(410) 814-3000

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Electric Vehicle Operation

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How far can I go on a full charge?

After a full charge our vehicles can go anywhere from 60 to 120 miles depending on road, weather, and driving conditions.

Can I charge it anywhere?

Standard 110v outlets, but it is recommended that they are charged on dedicated circuits with at least 15 amps.

How long will it take to charge completely?

To completely charge the vehicle it will take approximately 8 hours. However, a charge of only 1 hour will provide you with up 25 miles of additional driving.

Is it safe to charge it in the rain?

Completely! However, one must take precaution to make sure that the plug adapter is dry prior to connecting to the electrical circuit.

If I run out of battery power, can I fill it with gasoline?

Our vehicles are 100% electric and do not have an engine, therefore they do not use any gasoline. This allows us to save on energy costs and in turn pass the savings on to you.

How do I start the car?

Put the key in the ignition, just as you would a traditional automobile. The only difference you might not hear as much noise. Look for the lights on the dash to be on.

Does it meet all the necessary safety standards?

Of course! Our vehicles are compliant with all NHTSA standards for our class of vehicles.

How fast can it go?

Our electric vehicles have a top speed of 35mph.

About altcar and car-sharing

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How is altcar different from renting, leasing, or carpooling?

altcar members have access to a fleet of electric vehicles strategically located in densely populated neighborhoods that are shared among members. Members have access to all cars in the fleet and have the flexibility to rent the vehicles on an hourly basis. Insurance is included and there is no charge for fuel (electricity)!

Why should I consider altcar?

If you…

  • Breathe! Electric cars are better for the environment because they do not produce any carbon dioxide, which allows all of us to breathe a little better.
  • Don’t have a car. Altacar is a perfect solution for providing you with a flexible mode of transportation while saving you the expense of owning a car.
  • Have a car, but only use it sparingly. Take a look at your lifestyle and determine if you really need a car that sits on the street, driveway or parking lot 95% of the time. Or maybe, you don’t really need that second car now that you have access to an altcar.
  • Have a car, but the gas mileage is terrible and fuel costs are too high. You may consider selling your car now that you have access to one at anytime!
  • Concerned about where you oil dollars go.
  • You always wanted a bright green colored car but your husband wouldn’t dare let you buy one!

Who can benefit from altcar?

Businesses and private individuals alike can benefit from a clean, green, flexible, cost-saving mode of transportation. Why purchase a fleet of cars for your business that sit still most of the time costing you money? Contact us at altcar and we can work with you to find a solution to your specific transportation needs. Individuals should consider how, when, and why they use their car or transportation mode and determine how altcar may be able to save them money and encourage healthy living.

How is altcar better for my community and the environment?

If you live downtown you know how expensive, time consuming, and annoying parking can be. Studies have shown that for every car-sharing vehicle the public has access to, seven vehicles are taken off the road allowing for more parking spots in your neighborhood.

altcars are completely electric therefore; they do not spew any toxic pollutants into the air, save valuable natural resources, and are quiet as a mouse. This makes for a better quality of life for you, your family, and our environment.

Is altcar a for-profit company?

altcar is a public private partnership, where non-profits are working together with for profits.

How can altcar save me money?

altcar can save members up to $450/month. No car payment, no insurance, and no regular parking tickets as long as you park in our reserved spot!

How can altcar save my employer money?

Fleet management costs, liability, billing, just to name a few! Please have your employer contact us to set up an appointment to discuss all of the benefits.

How can I suggest altcar to my employer?

Send us an email and we will contact them. Otherwise drop off our brochure to the HR department or a Manager.

Do I have to…

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Clean the car?

No, we don’t ask you to take the vehicle to the car wash or vacuum after each use, but YES we do ask you to do your best to make sure the car’s interior is as clean as you found it.

Take it back to the same parking spot I got it from?

Yes, all vehicles must be returned to the same parking spot once you have completed your usage.

Plug it back in once I’m finished?

Yes, please plug the vehicle back in upon returning so that while the car is idle it can charge up for the next member. Sustainable transportation systems require team work!

Remove my belongings from the car?

Yes, please remove all of your personal belonging(s) from the car prior to exiting. altcar is not responsible for any lost or stolen items left inside or around the vehicle.

Can I…

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Bring my friends along for the ride?

Definitely. We encourage you to bring your friends along for the ride, as car-pooling is an excellent way to reduce carbon emissions.

Bring my pets with me?

All pets must be confined to car carriers.

Reserve the car now for immediate use?

Yes, just login to your account via the Internet or contact us at (410) 814-3000 to make arrangements.

Smoke in the car?

NO. Smoking is prohibited!

Let my spouse, friend, co-worker drive?

Only members are able to drive the vehicle while it is reserved. Please have your spouse added to your account, or co-worker sign up themselves.

Choose any vehicle in the entire fleet?

Yes. Members can choose to reserve a vehicle from any one of our many locations.

Reservation and Membership

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Do I need my own automotive insurance?

No, automotive insurance is included in the cost or renting a vehicle for all members.

Is there a monthly membership fee?

Yes, please see the different options.

Can I rent it by the hour, day, mileage, minute, or by a combination thereof?

All of our vehicles are rented by the hour, or day.

How can I reserve a vehicle?

You can currently reserve via telephone or online.

Can I reserve the car without becoming a member?

No, but you can check out our rental operation located at the Maryland Science center, and if a vehicle is a available for you to drive during normal operating hours you can drive that!

Where do I get the keys to open the car?

The keys are inside the vehicle. We will provide you with a Smart card that will allow you to gain access inside the vehicle – we will go over this in your members guide.

Do I need a United States driver’s license?


Do you have to look at my previous driving record?

Yes. We will not be able to provide membership if you have any DUI’s or multiple moving violations in the past 3 years.

How will I be billed?

Please see billing options, but we prefer to keep a credit card on file, and charge you according to your usage.

What are the costs?

Please see membership options.

Can my company secure a private fleet?

We can work with your company to match the specific needs of your organization. Please contact us to speak with a representative who can assist you.

I forgot my altcar membership information!

Please call or email us, and we will be sure to take care of you as quickly as we can.

Insurance Questions

Do altcar really provide me with insurance?

Yes we carry a fleet insurance on our vehicles, and as a member you are covered.