Hertz Corporation is to start renting compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles to its fleet in the US next month, starting with eight CNG Honda Civics and two CNG GMC Yukons at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City.

"Hertz is committed to providing our customers with a full spectrum of vehicle options to suit their rental needs including clean emission vehicles such as CNG, electric vehicles, as well as other fuel-efficient vehicles included in our Green Traveller Collection," said Hertz chairman and CEO Mark Frissora.

"As more low emission, fuel efficient vehicles become available for general use we will continue to expand our rental fleet, reflecting our dedication to offering sustainable travel options."

The new vehicles were on display yesterday (11 April) at Oklahoma City Thunder's home game against the Los Angeles Clippers, while in conjunction with the Thunder's Green Week, an NBA initiative for environmental awareness, Hertz will also be raffling off ten weekend CNG vehicle rentals to game attendees.

The expansion of energy-efficient and clean vehicles stems from the launch of Living Journey, Hertz's global sustainability strategy announced earlier this year.

Hertz claims CNG is a cleaner-burning fuel, emitting up to 30% less carbon dioxide and up to 75% less carbon monoxide, while adding it typically costs half the price of gasoline and is produced domestically.

Last year, Hertz added CNG vehicles through Hertz On Demand at Oklahoma State University. Hertz also deploys CNG airport buses at its Los Angeles Airport location and rents CNG vehicles in both Italy and the UK.

Oklahoma City is serving as a pilot programme for Hertz's CNG airport rentals operation. In addition to having significant CNG fuelling infrastructure across the state - around 70 existing or planned public stations - Oklahoma is also home to several of the top natural gas producers in the country, including Chesapeake Energy Corporation.

"Through its natural gas vehicles rental programme, Hertz...illustrates the future of natural gas as a transportation fuel," said Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon.

"By renting a CNG vehicle, Hertz customers will cut their fuelling costs in half, while driving a vehicle that is better for the environment. We hope the success of Hertz's programme in Oklahoma City leads to adoption of this programme nationwide."