Zipcar Awarded $1.7M Grant to Bring EVs to Overburdened Communities in New Jersey
March 30, 2023

Zipcar Awarded $1.7M Grant to Bring EVs to Overburdened Communities in New Jersey

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, and New Jersey Economic Development Authority today announced that Zipcar has been awarded a grant in the amount of $1,792,000 to provide electric car sharing in overburdened communities, supporting Governor Murphy's plan to provide a cleaner, greener and more resilient New Jersey. Driven by a mission to enable simple and responsible urban living by eliminating car ownership, Zipcar aims to support the state’s transition to providing a clean, equitable transportation system while meeting EV adoption goals. 

“We are thrilled that Zipcar was chosen by the State to bring affordable, convenient access to electric vehicles in New Jersey,” said Justin Holmes, vice president of public policy and marketing at Zipcar. “With the demand for electric vehicles on the rise, we are seeing increased interest from cities and public partners eager to bring sustainable, equitable transportation to their communities and meet long-term climate, mobility and equity goals through car-sharing." 

Zipcar has proposed sixteen vehicles in eight locations and estimates that members in these communities, who would typically not be able to access an affordable and convenient vehicle when they need one, would take between 3,000 and 5,000 annual trips for errands, appointments, leisure trips, out-of-town travel and small business needs. 

The New Jersey project would likely be modeled after Our Community CarShare (OCCS), a partnership launched in 2019 between the Sacramento Air Quality Management District (SMAQMD), Breathe California, Mutual Housing and Zipcar, funded by California Climate Investments. Seventeen electric and plug-in hybrid Zipcar vehicles are available at affordable multi-family complexes or designated mobility hubs and members receive discounted pricing. 

Car Sharing Drives the Future of Equitable Transportation in New Jersey 

Since launching in New Jersey more than a decade ago, Zipcar has built relationships with NJ Transit, MTA and Metro-North Railroad, the City of Hoboken’s “Corner Cars”, the Stevens Institute of Technology, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Princeton University, Seton Hall University, and SP Plus Parking, and operates in Northern New Jersey, including Newark, Jersey City, Union City, Orange, South Orange and Montclair and in Central New Jersey, including Iselin and Princeton. 

According to Zipcar's 2022 North American Transportation Survey, 61% of members state that Zipcar plays an important role in their lives with cost and convenience at the forefront of their needs:  

  • Convenient On-Demand Access: 65% needed to get somewhere not accessible by foot, bike or public transport with 42% needing to supplement public transit trips;  
  • Affordable, Safe Option to Car Ownership: 49% wanted to avoid the costs of car ownership (gas, insurance, parking, maintenance, etc) and 70% state Zipcar allows them to travel safely 
  • Cost Savings of Car Sharing: According to AAA, the average yearly cost to own and operate a new vehicle is $10,728 or $894 a month – plus the cost of parking; Average Zipcar members save up to $800 per month compared to car owners and in New Jersey, the top three areas members are putting their savings towards are  

Whether providing electric vehicle car sharing for Our Community CarShare in Sacramento or working closely with housing agencies like the New York City Housing Authority to provide affordable access to vehicles, Zipcar has a long history of supporting disadvantaged communities and is eager to bring sustainable transportation to cities nationwide.