Zipcar Reacts to High Gas Prices

Car-sharing network Zipcar (NASDAQ:ZIP) and Honda Motor Co. (NYSE:HMC) announced Wednesday that they have formed a partnership to provide Zipcar members with access to Honda’s fuel efficient, low-emission hybrid and electric vehicles. The agreement includes Honda’s Insight hybrid, the new CR-V compact SUV, the new Fit EV battery electric vehicle, Accord plug-in sedans, as well as a plug-in hybrid electric version of Honda’s Accord sedan. The cars will be available at select Zipcar locations beginning in early 2013.

As Zipcar said in a statement, the arrangement will allow “urban dwelling tech-savvy drivers to get first hand experience with the new technology and to share those experiences with their networks.” Examined in this light, the partnership has the potential to help promote the increased use of hybrid and electric vehicles, as Zipcar members use the cars and introduce them to their friends and families.

“The future of mobility is being shaped by economic forces, evolving technology and global trends, from increased urbanization to concerns about climate change to how the newest generation of drivers thinks about transportation,” said Scott Griffith, chairman and CEO of Zipcar. “This win-win partnership with Honda adds to Zipcar’s array of smart and sustainable transportation options and by introducing Zipsters to Honda’s newest hybrid and electric vehicles we can help increase overall awareness of these exciting new technologies.”

Zipcar was the first car sharing company in the United States to introduce electric cars in Boston in 2002, and the first to offer hybrid vehicles through a partnership with Honda in Seattle in 2003. Surveys of members have shown strong interest in including advanced technology and alternate-fuel vehicles in the program.

Zipcar is the world’s leading car-sharing service, with about 673,000 members and 8,900 vehicles in urban areas and college campuses in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Spain. Zipcar offers members access to vehicles by the hour or day.