The San Francisco bay area continues to expand as a carsharing hub, and the latest addition is going to attract some attention. Vukee, a Palo Alto, CA-based company, is introducing the Tesla Model S to carsharers in that market as a way to stand out from larger carsharing providers like Zipcar and City CarShare.
Carsharing is a big deal in many urban centers, and it's only going to get bigger. Last fall, one study predicted that the 2.3 million users around today will grow to more than 12 million by 2020. While that's good news for cities already dealing with congestion, some are sounding the alarm that all of this shared consumption is going to hurt car sales.
Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler has finally decided to go to its proverbial mothership to further expand its Car2go carsharing service in Europe. The German automaker has long used its itty-bitty Smart Fortwo vehicles for the program, but now it's kicking off a pilot program called Car2go Black that will share Mercedes-Benz B-Class models in Berlin and Hamburg.
Fans of the old Schoolhouse Rock cartoons (there are more of us than you think) know that three is the magic number, and that's the approach a new UK carsharing club is taking with its launch. The E-Car Club bills itself as the UK's "first entirely electric pay-per-use car club" and it debuted earlier this month at the University of Hertfordshire, about 20 miles north of London.
In the fall of 2009, a big idea using little cars got its US start in Austin, TX. That's when Daimler's Car2go carsharing program first came to North America after its global debut in Ulm, Germany. The idea was simple: let people rent a car for just a few minutes at a time, and let them end their rental when they got to wherever it was they were going (within limits). It sure seemed to make sense, but would Americans like short-term rentals in the little Smart cars? Four years later, we thought
China's cities are blanketed by toxic haze with air pollution that can shut down places like Beijing. Of course, there are many citizens who want to move from a scooter to a car, but that could create more pollution. In steps carsharing, and an idea from Kandi Technologies Group that its small electric vehicles could be part of the solution in the city of Hangzhou, an hour-long train ride from Shanghai.
When you're paying by the mile, a few cents here and there can make a difference. So, cost-conscious Car2go drivers in many North American cities should be aware that the Daimler carsharing company has raised prices a little bit.
The world's largest carsharing company is subscribing to the theory that one can never have enough payment options. Zipcar, whose vehicle inventory numbers more than 10,000 worldwide, is complementing its annual-membership fee structure with a monthly payment option at almost all of its North American markets. That means that those with an aversion to long-term commitments can join in on the car-sharing fun.
Just in time for the holiday travel rush, FlightCar is expanding to the Los Angeles airport. The why-don't-you-rent-out-your-car-while-you're-away carsharing service started in San Francisco and is also available in Boston. Now the money-making scheme will be on offer at the world's sixth-busiest airport, which could mean lots of potential customers. Especially since you can now get information through the new FlightCar smartphone app, which launched yesterday.
Enterprise Rent-A-Car is going farther into the carsharing business with the launch of Enterprise CarShare in the Salt Lake City market. Customers can get the cars – available to rent for as little as an hour – at nearly 30 locations in the downtown area and on local university campuses.
Since 2003, Toyota has been rolling out new personal mobility concept vehicles at the Tokyo Motor Show. The first was simply called the PM – for Personal Mobility – in 2003. After that came the i-Unit in 2005, the i-Swing in 2005 and again in 2007, along with two takes on the i-Real in 2007 and 2009. Even though the PM had a canopy and was conceived for urban use, it was little more than a chair on wheels, and the concepts that followed shed the canopy and actually were chairs on whe
Christmas, or "Noel" to French Canadians, is coming a little early for carsharing enthusiasts in the Montreal area. Car2go, the all-Smart Fortwo carsharing division owned by Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler, will start service in that city on November 2.
You many not be able to pahk yah cah at Hahvahd Yahd, but if you're driving one of Zipcar's new Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid vehicles nearby, you can now park it at Boston Common Garage. And a few other places.
Toyota is adding its funky, "active leaning" i-Road electric concept vehicle to its rather utopian people-moving experiment in Toyota City that combines personal and public transportation sources. Announced last year, Toyota's "Ha:mo" (short for "harmonious mobility") urban transportation trial lets people get through town using a combination of shared electric vehicles and other transportation sources. Traffic-routing technology and smartphone communication are all part of the futuristic effort
Nissan and Yokohama have put together a rather attractive combination of little electric vehicles, little rental prices and big ambitions. Next month, the automaker and Japanese city will debut the first carsharing program of its kind, which will involve two-seat Nissan EVs that may be rented around town.
Carsharing has been around since the 1990s, but, not surprisingly, it has seen rapid growth ever since the economy started to tank back in 2008. The increasingly popular short-term car rental solution is a great tool for people in large, urban cities, and according to a study from Colorado-based Navigant Research, the number of carshare participants will continue to climb from today's 2.3-million users to more than 12 million by the end of the decade.
Toyota has long said that its Scion iQ EV was destined for carsharing duty, and now we know a bit more about just how this quirky electric car is going to be split among its non-owners. City Carshare, in Pleasanton, CA, has formed Dash, a three-year pilot carsharing program that will make 30 iQ EVs (out of the 100 that exist in the world) available to users for short loans.
Bollore has a beef with BMW, and it's apparently serious. The company that runs the French carsharing service Autolib filed a criminal complaint against the German automaker of, "using spies to gather information on its electric cars," in the words of AFP. The problem, allegedly, is that two employees of engineering firm P3, which was working for BMW, were seen "tampering" with both Autolib charging stations and electric vehicles. The two were arrested in Paris and released after being questione
While San Francisco was the best place for BMW to enter the US carsharing game with its DriveNow division, it's been a very tough market. The city's strict guidelines on where cars can be parked has hampered the program, and now BMW wants to expand DriveNow to an unidentified number of new US metro markets where its electric vehicles can be picked up and dropped off out in public spots. Also, Richard Steinberg, CEO of DriveNow USA, told Automotive News that San Francisco has "hasn't embraced A t
The term "Rainbow Coalition" may have been originally coined to describe a movement led by Rev. Jesse Jackson during the 1980s, but the largest US carsharing service appears to be putting its own spin on the concept, with the help of some Honda hybrids. Zipcar is giving a folks a chance to contribute to GLAAD (formerly the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) while taking out a Honda Insight hybrid (here referred to as the Honda GLAAD Insight) for a few hours. By going to Zipcar's "Equ