in December 2008. Customers include international partners such as IKEA, Microsoft, KPMG and DnV, energy companies such as Statoil and Statkraft, Norway’s largest property developer Entra, and local municipalities.
“Our partnership with Hertz on Demand is a real breakthrough for Move About,” says Move About Chairman and majority owner Jan-Olaf Willums, “With the international market access and purchasing power of Hertz, this partnership with substantially increases our growth potential.”
Move About, an early user of electric vehicles, is building a fleet of advanced EVs from Peugeot, Citroen, and Nissan, and has gained substantial experience in how to optimize the battery use under various climate and driving conditions. It has partnered since 2010 with Bosch Service, where specialists are trained to work on high-voltage systems. Bosch is also a Move About customer, with successful ev-fleet projects completed in 2011.
As part of its Global EV mobility platform, Hertz has partnerships with automakers, charging station providers, municipalities, NGOs, corporations and other stakeholders since 2010. To date, the company has ordered vehicles from GM, Nissan, Toyota, and Mitsubishi.
Hertz Global EV will 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 the consumer-facing NeverLost GPS system – to help form an EV grid.