If testing out the newest electric vehicles is high on your list of priorities, then perhaps you should check out Hertz's by-the-hour plug-in car rental program. Hertz is willing to bet that curious consumers will flock to their lots for some extended drive time in a plug-in vehicle and has thus decided to make the Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Volt, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Tesla Roadster, Smart ED and Coda Sedan available for rent through its Connect by Hertz program.

Beginning on December 15th, residents in New York City will be able to rent a plug-in vehicle through Hertz. This we knew. The Connect by Hertz program will slowly branch out to include cities such as San Francisco, Washington D.C., the state of Texas and London, England by the end of next year. In addition, Hertz will consider extending the program to include college campuses in North America and even aims to include China by the end of 2011.

The rental process is actually quite simple, but due to the limited availability of plug-in vehicles, Hertz will restrict access to members only. To become a member, simply sign up at the Connect by Hertz site. There is a variable fee associated with joining, but it's a small price to pay to get a crack at driving the vehicles of tomorrow. After paying your membership dues, you will need to submit some info and wait for the rental agency to contact you regarding vehicle availability. While the company hopes to have up to 1,000 plug-in rental vehicles available by the end of next year, only 20 will enter the program by mid-2011, so we suggest that you book your reservation ASAP.

[Source: Plugin Cars]