zipcar.jpg The citywide bike-sharing program embraced by Parisians and tourists that started one year ago was so successful that the mayor is proposing a four-wheeled version, using electric cars. The program dubbed Autolib’ will launch in late 2009 or early 2010 with a fleet of 4,000 non-polluting electric cars. (New York Times has the AP story)

Car-sharing is a growing trend in many countries. Businesses like Zipcar flourish as gas prices go up. Zipcar was born in the fall of 1999, when the two founders were sitting in a café, excited about a concept they had seen in Berlin while on vacation. Cars were parked around the city for members to drive by the hour instead of owning their own vehicles.

They put an American spin on it – outfitting the cars with wireless technology, creating a hassle-free reservation system and strategically placing the cars around key cities and neighborhoods. In June of 2000 the first Zipcars were on the road. The masses cam now drive cars by the hour or day – on their terms.

Today, tens of thousands of drivers use Zipcars, walking up to an empty car and placing their Zip card in to collect their reserved car. In many neighborhoods, Zipcars are as ubiquitous as ATMs and the service is active in 22 cities in the US and Canada.

Paris looks to take the concept one step greener with all-electric, non-polluting, cars…


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