The City of Ashland and Southern Oregon University have partnered with Forth, a Portland-based nonprofit whose mission is to electrify transportation, to bring electric vehicle carshare to Ashland. The collaborative effort will start with one electric vehicle in Ashland, to be located in the SOU parking lot at 390 Wightman Street, next to The Hawk Dining Commons and Lithia Motors Pavilion.
The electric carshare project is part of a new pilot program called GoForth that was created by Forth. The goal of the partnership with Ashland and SOU is to provide access to affordable, all-electric cars for community members to test drive or use.
Carsharing is a system where individuals have access to a network of vehicles for short-term rental. Participants in the GoForth project will need to download the Miocar Network app, create an account and take a brief orientation to use the car. They must be at least 21, have a valid driver’s license and relatively clean driving record, and a valid credit, debit or bank card.
Participants’ first four-hour ride is free, and after that, they will be charged $4 per hour or $35 per day. The electric vehicle stationed in Ashland is a Chevy Bolt.
“It is great to be able to partner with the City of Ashland and Forth to provide access an electric car for community members to test drive or use for errands, shopping or appointments,” said SOU Sustainability Director Becs Walker. “This helps with access to an electric vehicle as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”
Ashland is the most recent of GoForth’s 10 active locations – nine in Oregon and another in Washington. The program has another four future locations planned – one in Oregon, two in Washington and one in Jackson, Wyoming. Electric cars drive much like traditional cars – the pedals, steering wheel and controls are the same, but they are fueled by electricity instead of gas and charge through a plug.
“This carshare allows people a climate-friendly and affordable way to rent a car. It also provides the opportunity try an electric car before committing to one,” said Chad Woodward, climate and energy analyst for the City of Ashland. “As a bonus, the fuel is included.”