- Zipcar adds Honda as preferred vehicle provider
- Honda focuses on hybrids and EV, and expands Zipcar's fleet of all-new CR-Vs
- Plug-in hybrids and full electric vehicles will be offered
The first car sharing service to add hybrids and electric vehicles to its fleet, Zipcar has offered members green car choices for nearly a decade. Zipcar allows members to use a car only when they need it, keeping costs low. And with a range of models, membership allows drivers to try different vehicles, including EVs and hybrids. Zipcar's latest deal with Honda means more alternatively powered options in the fleet, and more conventionally powered Hondas, too.
Honda is now a preferred vehicle manufacturer for Zipcar, focusing on providing hybrids and electric vehicles to the car sharing service. That means expansion of the conventionally powered, completely redesigned 2013 Honda CR-V in the fleet, as well as expansion of Zipcar's fleet of Insight hybrids. Plus, Zipcar will add new Honda hybrids and EVs soon.
Once a small, two-seat model, the Insight is a now a five-door hatchback with a shape similar to Toyota's Prius hybrid. The Insight is a versatile vehicle ideal for the Zipcar fleet, with space for five passengers and fold-down rear seats to accommodate cargo. Expect more Insights in the Zipcar fleet now that Honda is a preferred vendor.
This fall, Zipcar will add the Honda Fit EV in certain areas, allowing Zipcar members to try out driving a fully electric vehicle. Also a five-door hatchback, the electric Fit can travel about 120 miles in city driving (or 76 miles in combined city/highway driving) before requiring a recharge, an excellent range for an EV.
The Accord Plug-In will also allow electric-only cruising, but without the shorter range typical of pure EVs. The plug-in hybrid Accord can be charged using power from the electrical grid, but like the Chevrolet Volt, includes a gasoline motor for longer range trips. The Accord Plug-In is expected to join the Zipcar fleet in early 2013.
In addition to providing occasional drivers with a low-cost transportation solution, Zipcar also gives its members a chance to try out new technology. The company says its clients, tech-savvy and urban-dwelling, can provide feedback about the products and spread the word about their experiences with these vehicles.
That makes Zipcar a win for Honda. And since Zipcar members consistently rank Honda among their favorites, more Hondas in the fleet is a win for Zipcar members, too.
What it means to you: With more hybrids, plug-ins and electrics joining the fleet, Zipcar gives drivers a chance to try before they buy, or even to try just for the fun of it.