For every Zipcar vehicle used, 15 personally-owned cars are taken off the road. Zipcar, which was founded in 2000, is a US-based shared-transport program wherein drivers can reserve a car for use for either a monthly-rate or per-use fee. The program depletes the need to own a car and allows drivers access to a vehicle on an as-needed basis. Often reservations can be made the same day.
It is expected that 10 percent of populations will adopt shared-transport in the future. Shared transport is often a cheaper alternative to car-ownership, depleting the cost of insurance, maintenance, and even gas. Drivers using Zipcar are obliged to ensure the gas tank remains 1/4 or more full, otherwise all fuel is paid for by the company.
Unfortunately, they do not provide full-electric cars. This may remain the case until we begin to see accessible installments of charging stations sprout up throughout the country. They do, however, have a fairly extensive collection of hybrid cars available. And while combustion engine cars are not ecologically ideal, sharing gas-powered cars still reduces fuel use by a considerable amount. Yearly, Zipcar’s implementation has translated to a savings of 32 million gallons of crude oil.
Additionally, Zipcar comes as a great convenience, for those living in tight urban spaces where parking space is limited. And with fewer cars being driven, there is less need to create more parking lots elsewhere.
Beyond personal use, Zipcar assists businesses who wish to deliver products and services without the hassle of owning a company car. Universities have also taken advantage of the program. Not only does this lower costs to students, staff, and faculty, but alleviates on-campus congestion and allows for a better flow of pedestrian traffic.
Of those who already use Zipcar’s services, 90 percent now drive 5,500 miles or less per year. This adds up to an average savings of 219 million gallons of gas per car.
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