Flexcar Wins Environmental Excellence Award from Association of Washington Business

The Association of Washington Business (AWB) has awarded Flexcar with the 2005 Environmental Excellence Award for its innovative carsharing program.

SEATTLE — The Association of Washington Business (AWB) has awarded Flexcar with the 2005 Environmental Excellence Award for its innovative carsharing program. The award, which recognizes companies that demonstrate initiative, innovation and outstanding achievements in environmental compliance, protection and conservation, was presented at the annual Northwest Environmental Summit in Tacoma, Wash., yesterday afternoon.

Among the reasons Flexcar received the award was the fact that the many positive environmental benefits came alongside equally as positive economic and civic benefits. In King County alone since Flexcar's inception, the company has had several significantly positive impacts:

-- Congestion Impact: Removed an estimated 7,000 vehicles from the road
-- Pollution Impact: Removed an estimated 35,000 tons (70 million pounds) of carbon monoxide from the region's air
-- Land-use Impact: Removed the need for an estimated 21,000 parking spots, or 70,000 tons (140 million pounds) of concrete
-- Economic Impact: With an average savings of $400 per month versus car ownership, Flexcar members spend more on local retailers and services

Flexcar's innovative program provides its members with on-demand access to a fleet of low emission vehicles, including gas/electric hybrids, pickup trucks and minivans located throughout seven major metro areas, including San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Chicago and Washington, D.C. Members reserve the vehicles for hourly use with Flexcar covering the cost of the car, gas, parking, insurance, and maintenance. Paying by the hour, members can enjoy the freedom of car ownership without the hassles and costs.

Since launching the US carsharing industry in 1998, Flexcar has since won numerous awards and commendations for reducing congestion, air pollution and energy use, and increasing use of public transit while contributing to sustainable communities. Studies have shown that roughly 60 percent of Flexcar members sell or avoid buying a new car.

Among the many benefits of Flexcar's program are:

-- Members Don't Pay for Gas, Insurance, Parking: Flexcar's hourly or discounted monthly usage charge includes gas, insurance, and a prime parking place. Members don't pay a day-long rental rate when they only need a car for a few hours
-- they pay only for what they use.
-- Business Partners Receive Discounts for Rentals: Business members can encourage employees to take public transportation into the City, while making cars available for meetings throughout the day. In addition, businesses get free overnight hours, making cars available for free to employees who stay late and then face limited availability from public transportation services.
-- State/Nationwide Network: Not only can Seattle Flexcar members access Flexcar in Seattle, but also across the country thanks to Flexcar's nationwide network of vehicles.
-- A "Green" Choice: Carsharing is proven to reduce congestion and auto emissions, making it an environmentally-sound choice. Flexcar goes the next step, by offering a fleet that consists largely of fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles -- and then by planting trees to offset the minimal carbon emissions of that fleet through its partnership with American Forests.
-- Convenient and Hassle-Free: Unlike car rental companies with a handful of locations at often inconvenient, airport sites, Flexcar's vehicles are parked near members' offices and homes. And there's no waiting in line at counters to use a vehicle -- members reserve online, go straight to the car, use their personalized Flexcard to unlock the vehicle, and then just drive away.

More information on Flexcar is available online at www.flexcar.com

.Flexcar founded the U.S. carsharing industry and now operates carsharing programs for more than 30,000 members in seven metropolitan areas, covering 37 cities in 6 states and the District of Columbia. With flexible pricing plans, members can reserve and drive any of these cars whenever and wherever they need to, without filling out complicated paperwork, paying for insurance, gas or repairs. Flexcar Business Memberships enable companies to augment or replace their fleet with Flexcar vehicles. Flexcar's fleet includes sedans, gas-electric hybrids, and specialty vehicles including pickups, AWD, minivans and convertibles. AOL Founder Steve Case and auto industry legend Lee Iacocca are board members and investors/owners of Flexcar.

Source: Business Wire, Flexcar