Zipcar has announced a new one-way carsharing option called (annoyingly) ONE>WAY. This new program soft launches in Boston today, and it's so soft that Zipcar says it's not even sure how much it will charge drivers who use the new service. What we do know is that OneWay exclusively uses the 2015 Honda Fit and will allow drivers to rent by the half hour as they pick up and drop off in two different locations. The standard Zipcar model requires the cars to be brought back to the original location and has a one-hour minimum. At least one membership fee will cover both standard Zipcar and Zipcar OneWay.
OneWay's Boston launch is so soft that Zipcar says it's not even sure how much it will charge.
The introduction of shorter-term, one-way rental may sound a bit like Car2go, the successful carsharing program started by Daimler. Zipcar representatives told AutoblogGreen that it did develop OneWay in response to member demand and that there are two main differences between the two carsharing services. First, since OneWay still uses the traditional reserved-for-Zipcar parking spot method (new ones will be established for OneWay), there will always be a guaranteed space when you arrive at your destination. Second, the Fit has a lot roomier than the Smart ForTwo used by Car2go. To see this point in action, check out the four happy hipsters in Zipcar's new ad for OneWay below.
There are currently other Fits in Zipcar fleets in other cities, but the specially branded vehicles in the Boston trial program will need to be used with the OneWay vehicles. That means, for now at least, that users will specify a pick-up and drop-off location before renting the vehicle, said Kaye Ceille, the president of Zipcar. The 30-minute minimum might also someday be changed, depending on user feedback. There's a lot up in the air right now, but Zipcar did say that despite the fact that OneWay is intended for short trips and has reserved parking, the Fit EV will not be involved. That car simply doesn't offer the cargo flexibility that the standard Fit does and some of the reserved parking spots will be on the street, where putting in a charging station isn't feasible.
Ceille told AutoblogGreen that, "As we learn the complexity or ease [of OneWay] over the next few months, that will determine our roll-out schedule." She admitted it would be to Zipcar's benefit to get OneWay rolling in every market, but it's just to early to know for sure when that might happen. The current plan is to have OneWay fully functional for all Boston-are Zipsters by the fall. For more information, read the press release below.
Featuring Spacious & Versatile 2015 Honda Fit
New service blends convenience of one-way trips with reliability of parking in a reserved spot at the drop-off location
BOSTON - May 2, 2014 – Zipcar, Inc. today announced "ONE>WAY", a new service that will enable members to take point-to-point trips within cities, and to and from select airport locations. The new service, currently being tested and slated to launch in select markets later this year, will exclusively feature the Honda Fit, the fun-to-drive, fuel-efficient and versatile subcompact that is small enough to zip in and around cities, yet large enough to comfortably fit up to five people and their gear. Honda's role in the Zipcar ONE>WAY service continues its long legacy in car sharing dating back to the introduction of its Intelligent Community Vehicle System (ICVS) concept in 1994.
The new Zipcar ONE>WAY service will enable members to reserve and pick up a Honda Fit Zipcar at a designated location and drop it off at another with a guaranteed parking spot. Zipcar's new service not only benefits members through increased flexibility, but also helps reduce congestion in cities as members are not circling the block searching for parking. Zipcar ONE>WAY, combined with the company's industry-leading round-trip model, will offer members the most comprehensive mobility option available.
"Our ONE>WAY service blends the best of Zipcar – guaranteed parking and advance reservations – with the best of the one-way model – spontaneity and the freedom to leave a car in a different location," said Zipcar President Kaye Ceille. "Zipcar ONE>WAY, combined with our global fleet of more than 10,000 vehicles with 30 different makes and models, offers members the most options, the most flexibility and the largest global network of any mobility provider."
The all-new 2015 Honda Fit has become even more of a standout choice in the subcompact segment with its small-on-the-outside exterior and big-on-the-inside interior passenger and cargo space. Available through Zipcar ONE>WAY later this year, the 2015 Fit features a fresh and modern design, a powerful and efficient engine, plus a highly versatile interior loaded with standard equipment essential for urban driving like a rearview camera and Bluetooth® hands-free connectivity. The surprisingly roomy 2015 Fit interior provides an impressive 95.7 cubic feet of passenger volume with comfortable seating for up to five passengers with ample storage space behind the rear seats.
For enhanced versatility, the Fit is equipped with the Honda-exclusive 60/40 split rear Magic Seat® which offers multiple seating and cargo-carrying configurations to accommodate long items up to eight feet long or tall items like plants. With its one-motion dive-down functionality, it can fold flat into the floor to provide nearly 53 cu-ft. of rear cargo volume. That's more cargo area than the average SUV, offering enough space to allow for 10 carry-on sized suitcases. On top of its superior cargo capabilities, the 2015 Fit is a class leader in fuel efficiency with an EPA fuel-economy rating1 of 33/41/36 for the LX trim with a new Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).
"Created for urban mobility, the Fit subcompact and Zipcar ONE>WAY service will offer Zipsters the best of sustainable city transportation in a functional, stylish and fuel efficient package," said Steven Center, vice president of the Environmental Business Development Office at American Honda. "Honda has long been involved in the car sharing industry, and we believe that this program will help reduce emissions and city congestion while providing a new level of freedom and convenience to customers."
"This combination of roominess, flexibility and fuel efficiency makes the Fit a perfect fit for our One>Way service," continued Ceille. "With this initiative, we build on a long and successful relationship with Honda, whose leadership in sustainability and engagement with the car sharing industry during the past decade has helped accelerate the growth of the car sharing category."
For more than a decade members have trusted Zipcar for a variety of round-trips, from the ordinary (grocery store runs) to the extraordinary (weddings). With the launch of Zipcar ONE>WAY, members will soon have more flexibility in the types of trips they can take. More information on the partnership and Zipcar ONE>WAY is available via the web at www.zipcar.com/oneway
Zipcar, the world's leading car sharing network, has operations in urban areas and college campuses throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Spain and Austria. Zipcar offers more than 30 makes and models of self-service vehicles by the hour or day to residents and businesses looking for smart, simple and convenient solutions to their urban and campus transportation needs. Zipcar is a subsidiary of Avis Budget Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: CAR), a leading global provider of vehicle rental services. More information is available at www.zipcar.com.
Honda offers a complete lineup of fuel-efficient cars and trucks through a network of more than 1,000 dealerships in the United States. Honda has more than 30 years of experience producing automobiles in the region, which began with the Accord in Marysville, Ohio, in November 1982. Having produced nearly 27 million vehicles in North America through 2013 using domestic and globally sourced parts, Honda currently operates 15 major manufacturing facilities in North America, producing a wide range of Honda automobiles, all-terrain vehicles, power equipment products, engines and transmissions. The 2015 Fit will be manufactured for the first time in North America at the new Honda plant in Celaya, Mexico. With the introduction of the new manufacturing facility in Mexico, Honda's North American automobile production facilities will have a total annual capacity of 1.92 million units, with the capability to manufacture vehicles in all product segments, from subcompacts to light truck models.
1 Based on 2015 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your actual mileage will vary depending driving conditions, how the vehicle is driven and maintained, and other factors.