Car sharing users are expected to grow to more than 12 million worldwide by 2020 according to a recent report.
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Hertz announced today that it will soon introduce its own spin on car sharing services like Zipcar and Car2Go.
Denver will become the 10th North American city with car2go service on June 8 when the Daimler subsidiary begins offering its car sharing service there.
The number of households in America without a vehicle has doubled over the past two decades, with 9.3 percent of American households going carless last year.
Zipcar, the leading car sharing service in North America, is set to be bought by car rental firm Avis Budgest group for about $500 million, which breaks down to $12.25 per share.
GM is introducing a new way for people who own its cars to make money: integrating a car sharing service with OnStar.
Car sharing programs allow you to rent out your car to strangers for a fee, but if said stranger is involved in an accident, you could catch some of the blame.
There were probably a few times in college when you and your friends really wished someone had a car you could use for a little while.
Maybe you needed to get groceries, or beer, or just a healthy distance from dorm rooms and campus nonsense. Whatever the need, California-based company Wheelz Inc. is trying to address it by linking students who have cars, and don’t always need them, with campus members who need short-term wheels.
Wheelz Inc., uses the idea of peer-to-peer car sharing to offer students a specifically-targeted platform for getting a car when they need one. The company received a major boost when Zipcar, the industry leader in car sharing, invested $13.7 million in their project.
“One of the reasons we’re excited to partner with Zipcar is that they bring a decade of operational experience,” Wheelz CEO Jeff Miller said.
That operational experience, according to Miller, will play a key role in helping Wheelz grow as a business in the future. Currently, anyone associated with Stanford, UC Berkeley, USC and UCLA are able to participate in the program. Students, administrators, teachers and anyone with a “.edu” email address from a participating campus may participate.
During their first day of public trading on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange in New York, shares of Zipcar Inc., the car sharing organization, jumped by as much as 67 percent, opening at $30, considerably higher than the initial offering price.
The company, created in 2003, managed to raise $174.3 million to enact an Initial Public Offering of stock on April 13; 31 percent greater that it initially sought on the market. Selling 9.7 million shares at $18 a piece (up from original plans for 8.3 million at $14-$16), the results of the first day’s trading (up to $30 a share and closing at $28),were strong encouragement, especially since in 2010, Zipcar posted a net loss of some $14.1 million (up from $4.67 million a year earlier).
Nevertheless, revenue increased in the same period by some 42 percent, to $186.1 million and now, with hot demand for its publicly traded stock, the company hopes to reduce debt and continue plans to expand internationally.
Currently, Zipcar boasts a network of 230 campuses and operates in 14 different cities in the US, Canada and the United Kingdom.
[Source: Automotive News]
On of the world’s top car sharing companies, Zipcar, is planning to make an initial public offering. It recently amended its Securities and Exchange Commission filing, and is now seeking about $89.2 million from sale of 8.3 million shares at around $14-16 each.
The company has been in business since 1999 with regional service for its by-the-hour hybrid rentals. Zipcar has been making money, but also plagued by expenses keeping it from being an outright success story.
Nevertheless, it is moving forward to sell 6.6 million shares with stockholders selling an additional 1.6 million. The deal is being underwritten by Goldman Sachs and Co. and JPMorgan.
The company is expected to be listed on the NASDAQ exchange under “ZIP.” This is essentially what the company netted after losses in 2009, when the green company reported being $4.7 million in the red.
It has garnered 400,000 paying customers in the decade since opening. Some of its IPO will go toward repayment of debt.
BMW is looking for an alternative to traditional purchasing options for their upcoming MegaCity urban vehicle, as the high cost of developing substantially new technology may result in the vehicle becoming prohibitively expensive for consumers. Among the projects being considered are a car-sharing service similar to the one operated by Daimler for their Smart car EVs. “More and more people in large cities are looking for an alternative to the ownership of a vehicle,” said Ian Robertson, BMW’s sales chief, in an interview with Automotive News.
The Megacity represents a radical shift from the traditional automobile by using a full electric drivetrain combined with a passenger cell constructed entirely from carbon fiber. The vehicle’s construction is said to be different from a traditional unibody, and doesn’t require things like paint or conventional crash protection methods. Naturally, the cost of the new technology will be astronomical, and the 6-year engineering time needed for the car will seem paltry compared to the challenge of selling and marketing such a car.
[Source: Automotive News]
Are company cars destined to be a relic of the past? Probably not, but companies are begging to adopt a new kind of corporate vehicle, one that can be paid for by the hour and operated by Hertz or Zipcar, two of the biggest names in auto-sharing programs.
An article in the New York Times focuses on Hertz’s Connect by Hertz program, as well as Zipcar, which are seeing an increasing number of corporate clients. Employees can use the cars for anything from sales calls to grocery shopping, and the cost savings are substantial. One Boston area firm cut costs from $43,000 per employee to $6,500, just by switching from a livery car service to Zipcar.
At a cost of only $5 per hour to the employees, which includes parking, gas and insurance, car-sharing looks like a no brainer, even if the fleet is heavily skewed to the Toyota Prius and other less than exciting vehicles.
[Source: New York Times]
We’ve been seeing a glut of stories lately about Generation Y and their increasing distance from the automobile. A new study shows that while Generation X made up 21% of the miles driven in 1995, Generation Y made up only 14% of them in 2010.
The usual reasons have been trotted out, like the economic downturn, the rise of electronic gadgets replacing the car as a status symbol and the graduated licensing program making it harder for new drivers to get on the road. The latest trend of prolonging education, via grad school or taking longer to do an undergrad degree, also means that owning a car becomes more difficult.
Interestingly, car sharing services like Zipcar have been cited as an obstacle to car ownership, but is also seen as a more attractive alternative, meaning that the costs of car ownership, rather than driving itself, is what’s really bothering young people.
[Source: Kicking Tires]