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Volkswagen's Electrify America to Launch Car-sharing Services in Sacramento

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【Summary】Part of the collaboration with Sacramento entails several investments to boost various initiatives within the Green City plan.

Michael Cheng    Jun 23, 2018 10:10 AM PT
Volkswagen's Electrify America to Launch Car-sharing Services in Sacramento

Electrify America, a Volkswagen subsidiary, is rolling out numerous programs in Sacramento, California. The organization plans to setup car-sharing services, ultra-fast EV charging stations and more. It will also provide 12 new electric buses for the city.

Part of the collaboration with Sacramento entails several investments to boost various initiatives within the Green City plan. Between $15 million - $18 million is allotted for car-sharing services, while $11 million - $14 million will be provided for new EV infrastructure (charging hubs).

Car-sharing Programs

An impressive part of the Green City plan is the launching of two electric car-sharing services in the city. Called Gig Car Share, the first program consists of a ‘home zone' that enables customers using an EV participating in the service to drop off the car within the designated 13-square-mile area after use. The EV car-sharing service will launch next year with 260 cars (all equipped with roof racks for bikes). Reservations are made via a smartphone app.

Payment for the service is determined by the amount of time used or distance of miles traveled. The lesser of the two will be applied to the transaction. According to a press release, Gig Car Share is powered by AAA Northern California, Nevada and Utah.

The second program, called Envoy, incorporates a traditional car-sharing service business model. To participate in Envoy, customers must make a booking and retrieve the EV at a service hub. After using the car, the individual is required to return it to the same location. A large portion of the service (around 75 percent) is located in low-income communities.

Electrify America will dedicate 142 EVs for the car-sharing service. Deployment will be in 71 locations around the city, which will also receive Level 2 charging stations.

EV Infrastructure and Public Transportation

The Volkswagen subsidiary also has plans to beef up Sacramento's public transportation system. Electrify America will provide 12 new electric buses, which will be baked into the city's commuting routes. One of the routes will transport passengers from UC Davis Health to Sacramento. Local organizations, including Sacramento Regional Transit (SacRT) and the Yolo County Transportation District, will help run the service.

To make the routes more accessible, Electrify America plans to setup four bus stops in the area. When the service is up and running, it is expected to provide 400,000+ rides in its first year of service.

"Our partnership with Electrify America is a key piece of the City of Sacramento's effort to become a national center for testing and development of alternative and autonomous vehicle technologies," said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg.

"The new shuttles and car services connect this new technology to our neighborhoods by increasing mobility options for residents, particularly in economically disadvantaged areas."

In preparation for the EV era, Sacramento will receive 10 new ultra-fast EV charging stations. Open to the public, the units are equipped with Electrify America's robust charging technology that is capable of delivering 20 miles of range per minute (seven times faster, compared to existing 50kW DC charging hubs).

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