Zipcar, Honda announce OneWay carsharing with 2015 Fit | Harold Zeigler Honda Kalamazoo MI
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Date posted: June 2, 2014

Zipcar, Honda announce OneWay carsharing with 2015 Fit

Zipcar has been around for over a dozen years, and now shares more than 10,000 cars on a short-term basis with 850,000 members around the world. But there’s been one thing missing from the carsharing giant’s quiver of options: the one-way rental. That changes today. For a select few in Boston, anyway.

OneWay’s Boston launch is so soft that Zipcar says it’s not even sure how much it will charge.

Zipcar has announced a new one-way carsharing option called (annoyingly) ONE>WAY. This new program soft launches in Boston today, and it’s so soft that Zipcar says it’s not even sure how much it will charge drivers who use the new service. What we do know is that OneWay exclusively uses the 2015 Honda Fit and will allow drivers to rent by the half hour as they pick up and drop off in two different locations. The standard Zipcar model requires the cars to be brought back to the original location and has a one-hour minimum. At least one membership fee will cover both standard Zipcar and Zipcar OneWay.

The introduction of shorter-term, one-way rental may sound a bit like Car2go, the successful carsharing program started by Daimler. Zipcar representatives told AutoblogGreen that it did develop OneWay in response to member demand and that there are two main differences between the two carsharing services. First, since OneWay still uses the traditional reserved-for-Zipcar parking spot method (new ones will be established for OneWay), there will always be a guaranteed space when you arrive at your destination. Second, the Fit has a lot roomier than the Smart ForTwo used by Car2go. To see this point in action, check out the four happy hipsters in Zipcar’s new ad for OneWay below.

There are currently other Fits in Zipcar fleets in other cities, but the specially branded vehicles in the Boston trial program will need to be used with the OneWay vehicles. That means, for now at least, that users will specify a pick-up and drop-off location before renting the vehicle, said Kaye Ceille, the president of Zipcar. The 30-minute minimum might also someday be changed, depending on user feedback. There’s a lot up in the air right now, but Zipcar did say that despite the fact that OneWay is intended for short trips and has reserved parking, the Fit EV will not be involved. That car simply doesn’t offer the cargo flexibility that the standard Fit does and some of the reserved parking spots will be on the street, where putting in a charging station isn’t feasible.

Ceille told AutoblogGreen that, “As we learn the complexity or ease [of OneWay] over the next few months, that will determine our roll-out schedule.” She admitted it would be to Zipcar’s benefit to get OneWay rolling in every market, but it’s just to early to know for sure when that might happen. The current plan is to have OneWay fully functional for all Boston-are Zipsters by the fall. For more information, read the press release below.

Source: [Autoblog.com]


   
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