ABOUT US

As Minnesota’s nonprofit carshare service, we have big goals to help change the way our community gets around. Our funding comes from utilization from our members, grant and donor gifting, and kind contributions from visitors like you. 

History

2005-2017

HOURCAR has been changing the way Minneapolis and Saint Paul get around since 2005. HOURCAR originally launched as a project under the Neighborhood Energy Connection (now the Center for Energy and Environment).

In 2011, HOURCAR partnered with Xcel Energy and the City of Saint Paul to pilot plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. This project was retired upon lease closure. 

From 2014-2015, HOURCAR participated in the City of Minneapolis On-Street Carshare Pilot Program, providing additional access to more vehicles in some of the highest demand neighborhoods in Minneapolis. The pilot program expired in 2015. 

In 2017, HOURCAR spun off from the CEE and became its own, fully independent, nonprofit organization. 

2019-Current

In February 2019, HOURCAR announced a unique partnership in a new, landmark electric vehicle transportation network with the cities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, amongst others. Originally known as the Twin Cities Electric Vehicle Mobility Network, on May 13, 2022 new branding and project development launched the EV Spot Network, the western hemisphere’s largest renewably-powered electric vehicle charging and carshare network.

2019-2022

On December 9, 2019 (weeks before COVID closures began), HOURCAR launched pilot operations in the City of Rochester; expanding its operations beyond those in the Twin Cities for the first-time ever. After nearly three years of operations, HOURCAR ended pilot operations in August 2022. 

2022-Current

 In August 2022, HOURCAR launched the Multifamily Project in partnership with Xcel Energy, American Lung Association, and East Metro Strong. The Multifamily Project will bring hub-based electric vehicle access to low-income and market-rate apartment buildings around the Twin Cities. 

HOURCAR prides itself as being a member of the Minnesota community, driving transformational transportation options where we work, live, and play. We celebrate the diversity of our team and our community and are always working to reflect the values of our community. To date, HOURCAR has a fleet of 50 hub-based ICE, hybrid, and electric shared vehicles in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, operates over 150 all-electric, free-floating, renewably-powered vehicles for the Evie Carshare service, a part of the EV Spot Network. By 2024, HOURCAR will offer nearly 100 ICE, Hybrid, and Electric vehicles under the HOURCAR name, in addition to operations of over 170 electric vehicles under the Evie Carshare service. 

Mission

HOURCAR is a local shared-mobility nonprofit organization. We connect people to their communities with convenient, equitable, and sustainable multimodal transportation.

Values

We value sustainability, integrity, freedom, and equity. We strive to be helpful, imaginative, respectful, and effective. 

Our Board

Principal: The Forward Curve

LinkedIn

The vast majority of Kevin’s work life has been spent in the energy sector, mostly in the gas and electric utility industry. His career has focused on product development, business operations, business planning and large technology project management. Currently he is Principal at The Forward Curve LLC, a locally based consulting firm. The Forward Curve provides niche services to some of the largest gas and electric utilities across the country. These services focus on helping clients deliver excellence in energy efficiency, distributed energy services and smart grid applications.

Senior Research Analyst: Piper Sandler Investment Bank

LinkedIn

A principal and senior equity research analyst at Piper Sandler (formerly Piper Jaffray), Alex covers truck- and auto-related companies listed on the U.S. exchanges. Prior to joining Piper Sandler in early 2008, Potter worked as a Beijing-based consultant to the World Bank, Energy Foundation, and various other international organizations. He is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and holds degrees from St. Olaf College (bachelor’s degree, Asian studies) and the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management (Master of Business Administration). Potter was a 2003 Fulbright Scholar at Peking University’s College of Environmental Sciences.

