Car-sharing is here!
Five Honda Clarity electric car-sharing vehicles are located in Hood River, available to rent by the minute. City vehicle bases are located at the Hood River Fire Station and the Columbia Street parking lot at 5th Street. A third vehicle is located at the Port waterfront on North 1st Street. Two vehicles are located at the Rio Bella and Wy’east Vista apartments in the Heights, available to residents of the apartment complexes. All locations are near CAT transit stops.
This short movie shows Hood River Kate McBride taking delivery of the first vehicle and driving it to the Hood River Fire station.
To rent a vehicle, community members download the “Envoy There” app reservation system on their smartphones and create an account. The app will show vehicles in town, their current electric charges, instructions, and costs to rent. The smartphone serves as a key once a vehicle is rented and the vehicle’s property code is entered. Vehicles must be returned to home bases and plugged in to charging station for the next user. Fully charged, the vehicles can go around 70 miles and can be recharged at stations in the region.
City Council approved the agreement with nonprofit electric vehicle (EV) company Forth for a three-year pilot EV car-sharing program. “This is both an equity issue that allows those without vehicles to share one. It’s also an environmental issue and will result in carbon reduction,” said Mayor Kate McBride at the recent ribbon cutting event.
Forth received a Federal Department of Energy grant to bring the program to Hood River and test the practicality of EV car-sharing in rural environments. The program is known locally as the Clean Rural Shared Electric Mobility Project (CRuSE). At the end of the three-year project period, ownership of the charging equipment will be transferred to the City. To learn more, read Forth’s press release with complete information. The program is made possible by a U.S. Department of Energy grant to Forth Mobility. Other partners include Columbia Area Transit, Pacific Power, Envoy There, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), and OpConnect.
On June 24th, a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony was held at the Hood River Fire Station with representatives from Forth, Columbia Area Transit, the Hood River County Energy Council, Pacific Power.
Electricity usage will be covered by Forth, while a $19,657 City in-kind contribution is the value of City-provided parking spaces, staff time and anticipated car rentals for City business. The contract has no net impact on the City’s budget.