Justin is Zipcar’s VP of Marketing and Public Policy where he leads efforts to promote Zipcar’s brand of “wheels when you want them” to Zipcar members, city leaders, media and other stakeholders.

Ahead of MOVE America 2022, we spoke to Justin about Zipcars vision for the future and what we can expect to hear from them in Austin this September!


Q: Tell us about Zipcar and what services you provide. 

A: Founded more than 20 years ago, and acquired by Avis Budget Group in 2013, Zipcar is the world’s leading car-sharing network with operations in nearly 500 cities and towns. It enables people who have limited access to a car, or those who choose not to own a car in the city, with the ability to access the places and things they need and want, in and out of their city, in an easy, convenient, and affordable way. Once you join, you can reserve by the hour or day, on short notice or up to a year in advance.  

Zipcar’s affordable, self-service vehicles are available in conveniently located, reserved parking spots in neighborhoods where members live and work. Members can instantly join, access vehicles from their phone, and book a car, all without waiting in line. Zipcar also covers gas, insurance options and maintenance, and has recently expanded its fleet to 800 hybrid vehicles to serve increased travel demands.  


Q: What has the impact of car sharing been? 

A: Zipcar’s vision is to eliminate the need for personally owned cars (which sit parked about 95% of the time) by enabling simple and responsible urban living. People who do not own a car drive less and embrace more sustainable forms of transportation more often, which means less emissions and a more sustainable environment. Fewer cars on the road also means more space for people and the things they love like parks and green space; we also support transportation equity by adding cars in historically underserved areas where transportation is more difficult. 

Zipcar reduces members’ reliance on cars, which helps reduce emissions and decrease pollution and congestion. Once our members join Zipcar, they end up driving 40% fewer miles than they did prior, relying more on walking, biking, and public transportation. Together, our members each reduce their carbon footprint by up to 1,600 lbs per year, which is as much as planting about an acre of forest. 

Each Zipcar takes thirteen personally owned cars off the road, which reduces the need for parking spaces in our cities and frees it up for other uses. With thirteen spaces, you can fit four studio apartments, one community garden, twenty farmers market stalls or two hundred outdoor dining seats. 

Through partnerships like the ones, we have with NYCHA (New York City Housing Authority) and NYC DOT (New York City Department of Transportation), we can add vehicles to lower-income neighbourhoods, expanding access to convenient and affordable mobility to underserved communities.  


Q: How do we try and make people give up personal cars and take alternative travel routes within cities? 

A: Urban centres play a key role in the fight against climate change and the creation of a more sustainable future. Critical to this future is a shift away from car ownership and towards shared mobility solutions that reduce the number of vehicles on the road, lowering emissions and decreasing congestion.  

We can encourage people in our communities to give up personal cars by making other forms of transportation easier, more convenient, accessible, and affordable, making them a better option than owning a car. Zipcar compliments a combination of shared mobility solutions – such as public transit, bikes, and scooters – by providing people with the ease, convenience, and accessibility to use a car when needed, and when other travel options may not work for the need. Zipcar also includes gas, insurance options, maintenance, a dedicated parking spot and 180 miles each trip, so the overall cost is much more affordable than owning a car. Based on a 2021 AAA report “How much does it really cost to own a car?” our members save $784/month on average. 

We also continue to work with our city and university partners to bring car sharing to more communities in major urban cities and towns.  


Q: What is the typical demographic of people that use Zipcar and what are you doing to cater to those who wouldn’t typically use your service? 

A: Our members are diverse urbanites of all ages 18+. Over 50% identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color), and almost 30% are college students. The commonality among them is that they don’t feel that owning a car in the city makes sense or is necessary. 75% of our members don’t own a car, and more than 40% would buy a car if Zipcar disappeared. For them, Zipcar delivers access without having to own a car, and offers them mobility solutions that fit their needs without the financial burden and mental worry of owning a car.  

In urban areas, cars are expensive, a hassle for owners, and clog city streets with congestion and pollution. All the while remaining unused 95% of the time. The fact of the matter is that urbanites don’t need a car to still have the freedom and convenience that a car provides. Car sharing through Zipcar delivers sustainable, cost-effective, on-demand vehicles that are available when you need one. 


Q: How is your 2035 vision to be all electric going? How far along are you? 

A: This summer, with the increased demand for travel, we added eight hundred hybrid vehicles to our fleet to meet demand and make sure we have greener vehicles incorporated into our fleet.  


Q: What will you be talking about at MOVE America and what are you excited about for the event? 

A: At this year’s MOVE America, I’ll be talking about how the end of car ownership can lead to a more sustainable mobility future, focusing on how urban areas are key to our fight against climate change. 

I’m most excited to hear from policy leaders in urban areas across the U.S. to learn more about how they’re leveraging technology and innovation in their plans to create a carbon zero future in their city. 

To find out more about MOVE America 2022 head to: MOVE America 2022

To find out more about Zipcar head to: Zipcar