The not-so-new, but certainly newly popular concept of car sharing has been all over the news lately. From the all-electric fleet of worldwide companies, to smaller start-ups coordinating personal car owners to rent out their vehicles to others, car sharing may be finding a unique time in history where it may be the perfect solution for many people. Given the struggling economy, rising fuel prices, and higher level of environmental awareness around the world, many individuals are taking advantage of this alternative take on transportation.
These are a few (among many) emerging car sharing companies that are taking advantage of the new momentum and interest in the concept:
1. Car2Go is a company that offers a form of short term, low fee, all-inclusive car rental that allows people to use a membership access code to enter and start a car, drive to where they need to go, and park it within any specified zone throughout the city when they are done. The next car share member can then just walk up, use their card to see if the car is available, enter their code, and drive away! Car2Go is one of the very few car sharing companies to have an all-electric fleet; it is comprised entirely of Daimler’s Smart Fortwo city cars.
2. Zipcar is another large car-sharing company with its own fleet of vehicles, although it only offers conventional vehicles and hybrids; no EVs. It has a similar membership access method and rules of operation to Car2Go and options of various vehicle types (trucks, SUVs, coupes, and sedans alike).
3. RelayRides is a Craigslist-like, peer-to-peer, personal car sharing “marketplace” that allows people to post a photo of their vehicles with an hourly price for others to rent.
Is car sharing a way to greener transportation and reduced carbon output? When is car sharing most practical to use? Share your thoughts below!