Flexcar and TerraPass Take the Carbon Out of Car-Sharing
WASHINGTON--Flexcar (www.flexcar.com) has already effectively removed thousands of cars from the roads and reduced millions of pounds of carbon emissions from the air. So how does Flexcar make its leading national network even better and “cooler”? By increasing the number of hybrid vehicles and partnering with TerraPass (www.terrapass.com), the leading provider of carbon offsets for individual consumers, to balance the entire carbon footprint of its fleet.
Flexcar has partnered with TerraPass to create a new type of membership -- the Green Membership -- to allow its members to balance the emissions from their Flexcar usage. The option, which costs $9.95 per year (in addition to the regular $35 annual Flexcar membership fee), effectively reduces one ton of carbon emissions for each Green Membership.
“Flexcar’s Green Membership is a new way for Flexcar and our members to extend our commitment to leading environmental stewardship,” said Mark Norman, Flexcar’s CEO. “Now, in addition to driving environmentally friendly vehicles, like hybrids, our members can effectively balance the impact of all of their Flexcar trips.”
TerraPass will use the funds to sponsor clean energy projects that are certified to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. All TerraPass purchases are verified by an independent third-party auditor, the non-profit Center for Resource Solutions. The Green Membership will also include supplementary benefits in the future, including discounts with some of Flexcar’s environmentally progressive partners.
“Flexcar’s members are already making a considerable contribution to the health of our planet,” said Tom Arnold, founder and chief environmental officer of TerraPass. “With Flexcar’s Green Membership, they can further reduce the environmental impact of their Flexcar use.”
Flexcar members can now save green in more ways than ever. Flexcar recently waived application fees for new members and annual fees for repeat users, making it easier than ever to join and renew. Flexcar gives its members the freedom of owning a car without the cost and hassles. Flexcar’s “point-click-drive” system lets members have a car just when they need it, paying for it just when they use it. Vehicles are parked in conveniently located reserved parking spots throughout cities across the country. Members reserve a Flexcar online or via touchtone phone, use their Flexcard to open the doors, take their trip, then return the car to its reserved parking location at the end of the reservation. A typical Flexcar rate is $9.00 per hour or about $60.00 per day, and it includes gas, premium insurance, 150 free miles, maintenance, parking and 24-7 emergency service.
The environmental by-products of car-sharing programs have been well-documented by independent research: members reduce vehicle miles traveled by 40 percent and each shared car removes up to 15 personally owned vehicles from the streets (Transportation Research Board).
Flexcar’s environmentally friendly fleet already achieves 40 percent better fuel economy than the average new vehicle sold in the U.S. One-third of the fleet is comprised of hybrid vehicles, the highest in the industry. The “coolest” fleet at Flexcar also includes MINI Coopers, Scion tCs, Mazda Miatas and the Lexus RX 400h luxury hybrid SUV.