The mood at the 2013 North American International Auto Show has been more than upbeat for automakers. Lots of new models and concept cars have been unveiled and automakers think it will be a good year for a solid sales increase. Quartz writer Tim Fernholz looked at it from another angle, raising some big questions. What if this post-economic crisis renaissance is short lived? Is the world approaching "peak car" – when demand for cars declines? And will the role of manufacturers change from
While some hipsters were bummed out by the idea of car rental giant Avis owning quirky car sharing innovator Zipcar, US regulators will probably approve the deal. That's what Reuters found out after conducting an informal poll of nine antitrust experts. While several of them feared loss of the lively upstart business, eight of the nine experts think that US regulators will approve the deal.
When you watch the Zipcar video "How to Zip: Fill 'er Up" (embedded below) you'll see a Zipcar customer finding out he needs to stop at a gas station. There's a Zipcar co-pilot in the backseat who gives him friendly, detailed instructions on how to get reimbursed for filling up the gas tank.
Zipcar is testing out a pilot program it calls the "Access Plan" in Toronto and Vancouver, Canada, that requires no annual fee. It's a weekday program available only Monday through Friday – excluding holidays – that allows members to drive some Zipcars and Zipvans (where available) at a lower cost.
Zipcar has long been the granddaddy of carsharing programs, and has spent years forming partnerships with colleges, cutting a deal with Ford and working with the Feds to become a vendor in the government's Short Term Rental (STR) program. The company also first turned a profit in late 2011. A history like that was attractive enough to traditional car rental company Avis that Avis today announced it will buy Zipcar for $500 million. Avis is paying $12.25 per share. Zipcar's stock closed at $8.24
So, what's the reason people get into carsharing? Is it a "romanticized view of access understood as a form of collaborative consumption and altruistically motivated"? Or is it more about practical realities – that car sharing is really about affordability and convenience?
There's a new niche emerging for car sharers like Zipcar and peer-to-peer entities: ride sharing. The way ride sharing works is that a car owner, perhaps for additional income, offers a ridealong to those willing to pay. Those interested can schedule a ride share through their smart phone. The renter signs up for the service, chooses a nearby car going their way and hops in. It's hitchhiking meets taxis for the smartphone era.
Zipcar, is bringing electric vehicle car sharing to another city – this time to the City of Houston, through a new program called Houston Fleet Share. In Houston Fleet Share, 50 existing city-owned fleet vehicles – including 25 Nissan Leaf EVs – will be outfitted with Zipcar's FastFleet proprietary fleet sharing technology for use by city employees across all departments. Zipcar's FastFleet technology has already been adopted through similar initiatives in Washington, D.C., Chi
Here's a reason to get your friends to hurry up when they're helping you move: you're paying for the rental van by the hour. As least, that's how the new Zipvan service from Zipcar operates. Starting at just $15.75 an hour or $109 a day, Zipvan makes carsharing larger vehicles a reasonable option – if you don't dawdle.
A successful study abroad program means going overseas, learning from the locals, and bringing the lessons back home. We've been all over the world in search of the latest in transportation tech and we saw some things that might be beneficial here is the States. Let's take a look at a few of these worldly ideas and see if any lessons could be applied back home.
Following in Ford's and Chevy's footsteps, Honda today announced a partnership with the car-sharing service Zipcar. The cars that will be added to the use-em-when-you-need-em fleet are going to be Honda's "latest advanced technology vehicles," which in this case means the Insight hybrid, the Fit EV (starting this fall), the Accord Plug-In Hybrid (in early 2013) and the new CR-V. Zipcar's technical name is that Honda is a "preferred vehicle manufacturer" and Honda sees the deal as a way for "urba
In a city as densely populated as Paris, driving your own car around is about as good of an idea as speaking English to every French person you encounter. Fortunately, Paris and similar cities are setup with substantial public transit systems. But for those moments when you need a car or bike, Paris has you covered.