Zipcar Unveils EV-Sharing Initiative in Select U.S. Cities

Zipcar now offers EVs to customers for short-term rentals in 10 cities.

Zipcar has rolled out electric vehicles in Boston, Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, Baltimore, Denver and Philadelphia.

Zipcar has launched an electric vehicle (EV) car-sharing initiative nationwide, partnering with cities, university campuses and commercial and residential businesses to bring EVs to drivers who need easy, affordable access to a vehicle.

The initiative is now available in Boston, Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, Baltimore, Denver and Philadelphia.

Because the daily movement and lifecycle of a Zipcar fundamentally differs from a personally-owned vehicle, which sits idle 95% of the time, Zipcar monitors the fleet to optimize charging while meeting turn-around for member demand. Since Zipcar started rolling out EVs, it has gained first-time EV driver and vehicle insights, informing the company's goal of increasing its EV fleet in the U.S. up to double its current size in 2024.

"Zipcar is ready to accelerate into the future by offering electric vehicles to our members and communities," said Angelo Adams, head of Zipcar. "We've built on more than two decades of car-sharing expertise and aim to bring the electric vehicle experience to cities, campuses and businesses nationwide. Together, Zipcar and our partners seek to advance the goals of bringing equitable, sustainable transportation to those who cannot afford the increasing costs and hassles of personal car ownership."

Zipcar has increasingly served those who most benefit from the cost-savings of car sharing. Because of this, Zipcar committed to allocating 25% of its electric fleet to disadvantaged communities needing affordable and convenient vehicles for driving to professional and personal appointments, running errands or visiting friends and family. With this commitment, Zipcar joined the White House EV Acceleration Challenge, which supports an effort to transition to equitable and sustainable transportation. 

First-Time EV Drivers Experience

EVs have a quiet start, zippy acceleration and charging requirements that differ from the vehicles most are used to driving. Zipcar has surveyed members to understand their sentiment, behavior and driving experience and learned 89% of respondents had no EV driving experience.

To demystify EVs and build members' confidence ahead of an EV reservation, Zipcar created the ultimate "Zipcar EV Guide," which members can access via QR codes in vehicles and in their Zipcar reservation confirmation. Zipcar incorporated value feedback from its members, which centered around three key areas of advice for newbie EV drivers:

1. Plan ahead! Map charging stations along a route and know a car's range capabilities and charge levels. To ensure a smooth trip, leave a buffer for extra mileage and time for charging, like a driver would find a gas station.
2. Read up! Electric vehicles are different than the gas vehicles most have driven. So, learn about charging, the car's features and the feel of the vehicle (quiet engine, acceleration, etc.) 
3. Try it! An EV is not that different from a gas vehicle. A full charge is plenty to get you where you need to go. Just try it!

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