Honda (NYSE:HMC) has become Zipcar‘s (NYSE:ZIP) preferred vehicle manufacturer to source its fleet’s hybrid and electric vehicles and the car-sharing company will start adding the latest Insight, Civic, CR-V and Accord models from Honda to its fleet early next year. The Zipcar-Honda deal follows Zipcar’s partnership with Ford (NYSE:F) announced in August last year to source 1,000+ cars for its University Program, and the March launch of Chevrolet Volts is its first large-scale Electric Vehicle car sharing program in Chicago. Equipping its fleet with the latest, most advanced and low-emission, eco-friendly vehicles is a key component of Zipcar’s strategy to woo more people to subscribe to its services, which offer sustainable and collaborative consumption in transportation.
The membership-based car sharing company serves over 673K members with a fleet of over 9K vehicles in North America and Europe. Aside from competing with traditional rental companies and car-sharing services like Connect by Hertz, Enterprise’s WeCar, UHaul’s UCarShare and City Car Share, it also faces competition from new low-cost, peer-to-peer (P2P) car sharing services like RelayRides and GetAround.
Technologically Advanced Fleet For Tech-Savvy Consumers
Zipcar differentiates itself from competition like traditional car rental and peer-to-peer sharing not just through a different model of car-sharing, but also through its focus on latest technology, sustainability and eco-friendliness. While cost is the prime motivation for people to prefer car sharing and accessibility over ownership, the newest generation of drivers also weighs the aspects of eco-friendliness and technology while choosing their preferred car sharing service and vehicles. Hybrids and EVs are thus a natural fit to car-sharing programs, and Zipcar has pioneered in using advanced vehicle technologies, starting from introducing EVs and hybrids in Boston and Seattle 10 years ago. It has also recently launched its first large-scale electric vehicle (EV) program in Chicago with Chevrolet Volts, and is investing significantly in developing electric charging infrastructure.
Zipcar’s internal survey revealed its members consistently ranking Honda vehicles as their most favored. The partnership with Honda will provide Zipcar access to Honda’s latest technologically advanced, low emission and environment friendly hybrid and electric vehicles. Zipcar will add Honda’s Insight hybrid, the latest CR-V compact SUV and Accord Plug-In Sedans to its fleet early next year as well as introduce Honda’s battery electric vehicles (BEV) this fall.
We have a price estimate of $22 for Zipcar, about 65% ahead of the market price.