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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.

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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.

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Could this replace a new car for you?

Car sharing has become big business, and it is getting bigger and more competitive. The purchase by Avis/Budget of Zipcar for a reported $491 million is just the latest big name trying to share a piece of the car sharing pie.

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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.

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Car sharing is catching on so much that rental car giant Avis has purchased the best-known brand in that industry, Zipcar, for $500 million.

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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

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Rental giant wants in on the trend

Car sharing is catching on so much that rental car giant Avis has purchased the best-known brand in that industry, Zipcar, for $500 million.

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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?

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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.

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The San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers may have one of sports' most heated rivalry, but at least one Bay Area company has no issues collaborating with some folks down south.

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The newest San Francisco treat just might be the Honda Fit EV, which car-sharing service Zipcar says will be available to its customers there starting this month.

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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

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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.

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Will carsharing become a viable solution for American consumers concerned about traffic congestion, air pollution and making hefty car payments? Will it ever be an appealing transportation alternative, as it is in Europe? It depends on who you ask.

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Austin, TX has always been known for great live music and delicious southern food. But as the town grows, it's becoming known for its smart transportation strategy. In this week's episode, we went to Austin to see what all the buzz about.

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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.

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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

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Longtime Saturday Night Live fans will fondly recall a number of skits in which a group of Chicago sports fans referred to their hometown football team as "Da Bears." Now, they'll have "Da Volt."

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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.

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Daimler AG's Car2go car-sharing service, which has North American operations in San Diego, Vancouver and Austin, TX, will start the open-ended car-sharing program in Washington, D.C., and Portland, OR, later this month.

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Could peer-to-peer car sharing be coming of age? The nascent business model got a huge shot in the arm today, in the form of $13.7 million of funding for Wheelz, a car sharing program based on college campuses. Zipcar, of course, is the 800-pound gorilla of the car sharing ecosystem, operating in three countries and boasting nearly 700,000 clients. Perhaps equally important is that among those bankrolling Wheelz is Fontinalis Partners, a Detroit-based investment firm founded by Bill Ford, Execut

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