Executive Director: East Metro Strong

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Will is the Executive Director of East Metro Strong, a public-private partnership between counties, cities, and large employers in the eastern half of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul region. East Metro Strong works for public transit and sustainable transportation options that equitably improve quality of life, economic opportunity, and climate resilience, for all East Metro residents and businesses

Managing Director, Transportation : Fresh Energy

LinkedIn

Anjali joined Fresh Energy in November 2019 after spending five years in the solar industry, where she witnessed how federal and local policies shape market deployment. Before coming to Fresh Energy, she worked at Sol Systems as its first dedicated project developer, where she secured permits and interconnection rights for five solar power plants in Maryland and Virginia while also leading its Diversity & Inclusion Committee. Prior to Sol she was a founding member of SunEdison’s rotation program, supporting the project finance and asset management teams. These experiences bolster her commitment to pragmatic and equitable clean energy policy. Anjali got her start at Fresh Energy advocating for electric transportation, before stepping in to lead the Energy Access and Equity team in late 2021. In 2024, she transitioned back to leading Fresh Energy’s transportation work as Managing Director, bringing with her a clear commitment to build a healthy, affordable, and clean transportation system in Minnesota.

Anjali is a Clean Energy Leadership Institute fellow and graduated from Columbia University with a B.S. in Earth and Environmental Engineering. A mild cinephile, you can find her at the Trylon or exploring near and far-flung places on foot or by transit.

McKnight Distinguished Professor, Industrial & Systems Engineering Department: University of Minnesota

LinkedIn

Saif is an internationally renowned leader in the field of operations management and supply chains. He is currently Distinguished McKnight University Professor at the University of Minnesota (one of the highest recognitions for a faculty member at the University of Minnesota). He is Director of the Initiative on the Sharing Economy, a university-wide initiative with participation from faculty in management, engineering, public policy, industrial ecology, and law. He is also Director of the Center for Supply Chain Research, Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Senior Faculty Scholar at the Center for Transportation Studies, and Fellow of the Institute on the Environment. He was the founding Head of Pillar (at the rank of Dean) for Engineering Systems and Design at Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), a new university established in collaboration with MIT. He was also Founding Director of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Minnesota (formerly the Program in Industrial and Systems Engineering) which he led through a transformation from a small graduate program into a full-fledged department.

Cofounder: Hitch Health

LinkedIn

in healthcare through inspirational leadership. She possesses extensive strategy and product experience in the healthcare and financial services industry, as well as expertise in emerging strategies, innovation, and business and product development.

Susan Jepson joined HCMC in 2015 and co-founded Upstream Health Innovations. Upstream Health Innovations leverages a methodology called human-centered design. This research and design methodology develops solutions to problems by involving the human perspective in all steps of the problem-solving process to gain deep insights.

She is also the co-founder of Hitch Health, a patent-pending, proprietary software solution that integrates the Electronic Health Record and rideshare services, seamlessly removing transportation barriers and reducing “no show” rates by automatically syncing ride requests with medical appointments.

Down Payment Assistance Program Manager: Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity

Fernanda (she/her/ella) recently graduated with her Masters of Arts in Sustainable International Development from Brandeis University and has obtained a graduate certificate in Evaluation studies. Fernanda previously worked in the areas of international hunger relief, refugee resettlement and immigration centering around intensive case management in employment and financial management, and additionally, in social science research and evaluation in the transportation, child care, and energy, environment and equity areas. Fernanda has previously served as a Board Member for REACH Together, providing consulting services to the Executive Director, and holds a yearly fundraising event generating donations for local non-profits. She is deeply committed to working in social programs that focus on community development and environmental justice. 

Program Director, The Lift Garage

LinkedIn

JoHanna brings her passion for nonprofit leadership with a demonstrated expertise in driving program growth and aligning services with organizational values. JoHanna is currently the Program Director at The Lift Garage, a social enterprise that offers low-cost car repair services to low-income Minnesotans. She joined The Lift Garage in 2018 and has been key in the strategic growth of the organization – and learning first hand how critical it is for low-income families to have reliable and affordable transportation. She has over a decade of experience working with nonprofits focused on providing people centered services in the fields of transportation, financial empowerment, housing and emergency shelters. JoHanna has a Master’s of Social Work from the University of Iowa and her Bachelor’s of Social Work from Wartburg College in Iowa.

Meet the Team

We’re a growing organization attracting top talent as we work hard to change the way our community gets around. 

