Sunday, May 10, 2009

Zipcar.....behind the scenes

Everyone knows how convenient Zipcars are for their members. As a long time user and fan, I was quite excited by a recent opportunity to speak with Ellice Perez of the Washington, DC Zipcar location.

Here are some quick facts that you may or may not know about Zipcar:

  • Members who give up their cars save an average of $600 a month.

  • Zipcar estimates that “Ninety-five percent of people living in the 15 largest cities don’t need to own cars. If just 5 percent of those people sign up, there will be a million members”.

  • Zipcars are cleaned at least every 9 days. In most locations, cleaning a car uses less than 1 gallon of water. Alexandria, Virginia cars are cleaned using waterless technology.

  • Zipcar currently has approximately 300,000 members and 5,500 cars in London and North America.

  • The company estimates that for every Zipcar introduced into an area, 15-20 cars are taken off the road.

  • The Zipcar fleet averages 28 miles per gallon. (Not bad at all!)

Luckily, for all of us users, there is a projected 40 percent growth in other people are realizing the benefits. Carbon emissions from transport account for a large proportion of the global total, and the more travelers can hop on the bus or walk the better. However, there are sometimes when a car is necessary.

One of the truly exciting results of Zipcar is that the service is actually changing behavior – users are more likely to take a walk or cycle, resulting in a healthier population. While cars are not going to disappear from city streets overnight, a steady reduction in road use will help the planet and could give people a better quality of life.

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