Here's something I can applaud: Hertz says it will introduce a fleet of 35,000 new fuel-efficient cars later this week.
The cars will be available for rental at 50 airport locations across the U.S., with additional locations added throughout the year. Travel Weekly (registration required) reports that "all of the vehicles are Environmental Protection Agency highway rated at 28 miles-per-gallon or better. At least 18,000 of the vehicles are SmartWay certified, meaning the vehicles are designed to limit their impact on both greenhouse gases and air pollution."
Hertz CEO Mark Frissora says in a statement that Hertz is "the only major car rental company offering reservable vehicles that are right for the times for specific consumer segments"—which, in corporate-speak, means those of us who care about having as little impact on the environment as possible.
There's only one problem with Hertz's plan, as far as I can tell. Hertz car rentals are almost always the most expensive whenever I do a head-to-head comparison of rental car companies.
So, it remains to be seen if travelers will vote to stay "green" and save the planet, or save some greenbacks and rent elsewhere.