There’s an incredible amount of buzz these days about electric vehicles – and rightly so – but, from a climate change and air quality standpoint, EVs are only one piece of the puzzle. If we’re to really have an impact on transportation-related emissions, we have to employ a suite of proven tools to reduce the number of single-occupancy vehicle trips: public transit, active transportation, carpooling & car sharing.
This is what makes AutoShare’s recent announcement all the more exciting. Way back in 1998, the Toronto Atmospheric Fund provided AutoShare with a $20,000 start up loan to help get them off the ground. Today, they boast over 10,000 members and hundreds of vehicles, making it easier for Toronto residents, businesses and non-profits to forego car ownership, save money and reduce the amount of driving they do while sharing a sedan, pickup truck or convertible.
In 2007, AutoShare joined eight other local fleets to pilot test a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) conversion kit. This was their first foray into the integration of electric vehicles into their fleet. Four years later, as a partner in TAF’s FleetWise EV300 initiative, AutoShare is still demonstrating their leadership and commitment to the environment by joining over a dozen other fleets to work collaboratively to procure, drive, charge and evaluate fleet-based electric vehicles.
Concerns about range capability and charging requirements for EVs mean it won’t be a quick introduction for car sharing fleets. However, AutoShare is taking a smart, measured approach to see how they can work alongside their members – average drivers who sometimes need four-wheels to visit family, go shopping or hit the local drive-in – to understand what it means to share an EV.
And this is what makes this so exciting: low-emission vehicles plus a low-emission transportation solution to help local residents and businesses tackle climate change. Fewer trips, fewer fossil fuels and fewer cars on the road.
This is what sustainable transportation looks like and we’re excited to be along for the ride.