A subsidiary of Daimler, car2go is an innovative mobility service which redefines individual transportation in rapidly growing urban areas by offering a network of several hundred environmentally compatible smart “car2go edition” vehicles for rent. It provides an innovative mode of “on-demand” transportation which complements existing public transportation alternatives by bridging the gaps commonly associated with the “first and last mile” of a public transit commute. Unlike traditional car sharing programs or car rental companies, car2go is not station-based. car2go vehicles are distributed throughout the city and can be accessed “on-demand”, or reserved for up to 24 hours in advance.The members may use the vehicle for as long as they like, without committing to a specific return time or return location. Attractive “by-the-minute” rates include costs for fuel, insurance, maintenance, mileage and even parking.
Today’s announcement of the first Canadian car2go city follows the completion of two pilot programs. The first pilot program started in October 2008 in the German City of Ulm, the second pilot program started in November 2009 in Austin, Texas. To date, a total of more than 35,000 customers have joined the car2go program in Ulm and Austin. There have been more than 600,000 fully automated rental transactions, averaging between 10 and 60 minutes. The pilot programs were implemented to identify and address any technical challenges to ensure that car2go will run smoothly and efficiently in the European and North American markets. Due to its outstanding success and the high level of participation, car2go is set to undergo significant expansion in Europe and North America this year. In April 2011, car2go started operations in Hamburg, Germany, and is planning to start operations in Amsterdam before end of 2011.
car2go’s forward-thinking mobility program has already received global attention for its commitment to lowering the carbon footprint by offering a green alternative to cities’ transportation challenges. After winning the German ’Öko Globe’ in 2009, car2go has been recognized by Fast Company Magazine in April 2010, which cited car2go as one of the best ideas in building the perfect city. In September 2010, car2go received the ‘Clean Tech Media Award’ in the category of ‘Mobility’ in Berlin. The same month, car2go was recognized by the Austin Chamber of Commerce with the '2010 Greater Austin Business Award' for its positive impact on traffic in the city. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency honored car2go with the agency’s prestigious ‘2010 Clean Air Excellence Award’.
The smart “car2go edition”, developed in collaboration by car2go and smart, are the world’s first series-produced automobiles designed and manufactured specifically for car sharing. They are outfitted with innovative telematics hardware including an onboard computer with an easy-to-use touch screen with radio and GPS controls. Furthermore, the cars are equipped with a 100-watt solar roof, which is fully integrated with the on-board electronics and serves to supply power to the telematics and to continually charge the car’s battery. Additionally, if the vehicle is parked in the sun, solar energy is used to power the ventilation system that reduces the interior temperature to cool the vehicle and also lowers fuel consumption. The smart “car2go edition” vehicles for Vancouver are provided by Mercedes-Benz Canada and its Vancouver Retail Group.
Vancouver Business Area
The pick up and drop off area in Vancouver has an expanse of about 47 square kilometres. The south border follows 41st Avenue. The north border will follow the Burrard Inlet. The east border is at Nanaimo Street and the west border is at Alma Street. car2go members can find the closest available vehicle via the smartphone apps, internet or hotline and end their rental in any available ‘permit only’ on-street parking spotin residential neighbourhoods within the defined business area or at one of the specially marked car2go parking spaces.
car2go provides a simple and fair price structure that allows members to pay only for what they use. Customers are not required to enter into a long-term contract, or be subjected to a minimum spend, deposits or monthly fees. The rental price in Vancouver is $0.35 CAD per minute, $12.99 CAD per hour and $65.99 CAD per day which includes fuel, parking, mileage, insurance, maintenance, cleaning, GPS navigation, 24/7 customer support. There is a one time sign up fee of $35 CAD which will only be charged upon membership approval. This registration fee will be waived from April 27th to May 29th when Vancouverites can pre-register for car2go at www.car2govancouver.com using Promo Code: VAN or in person at the car2go office at 45 Water Street in Gastown. Please note that for drivers to be eligible for ICBC’s special car sharing insurance, an annual fee of $2 CAD will also be charged. However, this annual fee will collected and donated by car2go Canada to Canuck Place Children’s Hospice over the course of the next 12 months.
The trademark of car2go is its user-friendly system, developed to meet and exceed customer needs and expectations. A local car2go service team handles daily maintenance of the vehicles andensures that the vehicles are fuelled up and clean. If customers want to refuel the vehicles themselves, they can use a pre-paid credit card found in one of the slots of the onboard computer in the car2go. The time for refuelling the car will be credited to the customer with free driving minutes.
For media inquires, please contact:
Juliane Muehling, car2go N. A. LLC (512) 480-0813 Juliane.Muehling@Daimler.com
JoAnne Caza, Mercedes-Benz Canada (416) 847-7550 JoAnne.Caza@mercedes-benz.ca
Further information on car2go is available at www.car2go.com and www.media.daimler.com/ms/car2go/e.