Toyota Enters The Car-Sharing Biz With A Fleet Of Scion iQ Electric Cars
By Richard Read
144 viewsSep 12, 2013Follow Richard
2013 Scion iQ EV hits the U.S.
When Zipcar launched its car-sharing service nearly 14 years ago, many people shrugged. "Okay," they said, "that's an interesting alternative to rental cars, but it won't have any effect on the auto industry."
Oh, how times change. Today, car-sharing is becoming big business. General Motors saw the writing on the wall back in 2011, when it partnered with RelayRides. Now, Toyota's getting onboard with a slightly different program called Dash.
Dash is a joint venture of Toyota and City CarShare. While RelayRides provides a network for private car owners to loan out their vehicles, City CarShare is more like Zipcar, maintaining its own rentable fleet. To separate itself from the competition, though, City CarShare is a nonprofit, "with a mission to improve the environment and quality of life in our communities by promoting innovative mobility options. We provide convenient, affordable access to carsharing so that, together, we can reduce car dependency – and have a measurable impact in the way our communities live, breathe, work, and play."
Dash is based in Pleasanton, California at Hacienda, a mixed-use development that's home to hundreds of business. According to a press release, the pilot program "will offer short distance transportation options for both employer’s business needs and for their carpool, vanpool and public transportation commuters once they arrive to the park for work". In this way, Dash is a little like the GFleet that Google built for use on its Mountain View, California campus.