Car hire giant Hertz has announced that it intends to introduce solar power systems to a number of its vehicle rental stations by the autumn. To start with, Hertz is looking to fit 16 outlets with solar photovoltaic systems similar to the solar energy project which was set up in December at the Hertz centre in Denver International Airport.

Other stations which will receive the solar conversion include locations in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Georgia, Colorado, California and Arizona.  The firm said it intends to extend its solar energy projects to more locations in the future.

According to Hertz senior vice president Richard Broome, the car rental firm aims to lead the market in developing sustainable practises. It has already made giant leaps in terms of low-emission cars, electric vehicles and reducing the use of water in many locations. He added that Hertz was at the cutting edge of managing to integrate environmental initiatives with first-class customer service.

This year, Hertz intends to roll out the Nissan Leaf in a number of locations throughout Europe and the US. It will also offer the extended-range Chevrolet Volt to customers wishing to use an electric powered vehicle. Next year, a number of Hertz locations in California will be offering the electric powered Coda EV sedan.

Rivals Enterprise has also made a commitment to greener technology saying that it aims to slash 20 per cent off costs and use of energy by 2015 and invest $150 million in improving its environmental footprint.