For some people, buying an electric car is a long-time dream. For others, the excitement comes simply from driving one and not having to worry about the hassles of vehicle ownership. Turns out, there are at least 6,000 such people in San Diego, CA, where Daimler's easy-access car-sharing program, Car2go, reported that many users in the program's first 100 days. Car2go is also happy to note that the 300 Smart Fortwo Electric Drive models that are in use there now means that, "for the first time in the history of North America, an entire city has access to emissions-free automobility."

Car2go started operationg in San Diego in November of 2011 and more than 25,000 all-electric trips have been taken thus far. At the beginning, around 500 rentals were happening each week. Now, it's up to 3,500. If you're interesting in joining, registration is free through March 11th (i.e., today). Find details about this after the jump. We got an in-depth look at San Diego's program when it was still in the planning stages last summer. You can read all about that here.
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6,000 New Electric Vehicle Users in First 100 Days of car2go Service in San Diego

- More than 6,000 members register for North America's first all-electric carsharing program
- For the first time in the history of North America, an entire city has access to emissions-free automobility

CAR2GO N.A., LLC ALL-ELECTRIC CARSHARING CA car2go brings North America's first all-electric carsharing network to San Diego. (PRNewsFoto/car2go N.A., LLC) SAN DIEGO, CA UNITED STATES

SAN DIEGO, March 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- car2go North America LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Daimler North America Corporation, announced today successful operations for its first 100 days in San Diego, CA. Since the launch of car2go in San Diego on Nov. 18, 2011, more than 6,000 people have registered as members of North America's first all-electric carsharing program, and more than 25,000 trips have been taken in the smart fortwo electric drive car2go vehicles.

Prior to the launch of car2go in Nov. 2011, there were reportedly 800 electric vehicles in San Diego. With the introduction of car2go, an additional 300 smart fortwo electric drive cars have been brought to San Diego, increasing the City's total number of EVs by nearly 40 percent. Since the introduction of car2go, the EV community in San Diego has grown exponentially to nearly 7,000 EV users, making San Diego one of the top cities in the world for electric vehicle drivers.

Today, the 300 car2go vehicles are collectively used among more than 6,000 members of the car2go carsharing program in San Diego, and that number continues to grow each day.

"For the first time in the history of North America, an entire city has been given access to a large network of electric vehicles that they can share, collaboratively," said Nicholas Cole, president and CEO of car2go North America LLC. "As thousands of residents of San Diego embrace car2go and the electric vehicle driving movement, they are setting an outstanding example in emissions-free urban mobility for the rest of the world."

car2go launched in San Diego with approximately 500 rentals per week. Today the average number of car2go trips per week has increased to more than 3,500. The average trip lasts between 15 and 30 minutes, and the average distance driven in a car2go is between 5 and 10 miles.

"At a time when the cost of fuel is reaching record-high prices, San Diegans are looking for ways to reduce their dependence on fuel and for more cost-efficient modes of transportation; and car2go is a very logical choice for them," Cole went on to say. "The great start of car2go in San Diego begins the next chapter in this global success story," said Klaus Entenmann, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler Financial Services, the Daimler division that recently took on responsibility for car2go.

car2go members can easily locate a car on the street anywhere within the car2go Home Area, via a smartphone app, via the car2go vehicle finder on the car2go website, by calling the customer call center, or simply by finding an available car on the street. Unlike traditional carsharing, members can begin their trip spontaneously or reserve a vehicle up to 24 hours in advance without committing to a mandatory return time or specific location. Members can use the cars for as long as they would like and pay only for the time they use the vehicle. Parking, insurance, re-charging and maintenance are included at no additional cost, and there are no annual fees.

Register Now! Free Registration Ends March 11, 2012

Through March 11, 2012 new members can register at SanDiego.car2go.com with the promotion code CHARGED to receive free registration (a $35 value) and 30 free minutes of driving time.

About car2go

A wholly owned subsidiary of Daimler North America Corporation, car2go N.A., LLC, offers an innovative mobility solution redefining individual transportation in rapidly growing urban areas by offering a network of several hundred environment-friendly smart fortwo 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.

car2go is currently operational in nine cities: Austin, Texas; Vancouver, British Columbia; San Diego, California; Ulm, Germany; Hamburg, Germany; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Vienna, Austria; Lyon, France; and Dusseldorf, Germany. In November 2011, car2go launched the world's largest all-electric vehicle carsharing network in the cities of San Diego, California, and Amsterdam, Netherlands, with the deployment of 300 car2go smart fortwo electric drive vehicles in each city. In March 2012, car2go will launch in Washington, D.C., and Portland, Oregon; and in April 2012, car2go will launch in Berlin, Germany. Currently there are more than 70,000 car2go members worldwide.

