car2go - Portland, OREnlarge Photo
Just as with other car-sharing services, parking, fuel (or charge), maintenance, and insurance are all included in that cost. And typically, Car2Go says, members use the service 4,500 times a week in Portland, with the typical trip 30 to 45 minutes and covering only three to six miles.
Car2Go has more than 50,000 members in the U.S. and more than 120,000 members worldwide at this point; and since 2008, when it was established, there have been two million trips completed.
Car sharing is of course nothing new to Portlandia. The city has had car sharing since 1998, with FlexCar, a company that Zipcar eventually bought, and Zipcar offers a far wider range of vehicles in Portland, including an Audi A3, BMW 328i, pickups, and Toyota Prius and Nissan Altima Hybrid models. Zipcar has also been embraced with company-wide memberships for a number of major employers—including advertising presence Wieden + Kennedy.
According to Zipcar, every shared car takes at least 15 personally-owned vehicles (often older cars that pollute or leak fluids) off the road, and encourages more walking biking, and light-rail use.
“A huge part of Zipcar’s success, especially here in Portland, has been that our members feel that they are part of something larger than themselves and contribute to a more sustainable world by being a member,” commented Portland's Zipcar general manager, Jeremy Nelson. “We’ve built our brand on the back of our mission: to enable simple and responsible urban living; and our vision: a world in which car sharers outnumber car owners.”
Soak in the photosynthesis of that statement, then be sure to read about the Smart Electric Drive—and watch the video below to see why harpist Joanna Newsom really needs her own car-sharing membership.