A Nissan Leaf charging in Houston's Tranquility Park garage.

A Nissan Leaf charging in Houston's Tranquility Park garage.

CAMBRIDGE, MA – Zipcar and the City of Houston have partnered on a municipal electric vehicle sharing program for the City’s fleet. Through the program, 50 existing City-owned fleet vehicles, including 25 Nissan Leaf models, will be equipped with Zipcar’s FastFleet vehicle sharing technology. City employees across all departments will be able to use these vehicles.

For Houston, 50% of the City’s non-specialty light-duty fleet vehicles are hybrids. The City is deploying Zipcar’s FastFleet car sharing platform in the hybrid vehicles as well, and will use Zipcar's self-service online reservation and secure vehicle access system. The City expects the program to become more efficient, improve vehicle utilization, reduce costs, and further reduce the environmental impact of the fleet.

According to the City, Zipcar’s FastFleet system will allow it to better manage its fleet and optimize utilization and manage preventive maintenance, fueling, billing, and fleet distribution. It also provides reporting capabilities and will allow City staff to analyze vehicle usage and diagnostic data and spot overall trends in fleet usage via the system’s analytics.

The City of Houston chose Zipcar through a competitive bidding process, the City stated. The program is funded by the State Energy Conservation Office American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (SECO-ARRA) Transportation Program (SEP).

Other cities operting municipal car-sharing programs with Zipcar include Chicago and Boston.