Bob Veres, Inside Information, recently reported on an interesting trend: car clubs, where members pay an annual fee and then rent their cars, when they need them, by the hour on a pay-as-you-go basis. The market leader, Zipcar in Cambridge, MA, has 400,000 members, mostly in America. It is in the process of purchasing Streetcar, the market leader in London.
So-called “zipsters” book their car by phone or online, pick it up from a nearby parking bay and unlock it with their Zipcard. When they finish, they leave the car in a neighborhood parking bay. The consulting firm Frost & Sullivan calculates that car owners who drive 12,000 miles a year would save $1,834, on average, by shifting to a car-sharing service. The article notes that these rental fleets have become reliable markets for electric vehicles, which could be good news for the auto industry looking to introduce more of these cars in the future. You can read more here.