Car2Go, San Diego Launch First EV-Sharing ServiceBy Danny King November 21, 2011
Daimler's Car2Go car-sharing unit and the city of San Diego has launched the first all-electric-vehicle car-sharing network in the country with 300 all-electric Smart ForTwo EVs. The Car2Go program launched in Austin last year, but uses gasoline-fueled Smarts. The San Diego program follows Car2Go's initial all-electric car-sharing service launch in Amsterdam last month. Members of San Diego's car2go service are charged a $35 registration fee and pay rental rates or 35 cents a minute for brief trips, no more than $12.99 an hour for longer trips and no more than $65.99 a day to rent the two-seaters for one or more full days. Charging costs are included.
The San Diego car-sharing service represents a confluence of the growing number of electric-drive vehicles in the United States and an increasing number of car-share users. U.S. car-sharing service leader Zipcar, citing research firm Frost & Sullivan, last year said North America car-sharing revenue would jump more than tenfold to $3.3 billion in 2016 from $253 million in 2009. Zipcar went public in April, and its growth lured more established car-rental companies such as Hertz and Enterprise into the car-sharing business. "Car2Go's investment here is another major step toward making San Diego the nations electric-vehicle capital," said Mayor Jerry Sanders. "This car-sharing program gives San Diegans a clean transportation option and complements walkable lifestyles in our citys urban communities."