Toyota-GM Partnership on Fuel Cells Imminent
USC Partners with Fraunhofer on Fuel Cells

Zipcar Car-Sharing Accelerates with $10M Infusion

Zipcar, a car-sharing rental company based in 21 cities in seven states, has secured $10M in funding in a round led by Benchmark Capital.

With the funding, Zipcar plans to immediately expand its service to additional major US metropolitan markets. As part of this expansion, Zipcar will launch West Coast operations, with plans to bring its service to Seattle, San Francisco and Portland, Oregon. The schedule for these rollouts will be announced on August 1, 2005.

Over the past year Zipcar has realized a 100%+ increase in members and vehicles and has become the first car-sharing service in North America to attain profitability in all of its markets. Zipcar has the largest active membership base of any car-sharing service, with 40,000 members signed since inception and more than 2,000 new members joining Zipcar’s service each month throughout metro New York, Boston and Washington, DC.

Zipcar’s rental fleet offers more than 20 different makes and models including the Volkswagen Jetta, Mazda 3, Toyota Prius, Volvo S40, MINI Cooper, BMW 325i, Scion xB, Ford Escape and Toyota Tacoma pickup truck.

Bob Kagle, a General Partner at Benchmark Capital, will join the Zipcar Board of Directors, effective immediately.

Zipcar members can reserve Zipcars online or by phone, 24 X 7. Zipcar members have automated access to Zipcars using a “Zipcard” to simply unlock the door and drive away. Rates start at $8.50 per hour and $59 per day, with gas, parking, insurance and XM Satellite Radio service included. Special business rates are also available for small to large-sized companies looking for a more convenient and cost-effective way of providing transportation for their employees.



It seems pricy, until you factor in
* gas
* parking
which are both included in the ~= $9.00 hourly rate.

The best part is that since gas is included, ZipCar actively tries to get vehicles that consume less petrol. As a result, their fleet mpg is far higher than the total American fleet.

So, ZipCar results in fewer cars purchased, fewer parking lots needed, and higher fuel efficiency, both because the vehicles are gas sippers and because people only use ZipCar when they really need it, not to just tool around town.

It's a great company, and I really hope they continue their growth.

As a side note, it'd be nice to see them work more closely with universities. Many colleges are looking to reduce the number of cars on campus while still providing services for their students. I'd love to see universities provide the "annual membership fee" as a student fee, and give all (eligible) students access for the hourly fee only.


If you aer lucky enough to live in Chicago, you can have the car share experience with I-GO, Chicago's only non-profit car share. Visit today!!


Don't forget about the insurance... That's included too! I have a small business and we've been using this service for the past few months. I cannot say enough about it. Great cars, great prices, and GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE! Picking up and dropping off is as easy as getting in and out of your car. Now that's convenience! I'm estimating an annual savings of $3,500 – $4,000 a year! I can't wait until they have more cities to choose from. How about airport locations?

The comments to this entry are closed.