Archive for the ‘green cars’ Category

Car sharing gets short end of stick shift on Today Show

May 14, 2009

A Today Show segment that aired today was originally pitched to I-GO as a wide-ranging piece on automotive cost-saving tactics—including, prominently, car sharing. But it morphed into something else: a piece on small, fuel-efficient cars, and how that represents a major psychological shift for Americans away from our beloved gas-guzzling muscle cars.

Stop the presses. There’s breaking news for you.

I think the Today Show’s NYC producers need to get out more. The shift to Priuses and other small, fuel-efficient and hybrid cars is old news. Though certainly we champion this trend, and hope it will continue. Car sharing: That’s a fresh, new story with real teeth.

I-GO gets a shot of a Prius in Logan Square and a sign. Bob and Kennon, the I-GO members who took the time to be interviewed, ended up on the cutting-room floor. Bet they’re bummed. Sorry, guys. Maybe the Today Show can reuse that footage in another piece. Not likely, but one can hope.

Last segment I saw before turning off the TV: Matt Lauer interviewing a 5-year-old chef making quesadillas.

Important stuff, folks.

Maybe next time we should come up with a kindergartner who fries Mexican food on the hood of an I-GO Honda Element.

Might just work.

Here’s the vid clip:

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Emissions Accomplished?

March 11, 2009

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently considering reversing a Bush administration decision which prevented California (along with 13 other states) from enacting stricter air-pollution standards for motor vehicles. This is great news, not only because of the positive environmental effects the stricter rules would bring about, but simply because it might actually happen!

California has been leading the fight to enact these stricter CO2 regulations for years now and has seen little help from the federal government. However, that was under the Bush administration. Things seem to be changing since Obama took office.

On January 21, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger sent a letter to President Obama requesting that he review the EPA’s denial of California’s waiver request, stating, “California and a growing number of farsighted states have sought to enforce a common-sense policy to reduce global-warming pollution from passenger vehicles, which are the source of 20 percent of our nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. Regulation will not only reduce these emissions, but will also save drivers money and reduce our nation’s dependence on foriegn oil… Your administration has a unique opportunity to both support the pioneering leadership of these states and move America toward global leadership on addressing climate change.”

A mere five days after Governor Schwarzenegger sent this letter, President Obama directed federal regulators to review California’s and 13 other states’ request to set automobile emissions and fuel efficency standards. According to the Clean Air Act Section 209 – State Standards, the EPA must grant the waiver unless it finds that California:

-was arbitrary & capricious in its finding that its standards are, in the aggregate, at least as protective of public health and welfare as applicable federal standards;

-does not need such standards to meet compelling and extraordinary conditions; or

-has proposed standards not consistent with Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act

The 13 other states joining California in this fight are: Arizona, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

Help make this happen – sign the petition urging the EPA to grant the waiver!

Sun-Times compares I-GO & Zipcar

March 2, 2009

Chicago Sun-Times reporter Mary Wisniewski driving an I-GO Prius. Photo from Chicago Sun-Times.

Great piece in the Chicago Sun-Times today about car sharing in Chicago. I think transportation reporter Mary Wisniewski does a nice job comparing the city’s two main providers: I-GO Car Sharing and Zipcar. She doesn’t take sides, instead inferring it’s more of a lifestyle choice: Pay more for Zip, get more choices on types of cars (from green to glitzy); pay less for I-GO, get “less variety” (she cites I-GO’s all-green fleet in the article), access in more neighborhoods, and a warm, toasty glow in your heart about contributing toward a non-profit.

Okay, she didn’t really say warm, toasty thing.

And Wisniewski didn’t give much play to another benefit offered by I-GO over Zip: The new Chicago Card Plus/I-GO Card we created with CTA this year that lets you ride CTA trains, buses, PACE buses and access I-GO cars. We’re trying to link and expand public transit, make it more convenient to transfer from one mode to another, and reduce CO2 emissions by reducing car ownership and dependency.

That’s also part of our joint mission with our parent org, the Center for Neighborhood Technology. And it’s definitely something we offer that our competitor does not.

Although I’m not grinding any axes here. Obviously, I’d like to see I-GO succeed, but there is a huge amount of room in the Chicago market for car sharing providers to coexist peacefully. We’re all still in the initial stage of just spreading the word about car sharing, and explaining to the curious what the hell it is. What it is, is a very good thing, indeed. But just like all the green initiatives getting a big push these days, it’s going to take a major shift in the way we live and get around to truly effect a substantive change.

Ideal Bite locks lips with I-GO

February 6, 2009

Today’s Ideal Bite—a great site that cuts the mystique out of environmental buzz words and advises consumers on practical, affordable ways to live green—gives a shout-out to I-GO and car sharing for its Chicago “Bite” tip. Thanks, Ideal Bite!

BTW, that’s our own Lauren Hugel in that Toyota Prius in the photo they posted—although you can just barely get a glimpse of Lauren, who works in I-GO’s fleet management department.

Also, BTW, did you know that about half our fleet is made up of low-emission vehicles? I-GO’s got Priuses out the wazoo (whatever a “wazoo” is—I’ve never understood the term…paging William Safire…).