Zipcar is an American company that allows members to pick up a car in one section of a city, drive it to their destination and leave the car at that place. There is no need to return a car to a rental agency.
Zipcar is now planning to expand into the London market with a fleet of all-electric vehicles. Zipcar has an agreement with Volkswagen to supply 300 Volskwagen e-Golfs to the city of London by the end of 2018. These vehicles will produce absolutely no greenhouse gas emissions.
This new expansion is viewed as having winners in multiple areas. Zipcar will be able to expand its business in one of the busiest cities in the world. There are currently 200,000 registered Zipcar members in the greater London area.
Those who don’t want to own a car will benefit from the service. Many only need a car occasionally, and this service will meet a growing need.
London is having air-quality issues, and the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has issued a transportation initiative that has called for more utilization of public transportation. He also wants car free days in some areas. However, zero emission cars such as this Volkswagen e-Golfs would help to alleviate some of the air quality problems within the city.
Another potential winner is Volkswagen. The scandal surrounding Volkswagen’s diesel cars has hurt the company. Good publicity from its association with Zipcar can only help to boost Volkswagen’s reputation.
If this initial roll out of e-vehicles is successful, Zipcar plans to add additional vehicles to its London fleet. By the end of the year, the number of Zipcar zero emission vehicles in London may be near 325.
Ride sharing has become a thing of the present, replacing a large percentage of taxi services with companies like Uber and Lyft. So it’s only natural that car sharing takes its place in today’s society, gaining control of market shares traditional rental car services once held–in comes Zipcar.
This year in London, the car sharing company has plans to roll out a fleet of 300 Volkswagen e-Golfs under its Flex Service; with the use of the Zipcar app, Londoners can pick up their rental cars, then when they’re finished using them, are free to park them anywhere in the city. In this techcrunch article the company’s UK general manager says that the people in London are embracing the option of sharing cars in lieu of owning their own vehicles, and that this is a trend the company sees growing. The Volkswagen e-Golf is a battery-operated car without the gas tank, which spares the environment of the toxic byproducts and pollution that comes about when burning fossil fuels. The London Mayor’s Transport Strategy wishes to achieve just that–cleaner air, cleaner streets, and Zipcar fits comfortably into that plan for the future. The company plans to start off with 300 electric cars for the summer, and eventually cap it at 325.
Volkswagen also had positive things to say about this ambitious move in the techcrunch article, with their UK managing director stating that people are looking forward to this plan, and also the partnership between Volkswagen and Zipcar, because the result is the opportunity to rent a car whenever you want without hurting the environment with toxic emissions. And she also notes that the thousands of Zipcar members in London will get to experience the ease of using an all-electric vehicle, namely their e-Golf sedans.