Electric vehicle car sharing program launching soon

A Nissan Leaf is an example of an alternative fuel vehicle. It is 100 percent electric and can be charged at stations like the one shown above. (Photo: Contributed)

Authored By Chloé Morrison

Chattanoogans will soon be able to rent electric vehicles by the hour or day through a new car sharing system.

CARTA, EPB and TVA are working with Los Angeles’ Green Commuter to create the new transportation alternative.

Green Commuter will supply Chattanooga with Nissan Leafs as part of the partnership.

“The agreement with Green Commuter is important because it allows CARTA to enhance public transportation options with the introduction of an electric vehicle car sharing system to benefit all Chattanoogans,” CARTA Director of Parking Brent Matthews said in a prepared statement. 

Quote-worthy

“Chattanoogans should be proud of this agreement because we are the first medium-size city in the nation to implement an electric vehicle car sharing system to reduce emissions and traffic congestion.

“In addition, data from this project will be shared with other communities to support similar electric vehicle implementations across the Tennessee Valley.”

Source: CARTA Director of Parking Brent Matthews

Leaders will launch up to 20 vehicles for the car sharing system in the next month and are installing charging stations around town.

In the first phase of the project, crews have already installed about 20 electric vehicle charging locations. 

New solar power generation facilities are also under construction. Those will be integrated into the EPB power grid, but the solar facilities won’t be at every charging station. 

“Electric vehicles and solar-assisted vehicle charging maximizes the benefits of clean energy, reduces emissions, and encourages solar power and electric transportation in Chattanooga,” TVA Vice President of EnergyRight Solutions Cindy Herron said in a prepared statement. 

Through the expansion of charging stations, the installation of renewable solar power generation and the use of plug-in electric vehicles, Chattanooga is well-positioned to adopt clean energy technologies to reduce vehicle emissions on a sustained basis, officials said in a news release. 

“EPB is proud to support our community partners to enhance the value of next-generation mobility for residents and visitors to Chattanooga,” EPB President David Wade said in a prepared statement. “By leveraging the assets provided by CARTA, TVA, Green Commuter and the city’s smart grid, Chattanooga will continue to be a leader in innovation and environmental stewardship through affordable, clean transportation and renewable energy solutions.” 

When the electric vehicle car sharing system is fully operational, it will achieve significant reduction of air pollution and traffic congestion and improve Chattanoogans’ quality of life by offering safe, affordable and environmentally friendly public transportation, officials also said. 

The Green Commuter car sharing system, electric vehicle and charging unit will be on display at the Riverbend Festival Friday and Saturday. Attendees can visit the EPB/TVA booth for a hands-on demonstration of the system. 

Click here for more information and to preregister for the program.