Car sharing company Zipcar has responded to the Toyota Prius recall by shutting down rentals of that particular model until the "brake concerns have been addressed appropriately by Toyota." How many Priuses are there in Zipcar's fleet? All told, Zipcar has around 6,500 cars, and less than one percent of them are Priuses. Earlier, Zipcar stopped rentals of 2009 and 2010 Toyota Matrix models because of a safety recall.

In other car sharing news, Frost & Sullivan has calculated that, in America between 2007 and 2009, membership in car sharing organizations jumped up 117 percent. The future looks even better for car sharing groups, with total membership reaching 4.4 million in North America and 5.5 million in Europe by 2016.

What are the reasons for the increase? Frost & Sullivan estimated that each vehicle in a car sharing fleet "replaced 15 personally owned vehicles in 2009 and carsharing members drove 31% less than when they owned a personal vehicle." This means CO2 emissions were reduced by 482,170 tons. The analysts predict that a person who "drives 12,000 miles a year at an average driving speed of 30 miles per hour can save $1,834 by shifting to a carsharing service." City commuters, take note.

[Source: Frost & Sullivan via Treehugger, Boston.com]

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