Honda-The Power of Dreams
Flexcar Takes Delivery of 28 Civic Hybrids for SoCal Car Sharing Program
Car-sharing company converts entire Southern California fleet to Civic Hybrids

TORRANCE, Calif., July 11, 2003 --- American Honda Motor Co., Inc., and Flexcar today announced that Flexcar will convert its entire Southern California fleet to Honda Civic Hybrids. Flexcar has purchased 28 ultra-efficient and clean Civic Hybrids, four of which will see duty in the company's San Diego fleet while the remaining 24 hybrids will be used throughout the Los Angeles area. This is the first application of an Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions vehicle (AT-PZEV), and the largest fleet delivery of hybrid vehicles for a car-sharing program.

"Southern California is the perfect venue for this program, which combines car sharing with ultra-efficient and clean hybrid technology to address the dual problems of traffic congestion and air quality," said Dan Bonawitz, vice president of corporate planning and logistics for American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "We're extremely pleased to be involved in this effort to deliver new and innovative transportation options to the citizens of Los Angeles and San Diego. "

The 2003 Civic Hybrids are specially pre-wired to accommodate the installation of Flexcar's telematics system, including the interface box, cellular antenna and card reader. The on-board/off-board system, co-developed by Honda and Flexcar, provides users with a convenient and secure access system that offers flexibility, state-of-the-art tracking and an easy-to-use, Internet-based, phone reservation system.

The 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid is the first-ever hybrid vehicle to earn certification as an Advanced Technology Partial Zero-Emissions Vehicle from California's Air Resources Board (CARB), adding to a long list of Honda firsts in environmental leadership.

Headquartered in Seattle, Flexcar's innovative program provides members with access to a fleet of vehicles located throughout various metropolitan areas. Members reserve the vehicles for hourly use, with Flexcar covering the cost of the car, gas, parking, insurance and maintenance. Members pay only for the time they use the vehicle.

Honda has been involved in car sharing programs since the introduction of its Intelligent Community Vehicle System (ICVS) concept in 1994. ICVS is designed to supplement existing public transportation modes by sharing a limited number of cars or other personal transportation resources among many users.

Two California programs have served as real world test beds for Honda's ICVS technology:

  • Carlink II in Palo Alto is a partnership between Caltrans, American Honda, the University of California Davis and other public groups;
  • Intellishare is part of Honda's international ICVS concept and is a joint research project with the University of California, Riverside, along with other public groups interested in pursuing new concepts in transportation efficiency.