American Honda Motor Co., Inc., and Flexcar announced that Flexcar will convert its entire Southern California fleet to Honda Civic Hybrids. Flexcar has purchased 28 ultra-efficient and clean Civic Hybrids, four of which will see duty in the company’s San Diego fleet while the remaining 24 hybrids will be used throughout the Los Angeles area. The company says this is the first application of an Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions vehicle (AT-PZEV) and the largest fleet delivery of hybrid vehicles for a car-sharing program.
“Southern California is the perfect venue for this program, which combines car sharing with ultra-efficient and clean hybrid technology to address the dual problems of traffic congestion and air quality,” said Dan Bonawitz, vice president of corporate planning and logistics for American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “We’re extremely pleased to be involved in this effort to deliver new and innovative transportation options to the citizens of Los Angeles and San Diego."
The 2003 Civic Hybrids are specially pre-wired to accommodate the installation of Flexcar’s telematics system, including the interface box, cellular antenna and card reader. The on-board/off-board system, co-developed by Honda and Flexcar, provides users with a secure access system that offers tracking and an Internet-based phone reservation system.
According to the company, the 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid is the first-ever hybrid vehicle to earn certification as an Advanced Technology Partial Zero-Emissions Vehicle from California’s Air Resources Board (CARB).
Headquartered in Seattle, Flexcar says its program provides members with access to a fleet of vehicles located throughout a metropolitan area. Members reserve the vehicles for hourly use, with Flexcar covering the cost of the car, gas, parking, insurance and maintenance. Members pay only for the time they use the vehicle.
Honda says it has been involved in car sharing programs since the introduction of its Intelligent Community Vehicle System (ICVS) concept in 1994. ICVS is designed to supplement existing public transportation modes by sharing a limited number of cars or other personal transportation resources among many users.