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Connect by Hertz Car Sharing Electrifies Manhattan’s Seward Park Co-op Bringing Electric Vehicles and Networked ChargePoint Stations to Consumers

published: 2011-05-10 15:43

As part of its Global Electric Vehicle (EV) expansion throughout New York City, Connect by Hertz, Hertz’s (NYSE:HTZ) global car sharing club, the first car sharing club to introduce the 100% electric Nissan LEAF™ in Manhattan, is bringing the LEAF to Manhattan’s Seward Park Co-op.  To celebrate the introduction of the Nissan LEAF, a formal unveiling, attended by Speaker of the New York State Assembly, Sheldon Silver, will be held at Seward Park (413 Grand St in Manhattan) on Friday, May 6 at 12 noon.

"Hertz is leading the industry in building out an EV platform that brings electric vehicles and a network of charging stations to consumers,” commented Robert Stuart, Senior Vice President, Global Sales for Hertz.  “For the past year, Connect by Hertz car sharing has had a successful relationship with Seward Park and its residents and we’re excited to be working with Seward Park in its efforts to make the Lower East Side of Manhattan the most ‘plug in ready’ neighborhood in the City.” 

The all-electric Nissan LEAF joins the Prius Hybrid and smart fortwo that are part of Seward Park’s car sharing program.   In an effort to make EVs a viable option for its residents, Seward Park has installed four Coulomb Technologies networked charging stations that are part of the ChargePoint® Network. The ChargePoint Network gives all EV drivers unique, easy-to-use services including: real-time status and location of unoccupied charging stations, tracking and reporting greenhouse gas and gasoline savings, and charging status notification, all by SMS, email or smart phone applications.  ChargePoint also includes a billing system so that station owners can recoup the costs of electricity, maintenance and capital from drivers.  Two of the stations are part of Coulomb’s $37 million ChargePoint America program.

"I am proud to give my strong support to this incredibly worthy and exciting new project," New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said. "By opening this electric charging station and electric car rental hub, Seward Park Cooperative has put our Lower East Side community on the leading edge of our vitally important effort to make renewable and sustainable energy a viable option for New Yorkers. It is past time that we develop workable and clean alternatives to gasoline. In a city with high asthma rates and heavy pollution from car exhaust, encouraging people to use electric cars will not only let us breathe easier, it could literally save lives. I want to commend Seward Park Co-op for showing vision and leadership in taking the initiative to create this incredibly valuable project. I also want to thank Community Board 3, Hertz and everyone else who has made this milestone possible."

“We applaud Hertz and the Seward Park Co-op’s efforts to bring sustainable mobility to Manhattan’s Lower East Side,” said Tracy Woodard, senior director, Government Affairs, Nissan North America. “Nissan LEAF is the world’s first and only affordable, all-electric vehicle designed for the mass market and it is through collaboration like this that consumers will get to experience the benefits of zero-emission ownership.”

“We are proud to extend the reach of the ChargePoint Network further into New York as more and more electric vehicles are delivered,” said Richard Lowenthal founder and CTO at Coulomb.  “With so many New York City residents living in apartments and co-ops, Seward is demonstrating their leadership by enabling their tenants to drive electric. We are thrilled to work with Hertz to enable many more people to drive these innovative vehicles.”

The 2011 Nissan LEAF™, the world’s first affordable, zero-emission car, is designed specifically for a lithium-ion battery-powered chassis.  The Nissan LEAF is a medium-size hatchback that comfortably seats five adults and has a range of 100 miles on one full charge to satisfy real-world consumer requirements.  Powered by 48 laminated compact lithium-ion battery modules and a high-response 80kW AC synchronous motor that generates 107 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque, the LEAF provides a highly responsive, fun-to-drive experience.

“Con Edison is pleased to support the new charging stations for electric vehicles at the Seward Park Cooperative as part of the overall effort to introduce electric vehicles to New York City.   We commend the Cooperative’s leadership for taking this important step to make New York cleaner and greener by raising awareness and creating new opportunities for electric vehicles.  Con Edison has launched a new website (www.conEd.com/electricvehicles) to help people learn more about electric vehicles, how to keep them charged properly and how to decide which type best serves their travelling needs,” commented David Gmach, Director, New York City Public Affairs, Consolidated Edison Company of New York

“I think it’s a wonderful idea; very progressive,” said Honey Federman, a Seward Park Co-op resident for 15 years.   “The initiative could help lessen New Yorkers’ dependence on oil.”

Located on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Seward Park Co-op is one of the largest free market co-ops in Manhattan with more than 1700 apartments, approximately 50 commercial tenants, 13 acres of land and more than 4000 residents.   Celebrating its 50th year, Seward Park has a strong commitment to the environment, working with Comverge and the Clean Energy Network NY, and is in the process of opening a green market on Hester Street.

Connect by Hertz car sharing has approximately 30,000 members, is available in six countries and on 54 university campuses. Connect by Hertz offers its members products and services that are unmatched in the car sharing industry, including a fee free program, one way usage for New York City area members, guaranteed reservations, Monday through Thursday including holidays; a variety of Electric Vehicles, including the Nissan LEAF, Chevrolet Volt, and smart fortwo electric drive; an in-house Member Care Center available 24/7, 365 days a year; an in-car GPS system in every vehicle, included in the hourly rate; a fast and easy-to-use website; and rates as low as $5 in Manhattan.

Connect by Hertz’s industry leading, propriety in-car technology provides members a safe and superior car sharing experience.  Upon enrolling in Connect by Hertz, members receive a smart chip enabled Connect 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 an in-house Member Care Center representative should they have questions, need assistance or need to extend their use of the car.  Connect by Hertz is able to “communicate” with the vehicle, enabling representatives to unlock, engage and locate vehicles and cars are also equipped with iPod connectivity, Bluetooth capabilities, for a hands free driving experience, and EZ Pass transponders.

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