Blancfleet, a New York City startup, just launched its crowdfunding + car sharing platform just days ago, wants to become the next Zipcar.
The number of “zero-car families” has been growing since 2007, after shrinking nearly every year since 1960; it’s approaching 10%. While the recession has doubtless played a role, it’s less than you might think. First, there has been an increasing move back toward the cities, where transit is more readily available. Second, millennials seem especially uninterested in owning their own cars. Third, the trend away from driving actually dates back to 2004, when the economy was still thriving. A government measure called “per capita vehicle miles traveled,” which had gone up steadily for decades began trending down that year and has fallen ever since. After 8 consecutive years of declines, on average we’re driving as much as we did in 1996.
It’s not like automakers are unaware of the trend. Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler is behind the innovative Car2Go service, which rents out tiny Smart cars in a flexible model like Zipcar. And BMW has backed DriveNow. Blancfleet wants to offer city dwellers the cars they want to drive at rates they can afford.
How Blancfleet works, the idea is simple, brand new cars are listed on the Blancfleet crowdfunding + car sharing platform, interested members submit pledges for the cars they want to drive and share with other backers, when the available days that are offered to members are sold before the campaign to buy the car ends, we collect payment (Credit/Debit) and buy the car. Upon delivery of the car, we park the car at an Icon Parking Systems garage in NYC. The vehicle can then be reserved on a first-come, first-serve basis within 24 months. When a member is done with a vehicle they simply park the car back into the garage where they picked up the car. All Blancfleet cars come with auto insurance included.
Blancfleet is currently offering a brand New 2014 Mini Cooper for $83.00 per day, w/ unlimited miles, taxes, and auto insurance coverage included. Other cars include a 2014 Mercedes-Benz Class-CLA, a 2014 Audi S4, and a 2015 Land Rover Sport.
Blancfleet is currently only offered in NYC, but “we believe car sharing nationally will scale up” and look forward to opening up Blancfleet locations nationwide, says Charles Polanco, the Founder of Blancfleet.
For questions or feedback please write to Blancfleet at [email protected]
1 Little West 12th St, New York, NY 10014 – 1.877.394.5478 – [email protected] – www.blancfleet.com