Hertz is getting serious about its about-to-launch, by-the-hour plug in car rental service Connect by Hertz. Set to launch on December 15th in New York City, the company has plans to extend the service into San Francisco, Washington D.C, Texas and London by the end of 2011. The list of cars in the fleet which will be available to rent now includes the previously announced Nissan Leaf, the Volt, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, the Tesla Roadster, the Smart ED, and the Coda Sedan. The program will start extremely small, with only 20 total vehicles available to rent to begin with, but with a plan for between 500 and 1,000 by the end of 2011. The Hertz EV rental program has a fee to join up, and the cars will be rented on a first come, first served basis, but you can sign up now if you're ready to get behind the wheel of one of the aforementioned silent bad boys.

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Hertz plug-in rental program to boast 1,000 vehicles, including the Tesla Roadster