Zipcar e-golf
Zipcar e-golf

Our road to electrification


It’s just over 3 years since Zipcar set out its vision to have a fully electric UK fleet by 2025. With just four years to go, we have created a report to share the progress we have made while highlighting the challenges that could present barriers to future progress.

Much has changed since Zipcar set out its fully electric vision: the climate emergency and its impact have become ever more pressing. In response, the UK Government has set clear targets for stopping the sales of vehicles powered by fossil fuels by 2030, with a focus on switching to electric vehicles.


Electric vehicles charging

Zipcar has made fantastic progress in electrifying its London fleet. In just 3 years, over 75,000 members have driven an electric vehicle. This is with a fleet of just 325 fully electric vehicles. In 2021, we have already added a further 90 EV’s to our fleet - increasing our total to over 400. Our ambition is even greater, but we can’t do this alone.

Whilst charging infrastructure has improved in the past 3 years, significant further investment is needed in the infrastructure if we are to achieve our vision for the future. According to Transport for London’s electric vehicle plan for example, London will require 4,000 rapid chargers by 2025.

With just over 4 years to go, there are currently only 500. Urgent action needs to be taken to fill the EV infrastructure gap. Zipcar is committed to continuing to expand its EV fleet in line with the expansion of the charging network. Without it, our vision may remain simply that.


Car sharing: our progress so far

Car sharing improves city living for us all.

When you live in a city, you don’t need to own a car. But sometimes you might need access to one. Car sharing breaks the dependence on privately-owned vehicles. It is proven to reduce the number of privately owned vehicles on our city’s streets - giving us more space, improved air quality and generally better city-living.


23.5 private cars are replaced by car clubs.

Car club vehicles emit 25.5% lower CO2 emissions compared to average privately owned cars.

Car club carbon savings are approximately 3,800 trees in their lifetime.


Car sharing members are making a difference

Car club members use a greater mix of transport options. They walk, cycle, and take public transport more. And when urbanites have access to car club vehicles, they take fewer journeys in cars.


30% of car club members used a bike three times a week, vs 9% of average Londoners.

Car club members save on average £1,500 per year compared to those who own a vehicle.

Nearly 20% of car club owners have gone on to sell their cars.


Zipcar's electric fleet

In just under four years, we’ve seen incredible uptake of our electric fleet. Members often just want to ‘give electric a go’ and by having 325 cars available on-demand we allow our members to try an electric car in an easy, cost-effective way.

82,000kg of CO2 saved

5.7 million miles driven

901,454 trips taken

78.4k members driven an EV


Zipcar is normalising electric vehicle usage

Electric vehicles charging

Zipcar is normalising electric vehicle usage

Zipcar members love our electric vehicles - but we know there are lots of barriers and concerns stopping people from using an electric vehicle for the first time - from cost to range anxiety. To break down these barriers, as well as simply giving members a chance to drive an EV. Not only do we have 325 EVs in the fleet at the same price as our petrol vehicles, but we’re also always doing new things to encourage and enable EV uptake, from the UK’s first-ever shared electric van to free EV journeys for a day.

Looking ahead to 2025

Car free street



Clean Air Zones are increasing across the UK, providing a once in a lifetime opportunity to reduce car ownership. 20% of car owners around (520,000 vehicles) currently don’t comply with the extended ULEZ in London. Car clubs provide an affordable and flexible way for members to comply with initiatives like ULEZ. Zipcar is supporting cities to deliver clean air zones with its fleet of zero and low emission vehicles - easing congestion and easing the reliance on purchasing new privately owned vehicles for those whose vehicles do not comply.


We give members access to:

3,000 low and zero-emission vehicles in London, Bristol, Cambridge and Oxford

400+ zero-emission vehicles

50 plug-in hybrid vehicles


ULEZ sign

London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone was introduced in 2019 and was recently expanded to the North/South Circular. The extended ULEZ is a once in a lifetime opportunity to improve air quality by reducing the number of non-compliant vehicles on London’s roads and could also help reduce congestion.

Many of the aims of the ULEZ are supported by car sharing. Car sharing is proven to improve air quality (all Zipcar vehicles are ULEZ compliant), reduce congestion and remove private vehicles from our roads. Perhaps more importantly, Zipcar electric vehicles can provide Londoners with equitable and affordable access to zero-emission and emission-compliant vehicles. Yet despite this, authorities haven’t taken the opportunity to promote car sharing with the expansion of London’s ULEZ.

What about charging?

Zipcar has the vision to be fully electric by 2025 and we have already made significant progress towards this. But to get even more members into electric vehicles, we need to be able to ensure there are enough chargers for everybody - private cars, taxis, and car club vehicles.

Types of chargers:



Designed to charge cars over long-periods of time - 10 to 12 hours

Not viable for commercial vehicles (car clubs, taxis) as it puts vehicles out of action for an extended amount of time

London currently has over 5,000*


7kw or 22kw

2 to 6 hours to charge

Suitable if users are parked somewhere for a limited time period


43kw - 100+kw (ultra-rapid)

Can charge in 20 mins, depending on vehicle model

Often located on major roads

Ideal for commercial and car-sharing as it’s quick and efficient

TFL’s London electric vehicle infrastructure plan states the city needs 5,000 rapid chargers

London currently has 500 rapid chargers

For Zipcar to continue towards its vision to be fully electric by 2025 we need further growth in the rapid charge network.


The next stage of the journey

Zipcar on a street


Zipcar is committed to delivering low and zero-emission compliant vehicles and we know other businesses are also doing the same. London is our largest market and unless there is urgent investment in electric vehicle infrastructure in the city, our 2025 vision and the Government’s 2030 targets will be challenging to meet.

To meet our 2025 vision, and help the country get to the government’s 2030 targets, we need:

3,500 more rapid electric chargers

City authorities to do more to promote electric car sharing

Car clubs to be recognised for the positive impact they make compared to private cars

Discounts on the congestion charge, particularly for EV’s

Parking permit incentives are the same as EV private cars.


We are at a pivotal moment to make urban mobility more responsible, equitable and sustainable.

Car clubs are the UK’s most affordable way to deliver zero-emission driving in our city centres. Zipcar has demonstrated the impact we can have when we add electric vehicles to our fleet and introduce even more people to car sharing. We could be a fundamental part of delivering clean air zones and the ULEZ by delivering our vision of a fully electric fleet by 2025.



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