You’ve seen the JUMP bikes. Now how about the same concept with cars?

This month, “free-floating” car-share vehicles will begin appearing on streets in Midtown, Downtown, East Sacramento, Oak Park, Tahoe Park and other Central City neighborhoods. By spring, as many as 260 Chevy Bolts will be fully deployed and available for public use.

The cars will be operated by GIG Car Share, a service by AAA Northern California, Nevada and Utah, as part of the second phase of the City’s new electric car-share program.

The first phase was launched in November 2018 with the introduction of 12 electric vehicles in multi-family communities — through the company Envoy — to six residential communities including Whispering Pines Apartments in Meadowview and 1801 L Apartments in Midtown. These programs have been made possible by Electrify America, a Volkswagen subsidiary, through its “Sac-to-Zero” clean mobility initiative in Sacramento.

First free-floating car-share program in Sacramento

Gig will operate as the first free-floating all-electric car-share program in Sacramento. The program allows residents to pick up and drop off a car-share vehicle within a designated “HomeZone,” which is a 13 square-mile area covering the Central City and several neighborhoods to the south and east. More than 70 percent of Gig’s HomeZone falls within disadvantaged and low-income communities.

“The City’s electric-vehicle car-share program lays the foundation to electrify transportation and make Sacramento a hub for advanced vehicle technologies,” said Jennifer Venema, City Sustainability Manager. “Not only do EVs reduce greenhouse gas emissions, they also improve air quality, protect public health, and are increasingly affordable for everyday residents.”

Similar to JUMP Bikes, motorists will need to download and sign-up on Gig’s app to find available cars. These vehicles are anticipated to move throughout the day depending on usage and customer demand. Once a motorist finds a Gig vehicle, he or she can choose to book 30 minutes in advance to reserve, or walk up to a vehicle to see if it is available.

Rates as low as $2.50 per mile

Rates are set at the lowest of three options: $2.50 per mile, $15.00 per hour, or $85 per day which includes electricity, parking and insurance. AAA Northern California members receive a 10 percent discount. Sign up is simple, and there are no membership or subscription fees.

Free-floating car-share services such as Gig are permitted by the City and are managed by the private vendors themselves. Qualified car-share operators are required to pay an annual fee for car-share parking permits that will allow vehicles to park on the street. The cost of these permits are factored into the vehicle-rental session.

Gig vehicles will be allowed to park beyond posted time limits as part of the car-share program. However, like all private vehicles, Gig is paying for the actual cost of metered parking, in addition to paying for the privilege to park in other time-zone areas beyond posted time limits. Free-floating car-share vehicles like Gig are subject to the same parking restrictions, parking fees, and State limitations including a 72-hour time limitation in unregulated spaces.

Find more information on the City’s car-share program.

The City has adopted an electric-vehicle strategy and has been working to increase access to zero-emissions vehicles, expand ZEV technology use, and prepare Sacramento for a future of electric vehicles. Last year, Electrify America, chose Sacramento to launch its “Green City” initiative, known as “Sac-to-Zero”, which aims to accelerate the use of shared “clean mobility” transportation. Electrify America committed to investing $44 million in its Sacramento program, which includes electric vehicle infrastructure and programs such as EV car share.

Part of Electrify America’s investment included funding for two electric car-share companies — Gig and Envoy — to deploy electric vehicles in Sacramento. Envoy offers 12 Volkswagen e-Golfs at the six properties. By early 2019, Envoy will offer 142 Volkswagen e-Golf electric cars at 71 locations.