Car-sharing services haven’t much dented rates of private vehicle ownership — but an innovative Minnesota program hopes to change that.
Next year, the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul will launch a short-term vehicle-rental program with electric-powered vehicles that won’t have to be returned to where the driver picked them up. Advocates hope that the public-private partnership will help low-income residents of transit-scarce, polluted neighborhoods forgo car ownership…
The Twin Cities are piggybacking the program on another municipal priority: enhancing a network of electric-vehicle charging infrastructure, which will primarily benefit private vehicle owners. Electrifying cars, of course, is among the least effective ways to cut transportation emissions, but building charging stations is a priority among Minneapolis and St. Paul residents. The car-sharing industry sees the network as an opportunity to launch a robust program that ultimately gives residents a strong alternative to owning.