For college students without a personal vehicle, Zipcar’s car-sharing service is an intriguing option. Thus far, it’s not uncommon to see students wheeling about in Mazda, Minis, and Kias, but thanks to a new partnership between Ford and Zipcar, they’ll have the chance to pilot new 2012 Ford Escapes and Focuses on short trips.
The automaker announced today it signed a two-year agreement with Zipcar, designed to flood Zipcar’s university pools -- based at more than 250 campuses across the country -- with new Ford vehicles. Subsequently, the deal will also make Ford Zipcar’s largest OEM partner in its university program. Zipcar plans on buying 650 cars this year -- all Focus SEL hatchbacks and Escape Limiteds -- though the contract calls for 1000 cars to be delivered over the next two years.
“Today’s students are thinking differently about driving and transportation than they have in the past,” Bill Ford, executive vice chairman of the Ford Motor Company, said in a prepared release. “This program enables today’s new drivers to experience our latest fuel-efficient vehicles while helping them reduce their cost of living and help relieve congestion on campus.”
For students, the deal means more than simply having the ability to drive a new FoMoCo product. For the first 100,000 new Zipcar members who enroll in the University program, Ford’s knocking $10 off the $35 annual membership fee. Additionally, it’s shaving $1 off the hourly rate for the first million hours of use on any of the new Ford vehicles. Presently, Zipcar rates are $8 an hour on weekdays, and $9 an hour on weekends.
The new Ford vehicles should arrive in collegiate Zipcar pools across the country later this week.
Sources: Ford, Zipcar