The innovation and environmental sustainability of car2go has earned international acclaim: In February 2012, car2go was named the "Best Carshare of 2011" by the Vancouver Courier. In September 2010, 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 same month, car2go received the "Clean Tech Media Award" in the category of "Mobility" in Berlin. In May 2010, car2go was honored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with its prestigious "2010 EPA Clean Air Excellence Award." Further information on car2go is available at www.car2go.com and www.media.daimler.com/ms/car2go/e.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 21 Comments
      Victor
      • 8 Months Ago
      My partner and I have used these for several months, him more than me. He has been going to grad school and so we sold his truck to get rid of the car payment. I use the car to get to work (public transit would take me an hour and a half each way but it is less than a 30 minute drive) and we usually carpool, but sometimes he needs to go somewhere in the middle of the day or I have to work late. In that situation, he usually just takes public transit, but when time is of the essence he hops in a car2go and zips away. He can either park it near the school or at any transit center and complete the last leg of his trip using public transit. Normally a taxi cab from our house to the airport is $20 - $30 bucks, but last time we took a car2go, parked near the airport and took a shuttle the rest of the way: $12 total. They really are awesome little cars that are great for a quick trip from point A to point B. The meter starts running once you unlock the car and then stops as soon as you lock it at your destination. Right now they have a limited area, and if you lock the car outside of this area your rental does NOT end, but they are supposed to expand it in the future. You can view the location and charge percentage of any car via their online app. When a car's charge gets low, car2go will drive it back to their main lot and recharge it. If you have limited range on your primary car, but need to drive somewhere in the middle of the day, just use one of these instead and save the charge on your car for your trip home thus helping alleviate "range anxiety".
        Victor
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Victor
        Note: I should be more specific and say: "I use OUR car to get to work" as I do not use Car2Go to get to work. Rush hour traffic can more than double the usual travel time and as Car2Go charges per minute and not per mile, you will pay double as well.
      EZEE
      • 8 Months Ago
      Are these the same smart cars that are supposed to sell for $22k? If so, are they not available to the rest of us? Make them electric, and at least half of the miserableness of a smart car goes away... :)
        Spec
        • 8 Months Ago
        @EZEE
        It may cure the crappy transmission but the aerodynamics will still be bad.
        Peter
        • 8 Months Ago
        @EZEE
        The Smart is an ideal car to convert to EV. A small light city car used for short trips plays to the EV strengths, with a inexpensive battery and motor. The fact that the ICE motor being replaced seems insufficiently frugal, and the tranny truculent, just adds the right amount of irony. This avoids the downward spiral of weight requiring more weight to push it (battery, motor) that hits its zenith at the 71kWh pack in the Rolls EV concept with its piddling performance (for a Rolls Royce, if you don't want to compare it to something like a Leaf).
      Peter
      • 8 Months Ago
      This story is an advert for the company for sure, but interesting and provides at least one other way to have the public experience EV travel in a low cost easily accessed approach. As it will find customers who will not know the address of say, a Tesla dealership, it will no doubt, improve acceptance and then penetration of this technology into those markets.
      Spec
      • 8 Months Ago
      It will be interesting to see how this works out. How & where do they have enough chargers for these?
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 8 Months Ago
      look at all those ipods! (10 points if you get that reference :) that's nice. I wouldn't buy a current electric car either (too expensive) but I'd be part of a car sharing too
      Peder Norby
      • 8 Months Ago
      As a sunshine powered BMW ActiveE driving San Diegan, it’s great to see all the electric cars on the road hear. Many EV drivers take advantage of our abundant resource of sunshine and pair their electric car with Solar. San Diego has not sunk into the low brow dialog of national EV bashing politics, but rather has taken a practical look at the value of EV’s economically, environmentally and socially, all well defined by the electric car2go program in San Diego. San Diego leads the nation in EV adoption and Solar Power. San Diego has several Thousand EV’s on the road. San Diego has a EV proactive Republican Mayor , 5 Republican County Supervisors (there is only 5 Supervisors) A Republican head of SANDAG (our government association of 18 cities and the county) who drives a solar powered Nissan Leaf electric car. Perhaps the nations Republicans can look to the Republicans of San Diego and get on the right side of this debate which is to support energy independence, self reliance, cleaner air, wealth creation and scientific technology advancement that betters our nation. Cheers Peder (R) San Diego County Planning Commissioner
