Xcel Energy has teamed up with the nonprofit Hourcar to embark on a plan to create a 100 percent electric car-sharing service in the Twin Cities.
It's hoped that Hourcar can introduce the service by mid-2020, and intends to have converted its entire fleet to zero-emission electric vehicles (ZEVs) by the end of 2020.
"The Twin Cities is our home, and we want to help keep it clean and livable by doing our part to reduce emissions and congestion," Hourcar CEO Paul Schroeder said in a press release. "Hourcar hopes to be able to begin introducing some ZEVs into their fleet as early as next year.
"We are embracing a future that includes more electric vehicles on the road and partnering with Hourcar helps ensure that this future benefits all customers, the environment, and the electric grid we all rely upon," Chris Clark, Xcel Energy Minnesota president, added.
What is Hourcar?
Hourcar is a car-sharing nonprofit that places vehicles around the Twin Cities that members can reserve for as little as 30 minutes to up to 3 days.
Members can pick up the car from one of its 55 hubs around the Twin Cities, returning it to that same hub at the end of the rental period.
Here's how much it charges – with membership prices ranging from $6/month or $55/year.
But, under its new plans with Xcel, Hourcar intends to be more flexible in that it will allow renters to leave the car at any hub in the Twin Cities, not just the one they picked it up from.
It's also integrated with Metro Transit, allowing renters to use their Go-To card to get from their homes to car hubs so they can pick up their vehicle.
Hourcar is designed to give users flexible and affordable access to fuel-efficient cars people can use when they need, reducing the need to own and use their own car.
Now, pushing ahead with zero-emissions plans, it's hoping to further reduce pollution in the Twin Cities as well as provide greater service and air quality to underserved, low-income areas.