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Zipcar to enter Taipei market

By Christine Chou -- U.S.-based car rental giant Zipcar announced Wednesday that it will launch services in Taipei, as the company's first step in its expansion in Asia.

The Chinese-language Liberty Times reported Zipcar has decided to launch car-sharing services in Taipei by the end of June.

The Taipei City Government's push for public car sharing service U-Car has failed to take off. Kaohsiung has also announced plans to launch an electric car rental system in October.

"We are very happy to be launching in Taipei as our first stop in Asia and to be promoting car-sharing with residents and visitors in the Greater Taipei area. This is also an important milestone for the brand," said Massimo Marsili, a senior executive at the company.

Marsili said Zipcar has been operating in the car-sharing industry for over 20 years in Europe and North America, adding that the success in those markets was partially because of cooperation with forward-thinking cities and improvement of existing public infrastructure.

What makes their car rental services special is members can park anywhere an average civilian driver could legally park, and drivers then must return the car to where they picked it up to complete their trip. Cars comes ready with gasoline and insurance.

At present, Zipcar's fleet of over 12,000 vehicles provide fixed-fee, hourly car rental services in hundreds of cities worldwide. The firm, acquired by car hire company Avis, boasts more than 1 million members.

The total number of vehicles, rates, and parking locations in Taipei have yet to be officially confirmed by the company, but the Chinese-language United Daily News reported there would be 12,000 cars on offer at pick-up locations including Songshan Airport, Huashan Creative Park, the Taipei Arena, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, Shida Night Market and Raohe Night Market, among others.

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