Hertz and transit operator Italo-NTV are bridging the mobility gap in Rome by introducing discounted rentals of smart fortwo EVs. This program continues the global expansion of the Hertz EV fleet and Italo-NTV’s efforts to simplify daily commuters without environmental impacts. The two-seat cockpit of the smart fortwo EV allows couples and business associates to travel Rome in comfort. Renters can travel up to 84 miles per charge using the smart fortwo EV, which far exceeds the commuting requirements of Italo-NTV users. Hertz’s commitment to EV rentals could also change the landscape for rental companies, taxi operators and transit agencies around the world.
Italo-NV runs high-speed rail lines throughout Italy and look for new ways to meet the demands of commuters. Hertz will offer rental EVs at counters in Rome Tiburtina and Rome Ostiense stations used by Italo-NV. Renters pay only $10 per hour for the smart fortwo EV, a relatively modest sum when compared to traditional rentals in Rome. Hertz and Italo-NV are collaborating with utility firm Enel to maintain charging stations near these stations for renters. The EV fleet is aimed at a broad spectrum of potential users ranging from daily commuters with long walks from the station to tourists interested in viewing the city by car.
Participants in this latest initiative by Hertz help the city move toward goals set by the Rome Manifesto. This five-point document created by the International Association of Public Transport calls for lower transit costs, greater investment in public transit and improvements to urban planning.
City officials have already passed policies that encourage EV ownership including free parking in designated spots. Registered EV operators in Rome need not pay surcharges for driving through the city center. Hertz benefits from these EV-friendly policies and passes the savings along to renters.
Hertz already provides EV rentals and infrastructure in major cities throughout the globe. The company first introduced the smart fortwo EV as a rental option in 2010. Travelers in Washington, DC, San Francisco and New York City can access EVs through Hertz rental offices.
Hertz has branched out with EV rentals available in the United Kingdom and China. Renters also gain access to the NeverLost network, an extensive GPS program that provides directions and charging station maps. The only elements missing from Hertz’s EV assets are charge points though the firm has established partnerships with local utilities to solve this issue.
The introduction of smart fortwo EVs in Rome reduces environmental impacts along with travel costs for tourists and commuters. An hourly rate of $10 compares favorably to a typical taxi ride in Rome featuring flat rates, mileage, surcharges and luggage fees.
Taxis rarely carry each passenger for an hour, making a Hertz rental all the more attractive. Italo-NTV should also be commended for looking beyond their station gates in order to serve commuters. Transit operators are often concerned about maintenance, fare payments and basic safety rather than the user experience. A partnership between Hertz and Italo-NTV brings the entirety of Rome within reach at a low cost to consumers and the environment.