Cars zipcar ev chevy volt chicago

Published on March 22nd, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan


Zipcar Chicago Car Sharing Adds Electric Vehicles

March 22nd, 2012 by  


zipcar ev chevy volt chicago

New Zipcar Chevy Volt in Chicago.

Zipcar, as far as I know, is the largest car sharing company in the world. I was a member for years when I lived in Chapel Hill, NC, when it was still a young and largely unknown company, and I found it very useful for the few times when I thought I needed a car. So, short story: I’m a fan.

Now, an announcement today makes me an even bigger fan. Today, Zipcar announced the launch of “the company’s first large-scale electric vehicle (EV) pilot program.” The program will be in Chicago, where Zipcar’s much smaller, Chicago-only, nonprofit, car-sharing competitor I-GO launched “a $2.5-million electric vehicle (EV) project that will be the national leader in solar power for EVs” in December. I-GO has 35 EVs in its fleet as of this month.

Zipcar is now offering five Chevy Volts by the hour in Chicago, and up to 20 additional EVs will be added to the Chicago fleet throughout 2012.

“The new Zipcar EVs will be placed in pods located throughout the city, including locations on the University of Illinois at Chicago campus, as well as in the Loop, South Loop, River North, Gold Coast, Streeterville, Lincoln Park, and Albany Park,” Zipcar writes.

“Zipcar is working with a number of partners on this program, including 350Green, which is installing the EV charging stations where the Zipcar EVs will be located.  Other partners include the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Tishman Speyer, LAZ Parking and Cityfront Place Apartments, all of which are providing locations for the Zipcar EVs and charging stations in commercial and residential buildings, private parking lots and along the CTA rail system.”

Zipcar has also worked with the City of Chicago and the Chicago Area Clean Cities Coalition on this new program, as a part of the Chicago Climate Action Plan. As part of that climate action plan, “the City of Chicago is installing hundreds of electric vehicle charging stations for public use to help expand the EV infrastructure throughout the city.”

The first five Chevy Volts are available to members for $10/hour.

Generally, Zipcar or car sharing users don’t drive a long distance in these cars, making the program a perfect fit for the Chevy Volt. “Because many trips taken by Zipcar members are fewer than 35 miles, these trips taken in the Volts will be powered solely by electricity rather than fuel,” Zipcar notes.

If you’re in Chicago or will be visiting a this time, Zipcar is hosting a special event for this launch next weekend:

“To help introduce the new Chevrolet Volt EVs to Chicago Zipsters, Zipcar will hold an event on Saturday, March 31 where Chicago-area Zipcar members are invited to check out the new Volt vehicles and Zipcar members can take them for a test spin. The event will take place from 10am to 1pm at one of Zipcar’s partner locations, Cityfront Place Apartments, located at 400 N. McClurg Ct. in Chicago.”

Additionally, these first Zipcar EVs are now available at the following locations:

  • Cityfront Place Apartments 400 N. McClurg Ct. and 260 E. Chestnut St. in Streeterville
  • 210 N. Wells St. in the Loop
  • University Village at the University of Illinois-Chicago at 915 S. Paulina St. and 701 W. Maxwell St

Photo Credit: PRNewsFoto/Zipcar, Inc.

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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.

  • jburt56

    Car sharing is hobbled by insurance considerations.

    • Cost-wise?

      I loved it when I used it about 5-7 years ago. And it seems to have blown up since then. You just mean that it’s hard for the companies to make money?

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  • Jeff

    I think this is the best way for EV cars to get out to the public along with car rental companies because they can take the upfront costs off the buyer and allows people to experience EV type cars

    • Yeah, I think this is highly needed and should help a ton. Drive one a few times and I imagine many folks would feel a lot more comfortable about buying one.

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  • Kevin

    Zipcar is the “largest” carshare in the world. They have yet to turn a profit (for a full year), so they are far less successful than private companies like Communauto or AutoShare by that measure (who are both older and profitable). Even non-profits like IGO in Chicago and CityCarShare in San Francisco have shown surpluses. They are also WAY behind these transit-oriented carsharing companies in their Ev program, especially given their total fleet size. IGO CarSharing in Chicago has a program of 35 EV’s starting this month, and the 2 Canadian companies have had Ev fleets operating since last year.

    • Thanks. Will change that word.

      As you can see above, I do mention I-GO’s tremendous EV & solar segment — will add on a little more there.

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