Do Electric Vehicles Make Sense In Car Share Programs?

Frost & Sullivan predicts that by 2016, one-in-ten car share vehicles will be electric.

Published: 18-Jan-2011

Electric vehicle makers and car sharing services both face the challenge of changing popular thinking about personal mobility. Increasingly, they're tackling this challenge as a team, with car sharing providers including Connect by Hertz and City CarShare slated to introduce some of the earliest Nissan LEAF, Coda Electric Sedan, Chevy Volt, Mitsubishi i-MiEV and Smart ED electric models into their fleets.

In Paris, an all-electric car sharing program called Autolib is slated to kick off next fall, with support from the city government. But can EV technology fully integrate into the car sharing models that have been built upon gas powered vehicles in the U.S.? Or do car sharing programs with EVs only serve as a means for extended test drives?

City CarShare, a nonprofit car sharing organization based in San Francisco, Calif., recently secured a $1.7 million grant from the regional Metropolitan Transportation Committee to embark on a pilot project that could help answer some of these questions. More than 30 “electric-based vehicles” will be made available to City CarShare members as part of this project over the next two years, and charging infrastructure installed for the vehicles will be available for public use.

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