Want to drive and experience the Nissan Leaf electric vehicle? It may not be as impossible as you think, as you will be able to do so on your next holiday to Europe or America. Rental car company Hertz is adding the Leaf to its rental fleets in the US and Europe beginning early 2011, shortly after the car’s debut later this year. The volume and rental price hasn’t been set though, according to company spokeswoman Paula Rivera.

Hertz has 2,100 outlets in the US, and California should be getting the early Leafs. “Realistically, we look at high-demand location – where the consumer base is asking for them. When we introduced the Toyota Prius, California was one of the hot locations, and we’re anticipating something similar with the Leaf,” Rivera added. The Golden State is also subsidising the Leaf with a $5,000 cash rebate. Demand is expected from those who want to sample the car before purchase.

The Leaf will also be available at some Connect by Hertz car-sharing locations. Hertz introduced the Connect program in 2008, and it now has operations in London, Paris, Madrid and Berlin.

Billed as the world’s first affordable, mass produced zero emission car, the Leaf is powered by an 80kW electric motor. It has a real world range of 160 km and charges to 80% capacity in under 30 minutes. Top speed is “more than 140 km/h”, so this is not a strictly city bound car. Click here for more images and videos of the Leaf.

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