Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) and Toyota Financial Services (TFS) have partnered with Indianapolis-based real-estate development firm Black and White Investments (BWI) to provide fully integrated, eco-friendly personal carsharing services to the residents of the newly opened Posterity Scholar House (PSH) in Fort Wayne, Indiana. As part of the company’s commitment to promoting mobility and supporting local communities, Residents can reserve Toyota plug-in hybrid electric vehicles online via Toyota’s personal carshare mobile app, SI Share, offering access to transportation without the costs of owning and maintaining a personal vehicle. Toyota is also working with project partners to explore electrification concepts that would further benefit the property’s residents and neighboring community.
A first-of-its-kind initiative in the state of Indiana, PSH is a sustainable urban revitalization initiative and net-zero energy housing solution. The 44-unit apartment community provides affordable housing that increases the quality of life while decreasing the total cost of living for low- to middle-income individuals (specifically, single parents enrolled in school) and families by focusing on utility, transportation and rental costs. The energy-efficient property features state-of-the-art technology, as well as an ecological and comprehensive education center of community-based programs and services, including the Toyota carshare program.
The carshare pool currently consists of four Prius Prime plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and is managed by Toyota’s Strategic Innovation Lab, which also handles vehicle insurance and maintenance. Toyota is working with the PSH developer and property manager, BWI, and project collaborator Energy Systems Network (ESN) to install electric charging stations for those vehicles (each powered by the property’s 287KW solar array). The company will continue to assess the priorities of the PSH project, as well as the needs of its residents, as it considers the addition of other vehicle types in the future.
“Toyota’s carsharing program is ideally suited for a community like this, where some residents may not have their own cars,” said Stacey Miller, national manager, TFS Strategic Innovation. “We are pleased to not only help provide access to transportation but to contribute in an eco-friendly way. These plug-in hybrid vehicles will enable Posterity Scholar House residents to easily travel anywhere within the Fort Wayne city limits and return home with plenty of charge remaining.”
To make the vehicle charging experience as easy and streamlined as possible, Toyota is simplifying the process for carshare users renting a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle for a short period of time and is hoping to soon provide open access to all public charging networks through an “electric charging pass” that consolidates public charging costs into a single bill.
Toyota is also contributing to PSH’s energy efficiency by managing the charging times of each plug-in hybrid vehicle individually, in order to minimize the electricity demand at PSH while ensuring each vehicle is fully charged when needed to fulfill the transportation needs of the residents.
“The Posterity Scholar House is improving the quality of life for so many residents through a commitment to providing affordable and sustainable housing and transportation options,” said Paul Mitchell, president and CEO of Energy Systems Network. “The technology innovations are serving as a model for future developments throughout Indiana that will positively impact many more lives.”
For more information, please visit www.strategicinnovationshare.com/scholarhouse.