City CarShare, the nonprofit carsharing organization in North America, in partnership with Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc., launched a new carsharing program, Dash, at Hacienda in Pleasanton. Dash, a three-year pilot program, will offer short distance transportation options for both employer’s business needs and for their carpool, vanpool and public transportation commuters once they arrive to the park for work. The unique fleet is made up of Scion iQ EV electric vehicles, which are designed specifically for the carsharing market. As part of the pilot program, Toyota is providing thirty iQ EVs to City CarShare’s Dash fleet (there are only 100 of these models in the world.) These vehicles will be located in various electric vehicle charging stations throughout and near Hacienda.
City CarShare’s Dash will provide battery powered transportation options to the nearly 20 percent of the Park’s employees that use alternative transportation methods to get to work. The cars will allow employees to attend local meetings and run errands. Dash’s launch at Hacienda will also encourage single-car commuters to use public transit and / or join a carpool / vanpool and become carsharing members. Employees who join City CarShare will be able to use the electric vehicles by the hour for a low cost.
“City CarShare is pleased to introduce Pleasanton’s first electric carsharing vehicles at the Hacienda, through our Dash fleet,” said Rick Hutchinson, CEO of City CarShare. “By providing a carsharing option for commuters, we are working towards our goal to take 20,000 cars off of Bay Area roads by 2020, while promoting and encouraging transit, walking, carpooling and cycling.”
The Scion iQ EVs feature a high-output lithium-ion battery system that delivers an electric power consumption rate of 104 Wh/km in an ultra-compact package. In ideal stop-and-go driving conditions, the 12-kWh battery provides a range of about 40 miles and can be fully charged in about three hours. The battery electric four-seater vehicles do not consume gasoline or produce tailpipe emissions.
“Toyota is exploring new business models like the City Car Share Dash fleet to meet the future mobility needs of our customers, “ said Craig Scott, advanced technology vehicle manager for Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. “The Scion iQ EV fleet will help us understand how electric vehicles are used in an active car sharing program and the viability of this type of program for future technologies.”
The Dash fleet will offer multiple benefits, such as reducing road congestion by encouraging carpooling and replacing short trips made by gasoline vehicles during the workday – trips that produce the most harmful “start-up” emissions. City CarShare members have saved a total of 487 million pounds of CO2 since the organization launched in 2001. Additionally, each Dash vehicle will contribute to City CarShare’s goal of reducing congestion and carbon emissions throughout the Bay Area.
Dr. Susan Shaheen of the University of California at Berkeley’s Transportation Sustainability Research Center has received generous support from Toyota Motor North America to conduct research on the Dash program in the Pleasanton area. The study will focus on user response to the program and calculate the social and environmental impacts. The before-and-after study will span a two-year period and be available to the public about six months after that via the TSRC website.