President: Kevin Lawless

Principal, The Forward Curve

The vast majority of Kevin’s work life has been spent in the energy sector, mostly in the gas and electric utility industry. His career has focused on product development, business operations, business planning and large technology project management. Currently he is Principal at The Forward Curve LLC, a locally based consulting firm. The Forward Curve provides niche services to some of the largest gas and electric utilities across the country. These services focus on helping clients deliver excellence in energy efficiency, distributed energy services and smart grid applications.

Treasurer: Alexander Potter

Sr. Research Analyst, Piper Sandler Investment Bank

A principal and senior equity research analyst at Piper Sandler (formerly Piper Jaffray), Alex covers truck- and auto-related companies listed on the U.S. exchanges. Prior to joining Piper Sandler in early 2008, Potter worked as a Beijing-based consultant to the World Bank, Energy Foundation, and various other international organizations. He is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and holds degrees from St. Olaf College (bachelor’s degree, Asian studies) and the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management (Master of Business Administration). Potter was a 2003 Fulbright Scholar at Peking University’s College of Environmental Sciences.

Secretary: Will Schroeer

Executive Director, East Metro Strong

Will is the Executive Director of East Metro Strong, a public-private partnership between counties, cities, and large employers in the eastern half of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul region. East Metro Strong works for public transit and sustainable transportation options that equitably improve quality of life, economic opportunity, and climate resilience, for all East Metro residents and businesses

Anjali Bains

Lead Director, Energy Access and Equity, Fresh Energy

Anjali joined Fresh Energy in November 2019 after spending five years in the solar industry, where she witnessed how federal and local policies shape market deployment. Most recently she worked at Sol Systems as its first dedicated project developer, where she secured permits and interconnection rights for five solar power plants in Maryland and Virginia while also leading its Diversity & Inclusion Committee. Prior to Sol she was a founding member of SunEdison’s rotation program, supporting the project finance and asset management teams. These experiences bolster her commitment to pragmatic and equitable clean energy policy. In September, 2021, Anjali stepped into a new role at Fresh Energy as our new Lead Director of Energy Access & Equity.

Anjali is a Clean Energy Leadership Institute fellow and graduated from Columbia University with a B.S. in Earth and Environmental Engineering. An avid cinephile, she enjoys studying filmmaking, writing, and exploring near and far-flung places on foot or by transit.

Saif Benjafaar

McKnight Distinguished Professor, Industrial and Systems Engineering Department, University of Minnesota

Saif is an internationally renowned leader in the field of operations management and supply chains. He is currently Distinguished McKnight University Professor at the University of Minnesota (one of the highest recognitions for a faculty member at the University of Minnesota). He is Director of the Initiative on the Sharing Economy, a university-wide initiative with participation from faculty in management, engineering, public policy, industrial ecology, and law. He is also Director of the Center for Supply Chain Research, Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Senior Faculty Scholar at the Center for Transportation Studies, and Fellow of the Institute on the Environment. He was the founding Head of Pillar (at the rank of Dean) for Engineering Systems and Design at Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), a new university established in collaboration with MIT. He was also Founding Director of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Minnesota (formerly the Program in Industrial and Systems Engineering) which he led through a transformation from a small graduate program into a full-fledged department.

Susan Jepson

Cofounder, Hitch Health

Susan is an accomplished innovative executive leader with a track record of leading transformational change in healthcare through inspirational leadership. She possesses extensive strategy and product experience in the healthcare and financial services industry, as well as expertise in emerging strategies, innovation, and business and product development.

Susan Jepson joined HCMC in 2015 and co-founded Upstream Health Innovations. Upstream Health Innovations leverages a methodology called human-centered design. This research and design methodology develops solutions to problems by involving the human perspective in all steps of the problem-solving process to gain deep insights.

She is also the co-founder of Hitch Health, a patent-pending, proprietary software solution that integrates the Electronic Health Record and rideshare services, seamlessly removing transportation barriers and reducing “no show” rates by automatically syncing ride requests with medical appointments.

Contact

Community Engagement

Marketing & Branding

Member Services

Multifamily Project

Press & Comms