City CarShare

It's always refreshing when a non-profit's really not for profit.

City CarShare, the non-profit car sharing service, has about 20 electric vehicles (EVs) in its fleet of 400 cars but it doesn't expect to make money on them, Fast Company says, citing an interview with City CarShare CEO Rick Hutchinson. His exact words: "Our model isn't built on ever making money on these vehicles." There you have it.

The higher purchase cost and insurance rates for EVs make it harder for a car-sharing service to generate a profit from them, Hutchinson said. So, the EVs are there for another reason: generating awareness.

City CarShare added its first EVs in 2003 as part of a six-vehicle pilot program. The carsharing organization incurs recharging costs of about $30 a month for each EV and has tripled its EV fleet from seven in April. Getting users to know more about the plug-in vehicles is important, since a customer got stranded earlier this year while trying to get from San Francisco to Sacramento in an EV because, well, he didn't realize the car was electric.