Eugene BioCarShare is a bio-diesel car sharing cooperative located in Eugene, Oregon that exists for the following purposes:
Share vehicle resources to lighten our load on the earth.
Build connections among our members.
Serve as a model to promote both car-sharing and sustainable technology.
Biodiesel is diesel fuel made from renewable vegetable sources. It burns cleaner and more efficiently than regular gasoline. Biodiesel has the highest energy balance of any fuel considering that it generates 3.2 units of energy for every one unit of fossil energy needed to produce it.
Biodiesel is an extremely safe, non-toxic substance that actually cleans the fuel system as it runs through it. In addition, using biodiesel requires no costly modifications to existing diesel equipment. Its current price is expected to go down as more people start recognizing the benefits of running vehicles on biodiesel.
Check out an excellent article by Rob Elam for common questions on biodiesel production and use. But remember that biodiesel itself is not a solution to the current energy crisis.
Why a Co-op?
Most vehicles spend the majority of ther lives just sitting there. This is not only an inefficent use of resources but costs owners money: you are still paying insurance whether it’s in use or not.
Our members don’t need a vehicle everyday. By sharing, we use the vehicle as much as we need and share much of the expenses proportionally to our usage. Both the buy in and the set monthly fee are kept affordable by keeping costs low and doing the organizational work ourselves.
The rewards of organizing cooperatively go beyond meeting our transportation needs reliabley. We help each other gain new skills: interpersonal, organizational, financial, technological, and so on.
We make all major decisions by consensus. Members are expected to work out conflicts that arise, and support each other in doing this when needed. We aim to build social connections and a sense of community among our membership – we are involved in each other’s lives. Without that, we believe, we would not succeed as a cooperative
We love our bikes, why drive at all?
Human powered transportation, namely bicycles, is the main way our members get around. The benefits of this are numerous: physical fitness, low ecological impact, low cost, few parking concerns, and it’s fun!
Now and then we want to get out of town, to go to the coast or the mountains to camp. For these trips, biking can take so much time and energy as to be impractical. A vehicle also comes in handy for transporting goods too big or awkward to fit in a bike trailer. Then there are times when occasional illnesses or temporary disabilities make driving more appealing than cycling.