2012 Honda Insight EX with NavigationEnlarge Photo
Car sharing services are often viewed as a green transportation alternative, the idea being that users may not need to own a car--or can dispense with a second vehicle--that they only use occasionally.
Now Zipcar says it plans to add more 42-mpg Honda Insight subcompact hybrid hatchbacks, as well as Honda CR-V compact crossovers, to its network of nationwide locations starting early next year.
Zipcar [NSDQ:ZIP] will also add a small number of 2013 Honda Fit EV all-electric cars when they become available later this year.
The Fit EV, however, will be an exceptionally low-volume vehicle--as Honda's announcement at last year's Los Angeles Auto Show made clear.
The company said then it would build just 1,100 of the converted subcompact hatchbacks.
They will also be leased only in limited markets--so many Zipcar customers will have no chance of renting one in their home city.
In addition, the car-sharing company will add Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid sedans to its fleet once that version of the all-new 2013 Accord mid-size sedan becomes available.
Honda launches Fit EV electric car and Accord plug-in hybrid test program in Torrance, CA, Dec 2010Enlarge Photo
According to the two companies, Zipcar members consistently ranked Honda vehicles among their most desired choices to rent.
Zipcar fleets already include Honda Insight, Civic, and CR-V models, and the companies first partnered to offer hybrid vehicles for car-sharing in Seattle in 2003.
Today's announcement follows an earlier deal with Ford targeting college student Zipcar members that will bring compact Focus sedans and hatchbacks and Escape compact crossovers into Zipcar's fleet.
Zipcar calls itself the world's leading car-sharing service, with almost 9,000 vehicles located in urban areas and on college campuses for use by more than 670,000 members in the U.S., Canada, Spain, and the U.K.