Flexcar and Hybrid Vehicles (mark)

flexcar.jpg I just had the wonderful opportunity of using the Flexcar program here in Seattle for the first time. Flexcar is a company who "rents" out cars on an hourly basis. They are parked around the city, you reserve it on the web, and when you want to use it you walk over get in and drive away.

Now in order to do this, the car has to be tricked out with electronics. An RFID-embedded card authenticates you and unlocks the door. A pin entry keypad activates the ignition so that when you turn on the car (with the key in the glove-compartment) it turns over. When you are done, the car sends the information about the trip back to the central database for billing.

Basically if you want a car for the whole day it is cheaper to rent a car, but if you want a car for a few hours, it is cheaper to use Flexcar than it is to rent or own a second car. My family only has one car, so today I had to run an errand which required a second car. This was the perfect solution.

The only thing that could possibly make this cooler is that the car near me was a Hybrid Honda Civic. So not only was I not owning another car, but I was not using as much oil (c.f. the Iraq War), it was a clean new car which I couldn't afford on my own and for the record I got 44.2 mpg on an 8 mile trip (one-way).

Click on the image on the left to go to Flexcar's site.

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