Monday, April 09, 2007

Zipcar vs Co-operative Auto Network?

Vancouver recently welcomed Zipcar - another car-sharing service.

The VSEF views the arrival of Zipcar as a great opportunity for the Co-operative Auto Network. We're also keen to witness and compare the respective accomplishments - if they can be tracked/shared - of the two distinct business models. As mentioned in an earlier post.

The CBC, on Thursday, reported:
Boston-based Zipcar has 100 brand new cars in a parking lot in downtown Vancouver.

The company's CEO, Scott Griffith, said he was drawn to Vancouver by its lifestyle-conscious population.

"The typical Vancouverite is someone who is interested in advancing urban lifestyle, and very interested in the environmental benefits of companies like Zipcar."

Zipcar's competition, the Co-operative Auto Network, has seen rapid growth during its decade in business, said executive director Tracey Axelsson.

"It has grown exponentially in the first few years, and at least 35 per cent in recent months. We're currently exceeding all of our expectations for growth," she said.

You can read the Zipcar press release, it's a "full on" trumpeting of the "global" organizations capabilities and aspirations.

Griffith is "quoted" in the press release saying:
"Our mission to remove personally-owned cars from urban streets is a perfect match with Vancouver's leading green initiatives. At Zipcar, we have seen that a switch from car owner to car sharer sparks a behaviour change resulting in thousands of personally owned cars coming off the roads. In addition, our members save money that was wasted on under-used cars – a significant share of that savings will be spent in the local economy."

From the same document:
About Zipcar

Zipcar is a leading urban lifestyle brand that provides an alternative to car ownership to more than 90,000 consumer and business drivers worldwide. By providing urbanites with hourly and daily access to fun, affordable, and conveniently-located vehicles, Zipcar has grown to be the world's largest and fastest growing car sharing service, currently operating more than 2,500 vehicles in London and 14 North American states and provinces, including metropolitan Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, New York, San Francisco, Toronto, Washington, DC., and Vancouver. With Zipcar's award-winning technology, accessing and using a Zipcar is as easy as getting cash from an ATM. In minutes or up to a year in advance, members can reserve Zipcars online or by phone, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Zipcar members have automated access to any Zipcar across North America and the United Kingdom using a "Zipcard" to simply unlock the door and drive away.

Until we get to know Zipcar better, we'll rely on Torontoist's Car Sharing Shootout to offer a glimpse of the future of car-sharing in Vancouver.

Here are some other links on car-sharing:

--------------------- Tags for information about: for:vsef, Social Economy, Nonprofit, TechSoup


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