The Jeuns

Bringing car sharing to apartment buildings: A sustainable solution

May 6, 2024 | by The Jeuns

Patrick Crowe, owner of Crowe Properties, had initially intended to launch a car-sharing program at one of his new developments in Minneapolis, Intersect Apartments. However, he soon learned that HOURCAR had already implemented an initiative to introduce electric vehicles at apartment buildings in the area.

Recognizing the benefits, Crowe was quick to embrace the idea. As a result, two HOURCARs are now available at the 96-unit Intersect Apartments in the North Loop neighborhood of Minneapolis. Crowe emphasized the importance of reducing reliance on personal vehicles, stating that HOURCAR allows residents who infrequently use their cars to consider living without one.

HOURCAR’s Multifamily Electric Car Share program, launched in collaboration with Xcel Energy and the American Lung Association, has been successful in deploying electric vehicles at various apartment complexes in Minneapolis and surrounding areas. The initiative has garnered interest from apartment owners looking to promote sustainability and offer residents alternative transportation options.

James Vierling, head of growth, marketing, and communications at HOURCAR, highlighted the positive response from owners participating in the program. With several apartments already hosting HOURCAR vehicles and more in the pipeline, the organization aims to engage additional apartment owners in the relaunch of the program.

To participate, apartment owners must provide designated parking spaces and charging stations for the vehicles, with installation costs partly covered by Xcel Energy. HOURCAR manages the operation and covers the electricity costs, ensuring a convenient and environmentally friendly transportation solution for residents.

For Crowe, HOURCAR aligns perfectly with his sustainability initiatives at Intersect Apartments, which include electric units, solar power, EV charging stations, and a composting program. To encourage tenants to embrace car-sharing, Crowe offers incentives for those willing to forgo personal vehicles, further promoting a greener and more sustainable living environment.

With HOURCAR and its companion program Evie Community Carshare witnessing steady growth and increasing utilization, the future looks promising for car-sharing initiatives in the Twin Cities. Supported by partnerships with local organizations and funding from various sources, HOURCAR and Evie aim to expand their reach and cater to a diverse range of users, including BIPOC and low-income households.

As the demand for electric car-sharing services continues to rise, stakeholders like St. Paul and Minneapolis are actively involved in expanding charging infrastructure and promoting alternative transportation options. Despite challenges like copper theft affecting charger reliability, efforts are underway to enhance the network and ensure a seamless experience for users.

Looking ahead, HOURCAR’s vision for the future includes geographical expansion and a continued focus on sustainability and accessibility. With ongoing support from stakeholders and a growing subscriber base, HOURCAR and Evie are set to lead the way in promoting environmentally friendly transportation solutions in the region.

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