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Zipcar and Rival Flexcar Merge

Car share companies Zipcar and Flexcar are merging (via ChangeReport). The combined company will operate under the Zipcar brand and be headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, under the leadership of Zipcar’s chairman and chief executive, Scott Griffith.

Zipcar and Flexcar currently operate car sharing programs, providing members with on-demand access to a fleet of vehicles located throughout cities. With more than 30 independent car sharing companies operating in the U.S. alone, Zipcar says it will now have a stronger base from which to compete, particularly against leading car rental firms’ product introductions targeted at the car sharing industry.

Enterprise, Hertz, and U-Haul are all now offering hourly rentals. And on top of that there’s a whole raft of non-profits such as City Car Share in San Francisco, Philly Car Share, and I-Go in Chicago, eating into the for-profit business model, which means that Zipcar and Flexcar need to get economies of scale as quickly as they can, Portfolio’s Market-Movers blog reports.

Zipcar currently operates in New York, Boston, Washington D.C., Chicago, San Francisco, Vancouver, Toronto and London while Flexcar operates in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. Both companies provide car sharing on college campuses where traffic congestion and limited parking are frequent challenges. But the services are also attractive to businesses.

The company says that members will now have access to more hybrid vehicles.

In June, Flexcar created a new type of membership – the Green Membership – that lets members offset their Flexcar emissions.

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