Hertz to Offer Chinese EV in US

By Jason Davis | April 16, 2012
If you've ever wanted to drive a Chinese electric vehicle, now's your big chance! Hertz, one of the world's largest car rental agencies, will soon have a fleet of Chinese-built BYD E6 crossovers, a Ford Edge and Toyota Prius-like offspring that is dull but surprisingly not ugly. Why would Hertz turn to China instead of utilizing a Chevy Volt, Fisker Karma, or Ford Focus Electric for its eco-conscious fleets? “We get a lot of support from the Chinese government,” said Jack Hidary, the global E.V. leader for Hertz, in an interview with The New York Times. Hidary noted that the Hertz branch in Shenzen already has two BYD E6's on the road, and in five other Chinese cities, the number of non-E6 EV's totals more than 600 and is expanding to 1500. In China, the $58,000 E6 is attractive for its $19,000-equivalent in state rebates, as well as the advanced infrastructure for supporting EV's. And, according to Micheal Austin, vice president of BYD America, the E6 will be certified for sale in America by the end of the year. The E6 will initially be offered only to fleet buyers like Hertz, but Austin noted that consumer sales will be offered as soon as the charging network is properly developed.
“We feel the E6 is clearly ready for the American market,” said Rich Broome, a Hertz senior vice president. “The performance, style and size are all very good.” The E6 has a large 60-kilowatt-hour battery pack and can travel up to 185 miles. However, BYD says that the best part is that it can be fully charged in half an hour when using a DC fast-charging station. Source: The New York Times, BYD