        Ford Future
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Peder Norby
        Until the EV industry matches bribe for bribe, what the oil/coal/natural gas industry pays, you won't see "democracy"/electrics take off in America. You've got "Republicans" complaining about the "price" of gas, but not the ability of Exxon to Price Gouge and EXPORT gas, or Hedge Funds with no need for oil to speculate in the oil market. "Republican" bumper sticker politics. "Republican" is in quotes, because it's all bull, a Real Republican would be attempting to control Wall Street Fraud in the Oil Exchange, and Advance Solar and Wind in America today.
      • 8 Months Ago
      I have used the electric smart cars in San Diego. They were great for getting around the downtown area. Dedicated parking spots in the downtown and in Balboa park. Dedicated places to charge the cars in both places. Works great - most drives we only had the car for 15 to 20 minutes, and only had to pay for that length of time. This is the best usage I have seen yet for electric car technology - don't need a car full time, particularly when there are hundreds available for use.
      hahiran
      • 8 Months Ago
      We've known for a long time that interest in EV's is there, but making the cars accessible is the problem for the moment. Car sharing services are a perfect tool to get people behind the wheel of an EV and I'm thrilled to see the success they are having in San Diego. If I lived in a more intelligently-planned city (Phoenix is perhaps the worst in America), I would gladly use a shared EV as our second car, or get rid of both our cars completely and stick to renting+public transportation.
      Nick
      • 8 Months Ago
      Cool but a little pricey in my opinion: Per minute $0.35 plus tax (At this rate, why not use a taxi?) Per hour maximum $12.99 plus tax (Okay so about $16 for 1h, okay) Per day maximum $65.99 plus tax (A bit high) Per mi after 150 mi per rental 45 cents, plus tax
        Schmart Guy
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Nick
        "At this rate, why not use a taxi?" Good question. Found a taxi fare calculator and picked two POI's and got $13.33 for a 9 minute ride. Assuming an extra minute at each end for getting in and out the Car2go would cost 11 x $0.35 +7.75% = $4.15. Car2go may be pricey, but is much cheaper than a taxi. http://www.taxifarefinder.com/main.php?city=SD&from=32.703399%2C-117.158688&to=32.736586%2C-117.151475
      Jimz
      • 8 Months Ago
      This looks cool but I'm curious how the cars stay charged?
        Dan Frederiksen
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Jimz
        they brick after a while and then they buy new ones : ) or maybe there is a recharge station where they return them. one or the other : )
        Victor
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Jimz
        They monitor the charge of each vehicle and bring them back into their main lot for recharging when the charge is low. The web app that shows where all the cars are also shows the charge percent of each car.
      • 8 Months Ago
      I live in San Diego, and have used the Car2Go service. Last week, I had to take my bike for repairs to a shop that I have been using for several years, which is about 4 miles from where I live. I rode my bike, and directly across the street from the bike shop was a Car2Go! There are several great Android applications which show where the cars are. Right now it appears that the Car2Go team, is regularly moving the cars, and recharging them. So far I have never been in a car with less than 70% charge. What is really remarkable is that you can park the cars at meters, without having the feed the meter. This is great when I am going downtown. I drive the car downtown and park it at a meter, and I don't have to pay for the parking!. When I get done, there is always a car within 2 blocks! Recently I have been using the car to go to the airport, instead of a taxi. It is a little more difficult, because the closest place to park is Harbor Island and this is about a .5 mile walk to Terminal 1, and further to Terminal 2. When driving the Smart EV, it does not feel very powerful. I have taken it on the I5 highway (Grape street to 163), and have not had a problem, however I have not been pushing very hard either. I have never put the pedal to the floor, however it doesn't feel that it has as much power as other cars.
      Christina
      • 8 Months Ago
      I am so excited about this new car-share concept! Not only as an innovative new business model, but the fact that it is a great way to help get people into the driver's seat of EVs, giving both city-dwellers and vacationers green options for mobility! Amazing!!
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