Hertz to launch network of rent-by-the-hour electric cars in London

Last year Hertz Rent A Car launched a new service offering electric vehicles at an hourly rate in New York City, with expansion of the service to San Francisco, Washington D.C. and markets in Texas and China by the end of 2011. One of the cities on that list was London, and this Friday the service goes live.

ConnectByHertz “car sharing” service makes electric vehicles (EVs) available to rent by-the-hour.

The scheme is launching with 16 charging points set up across the capital. Cars on offer initially will be the iMieV, Nissan LEAF and Renault Kangoo van. This Friday they will be demonstration of the cars from the London Marble Arch location in London.

Clean energy catalyst, investor and serial entrepreneur, Jack D. Hidary— who was a cofounder of Vista Research, Dice.com and a co-architect of the US federal Cash-For-Clunkers program—  is working with Hertz to set up the new EV service.

Hidary is driving this forward with what he calls “smart grid, and smart cars” which includes information about the charging stations and their availability via a web app or a mobile app. Ideally so a driver doesn’t get sent to a charging station that’s in use.