One of Houston’s Nissan Leaf electric cars parked in front of City Hall (Photo c

City of Houston adding Nissan Leafs to municipal employee car sharing network

The Oil Capital of the World, Houston, is launching a car sharing network for municipal employees, in partnership with Zipcar, including 25 Nissan Leafs in in the car sharing fleet.

Houston, as effectively the capital of the Oil Industry, might seem the last place to see electric cars. However that city has had quite a build-out of electric vehicle infrastructure, and now the Houston city government is adding electric cars to the municipal car fleet. Houston and Zipcar have launched the first municipal electric vehicle (EV) fleet sharing program, called Houston Fleet Share, starting with 50 vehicles, 25 of which are Nissan Leaf's.

The City of Houston has the third largest municipal hybrid fleet in the country comprising approximately 50 percent of the City's nonspecialty, light-duty fleet. The city's green transportation initiative dates to 2002 with the purchase of two Toyota Prius's. Houston was one of the first cities to receive a Ford Focus Electric, in March 2012, and was one of the first cities to receive a Nissan Leaf, in 2011.

The new vehicles will be outfitted with Zipcar's FastFleet proprietary fleet sharing technology, and will be used by city employees. By using the FastFleet platform in these, and other, vehicles City employees will have vehicle access in the style of Zipcar's self-service online reservation and secure vehicle access system. The program is expected to help the City improve efficiency, improve vehicle utilization and reduce costs, while reducing the environmental impact of the City fleet.

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