Zipcar, Inc., the world’s leading car sharing network, and American Honda Motor Co., Inc. today announced that Honda has become a Zipcar preferred vehicle manufacturer with a focus on hybrid and electric vehicles. The agreement will give Zipcar members access to Honda’s most technologically advanced, lowest emission vehicles, making an already transformational service even more sustainable.
The agreement will include the expansion of Honda’s Insight hybrid, the all-new CR-V compact SUV, as well as the introduction of Fit EV battery electric vehicles (BEV) this fall and Accord Plug-In Sedans, a plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) version of its popular Accord Sedan, to select Zipcar locations beginning in early 2013.
Zipcar’s platform is ideal for the inclusion of these types of vehicles as it allows urban dwelling tech-savvy drivers to get first hand experience with the new technology and to share those experiences with their networks. It also helps Zipcar respond to member preferences, which consistently rank Honda vehicles as among the most favored.
“The future of mobility is being shaped by economic forces, evolving technology and global trends, from increased urbanization to concerns about climate change to how the newest generation of drivers thinks about transportation,” said Scott Griffith, chairman and CEO of Zipcar. “This win-win partnership with Honda adds to Zipcar’s array of smart and sustainable transportation options and by introducing Zipsters to Honda’s newest hybrid and electric vehicles we can help increase overall awareness of these exciting new technologies.”
The agreement with Zipcar builds upon Honda’s long history of studying EVs and other alternative fuel vehicle usage in urban transportation settings.
“Honda provides the most comprehensive lineup of vehicles that offer improved fuel efficiency, reduced emissions, and enhanced vehicle and pedestrian safety, while producing a consistently high level of product quality and value,” said Steven Center, vice president of the Environmental Business Development Office at American Honda. “As the car sharing market leader, Zipcar is the best choice for us to showcase our newest energy-efficient transportation technologies, given the strength of their brand, their tech-savvy, conscious and connected members and the geographic reach of their operations.”
Honda’s 2013 Fit EV, based on its popular Fit hatchback, targets an estimated 123 city-mile per charge (76 mile range combined adjusted city/highway) and can fully recharge its battery in as little as three hours when connected to a 240-volt circuit. The 2013 Honda Accord PHEV uses an all-new, two-motor hybrid system which continuously moves through three different modes – all-electric, with up to 15 mile per charge range; gasoline-electric; and direct-drive – to maximize driving and fuel efficiency, especially during city driving.
With this partnership, Zipcar will provide members even greater access to proven Honda models already in Zipcar’s service including the Insight, Civic and CR-V. The all-new, five-passenger 2012 Honda CR-V is currently America’s best-selling compact SUV providing a more fuel-efficient engine design with upscale exterior styling, and added standard technology features and functionality. Now in its ninth generation, the conventional gasoline-powered 2012 Civic Sedan achieves improved fuel economy. The five-passenger Honda Insight hybrid offers a sleek, aerodynamically styled look, more features and improved fuel economy.
Zipcar is a longstanding pioneer in using advanced vehicle technologies, having been the first car sharing company in the United States to introduce electric vehicles in Boston in 2002, and the first to offer hybrid vehicles through a partnership with Honda in Seattle in 2003. Member surveys show a strong interest in the use of advanced technology and alternate fuel vehicles in the program.