This week, GIG Car Share, a service offered by AAA Northern California, Nevada and Utah, expanded beta testing of its “free-floating” car share service to all Sacramento residents.
As Sacramento’s first free-floating all-electric car share program, Gig plans to release as many as 260 Electric Gigs for the public’s use, depending on demand.
“Gig is thrilled to bring the largest all-electric car sharing service in the United States to Sacramento, a city that’s becoming recognized as a worldwide leader in zero-emission energy,” said Jason Haight, President of GIG Car Share. “Gig is a service that’s as convenient as owning your own car, but without the hassle. But we couldn’t have brought an all-electric service here without the critical investment the City of Sacramento made to its energy and transportation infrastructure.”
Similar to JUMP bikes and scooters, residents will now be able to pick up and drop off cars within a designated “HomeZone,” which is a 13 square-mile area covering the central city area, as well as several neighborhoods to the south and east. More than 50 percent of Gig’s Sacramento HomeZone falls within disadvantaged and low-income communities.
“Gig started testing the service in Sacramento earlier this year,” said Haight, “Beta testers drove nearly 3,000 miles and took more than 500 trips in less than a month.”
According to a study done by the UC Berkeley Transportation Suitability Research Center, every car share vehicle takes 7 to 11 cars off the road, providing a substitute for private vehicles and ride-hailing services. Gig vehicles are anticipated to move throughout the day depending on usage and demand. Once a driver finds a Gig vehicle, they can choose to reserve it 30 minutes in advance or if the car is free they can unlock with their phone, get in, and go.
The cars in this program are Chevy Bolts. Gig Members only pay for the time that they used and Gig will always calculate the lowest rate – whether it’s by the minute, hour, or day. Pricing always includes charging, parking, and insurance. Rates are set at the lowest of three options: $0.40 per minute, $15.00 per hour, or $85 per day.
As part of the Sacramento launch, Gig is currently giving new Members two free hours of driving time. Sign up is easy, and there are no membership or sign up fees. Members must be 18 years old and have a valid drivers license.
“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.”
Free-floating car share services are permitted by the City of Sacramento and are managed by private vendors, such as Gig. 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 customer’s vehicle-rental session.
As part of the arrangement with the City’s car share program, Gig cars are allowed to park beyond posted time limits at city meters. The costs for these privileges are covered by Gig, and all car share vehicles are subject to the same parking restrictions, and fees, including a 72-hour limit on unregulated spaces.
More information about the City’s car share program and EV strategy
The City adopted an electric-vehicle strategy in Dec. 2017 and is working to increase access to zero-emissions vehicles (ZEV), expand ZEV technology use, and prepare Sacramento for a future of electric vehicles.
The City’s program supports car share and incentivizes zero-emission 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 the 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 currently operates 40 Volkswagen e-Golfs at 20 properties. By mid-2019, Envoy is anticipated to offer 142 Volkswagen e-Golf electric cars at 71 locations.