Zipcar (NASDAQ:ZIP) Raises Profitability Outlook

Modern Energy Roundup - April 25, 2012

Written by Brian Hicks
Posted April 25, 2012

Zipcar (NASDAQ:ZIP) announced Q1 results today. For the first quarter, revenue increased 20% to $59.1 million compared to $49.1 million a year prior. Total membership also grew 23%.

I've actually been a fan of the car sharing model for years. In fact, I first wrote about car sharing back in 2006, before Zipcar went public. Interestingly, the company I focused on for that article was Flexcar – which actually merged with Zipcar in 2007.

Today, Zipcar is the major player. And I wish nothing but success for this forward-thinking company. Of course, car sharing is not monopolized by Zipcar. There are a few others that are also doing quite well. Take Car2Go, for instance – a company that's been building some nice momentum recently.

This particular car service offers the advantage of not having to book a car in advance or commit to a return time and location.

I'm particularly fond of the company's San Diego operations, too. This is where car2go boasts 300 electric cars in its fleet.

Quite frankly, as we start to see more and more electric cars on the road, I suspect the car sharing model will quickly adapt and take advantage of the fuel and maintenance cost advantages of electric vehicles.

There's actually another car-sharing operation in Chicago called I-GO. This small outfit boasts 36 electric vehicles in its fleet – all of which are charged at solar-power charging stations around the city.

Of course, Zipcar isn't sleeping on this. The company actually launched its first large-scale electric vehicle program in Chicago last month with five Chevy Volts, and is looking to add another 20 electric cars to its fleet this year.

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