You know what state needs more smart fortwos? Texas. That must have been Daimler's thinking before approving an expansion of the car2go carsharing service there. Daimler started car2go in Ulm, Germany last October and it will be coming to Austin, Texas - that little blueberry in the big red cherry pie of a state - this fall. There are now more than 200 fortwo cdi models that anyone in Ulm, visitor or resident, can rent by the minute, hour or day, 24/7. Costs range from 19 euro cents a minute to 9.90 euros an hour to 49 euros a day. Unlike other car-sharing services, registering for the car2go service is free. Daimler didn't release any information on possible pricing for the U.S. service.
Calling the Austin expansion "the next logical step," Daimler's Thomas Weber said that carsharing in the little fortwos is an "answer to current and future mobility needs in metropolitan areas." The main goal of the Austin service is to figuring how best to export the model to other countries. Basically, Daimler needs to figure out the issues with language, laws and layout. When the service starts this fall, only a small group of Austinites will be given access to the vehicles. Like in Ulm, if things go well, the user base will be expanded. Austin's fleet will start with 200 fortwo mhd (micro-hybrid) models. Hook 'em, smart.