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Hertz, Avis add Priuses to rental fleet

Fuel-efficient hybrid cars added to fleets in U.S. cities.


NEW YORK ( -- Hertz Corporation is adding Toyota Prius hybrid cars to the company's rental fleets around the country.

The Prius, which gets 48 miles per gallon in city driving and 45 on the highway, according to new EPA estimates, is the most fuel efficient passenger car in America. As a gasoline/electric hybrid car it uses an electric motor in combination with a small gasoline engine to improve fuel efficiency.

Avis, part of the Avis Budget Group, is also adding Priuses to its U.S. rental fleets, according to a report Thursday in USA Today.

Hertz will add 3,400 Priuses to its fleets worldwide by 2008, the company said. The cars will be available as one of the company's "Green Collection" choices at 50 major airport locations around the United States and at the company's Manhattan location. The Manhattan location will have 100 of the cars, which will be rentable by the hour, the company said.

The "Green Collection" program, which the company started in September, 2006, allows customers to select a specific make and model of car from among six selected vehicles. The vehicles, which include the Ford Fusion and Toyota Camry, have an average fuel efficiency rating of 31 miles per gallon, according to Hertz.

The cars will begin appearing in Hertz fleets later this month. Prices for renting a Prius from Hertz will start about about $50 per weekend day, the company said in an announcement.

Hertz already rents hybrid vehicles in several European countries, the company said.

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