Reinventing A Suburban Business Park With 30 Electric Cars ReadWrite

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Toyota i-Road EVs Electric Cars

Reinventing A Suburban Business With 30 Electric Cars

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ReadWriteDrive is an ongoing covering the future of transportation.

San is a hotbed of innovation around shared transportation. The city’s tech-savvy denizens, wanting to get A to B, can use app-based services to fetch a (Uber), find parking and gain hourly access to about everything with cars and rides to scooters and

Dash Out For Lunch

The initiative 30 small electric cars—Scion IQ vehicles (EVs) on loan for years from Toyota to CarShare, a Bay Area non-profit. The EVs soon be positioned throughout a square-mile residential and business where nearly 18,000 work, and 4,000 people When fully deployed, will be no more than a walk away from easy and cheap zero-emissions

Mike Harrigan

“What depending on is that enough here during the day are marooned,” Mike Harrigan, City efleet program manager.

told me that about 18% of workers already take transportation, carpool or ride a to the office. “They come in on (Bay Area Rapid and now they want to go to lunch or run an If we can give people an alternative to to work on those days, they know they’re to need a car, maybe we can a few people who don’t use mass to start using it.” His modest goal is to have car used a couple times a

How It Works

Each Dash called a “pod,” provides two electric cars plugged one charging station. Schneider donated the charging stations, Toyota and the Bay Area Air Quality District paid to install.

As with other cars in its City CarShare places a computer, about the size of a of cards, inside the dashboard. receiving an electronic key fob, can reserve a car online or via an app. reservation is beamed via cell to the car.

A typical Dash

“We tell the car to expect such and a fob number at a certain time of the said Harrigan. “The comes come along, the car and it communicates back, ‘I’ve opened.’”

By virtue of the fob reader, a GPS some memory and little bit of the system knows when a car is in by whom, where it is, the odometer and the remaining charge on the vehicle’s Each car carries its own RFID to access the pod’s charging which communicates via the ChargePoint That completes the smart information system.

Cars don’t become for reservations until they’ve for about two hours, ensuring a battery for the next user.


Toyota first unveiled the iQ EV at the 2009 Detroit auto At the time, the Japanese automaker to the micro-car as the FT-EV concept, that it planned to launch “an commuter battery-electric vehicle by The company instead made 100 of the cars.

The Scion iQ—only bigger than a Smart a driving range of about 40 “Part of the reason we selected is because we believe most of the will be short local to downtown Pleasanton, over to Dublin or Stoneridge Mall, or to within the business park,” Harrigan.

What the IQ EV lacks in it makes up in amenities, like a steering wheel, navigations and Bluetooth connectivity. In my short around Pleasanton, it was zippy and like other electric for, well, a quick It’s comfortable, maneuverable and has a top of 78 miles per hour.

Toyota i-Road EVs Electric Cars

Moreover, the iQ EV has low cost of fueling, and a full recharge in about two

Goal: Make It Better Driving Alone

City also picked Hacienda the managers of the development have begging for car-sharing services for a time. “We’ve been to get City CarShare out here for a said James Paxson, manager at Hacienda. Paxson, a commuter on BART from to Pleasanton, is a power-user of Dash.


“This is a perfect for me. Today, I’m going to be using the car said Paxson, who has been Hacienda for 28 years.

Over the Hacienda has functioned like an of ideas for reducing congestion and the quality of life for local and residents. Working with the of Pleasanton, it wrote the nation’s transportation systems management in 1985. The development subsidizes transit, making buses and free for locals.

However these services operate mostly during hours, leaving office in the lurch.

“If you really want to get to shift modes, you have to do that competes on a time a money basis and offers convenience,” said Paxson. that’s better than alone.” Use of Dash cars $5 an hour, plus $0.35 a rides are in the $10 to $12 range. At that it competes with commuting to by car, and when total of owning a vehicle is considered, the clear winner.

“I take out here as much as possible, and now I can it even more,” said “That’s found time. I get on the train that I would be sitting behind the wheel of That’s hugely valuable.”

With shared EVs now in use at Hacienda, is imagining how to bring dynamic sharing to the development. He said, next big move is going to be an to make use of existing infrastructure, but in new and ways.”

Images courtesy of Berman.

Toyota i-Road EVs Electric Cars

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