Sidecar, self-proclaimed inventor of ridesharing, didn't survive in an Uber world. Now GM is swooping in to pick up the pieces.
Turns out, 1,000,000 people sharing 12,000 cars can have a big impact. Now that Car2go has claimed the seven-digit member figure (disclosure: I'm one of those million), the Daimler-owned carsharing company is, ahem, sharing a few figures in the traditional infographic format. Click the image above to enlarge it.
For all the smarts in the Smart cars used in Car2go, the cars haven't been smart enough to talk to users' smart phones. At least, not in the way you might want them to talk to each other. Until now, Car2go users have had to carry a special card with them to gain access to the broad network of carsharing vehicles. Now, you can get in and drive using your phone and the Car2go app.
Plugging in a vehicle to get power makes sense when that vehicle is owned by one person or family and – like most of the cars on the planet – sits still for most of the day. But when you're trying to share an EV, or a few hundred of them, charging time becomes doubly important. You need those electrons to move but every minute spent charging is time the car can't be shared.
Car2go has always been about offering its members an alternative to traditional car ownership as they move around town. Now, the carsharing company's focus is expanding to offer alternatives (plural) with the addition of things like taxis, bikesharing and public transportation to the Car2go family. This is because Car2go and its parent company, Moovel (which is in turn owned by Daimler), have acquired RideScout, an all-in-one service that Car2go calls, "the leading app-based mobility platform in
Mercedes-Benz's mega-cool road-railer Unimog now boasts Euro VI compliance. Used for railroad track maintenance and train shunting work, this diesel-powered Unimog offers about a 90-percent improvement in particulate emissions over the Euro V. The new engine also offers improved efficiency. It provides 231 horsepower, and with eight forward and eight reverse gears, it can travel up to 31 miles per hour in either direction. It also has new in-cabin features that make it easier to use for the driv
Until now, the trajectory of the Car2go carsharing service has been growth, growth, growth. But the expansion has hit a snag in jolly old England, where Daimler has announced it will shut down operations there. This means that the two Car2go UK locations, London and Birmingham, will no longer offer one-way, short-term car rentals as of tomorrow.
The Beach Boys typified the Southern California lifestyle by famously singing about hot rods, drag races and convertibles (not to mention surfer girls). So we never would've guessed that their hometown would help host a carsharing service featuring squat two-seaters. But times have changed.
The 13 various North American Car2go services are about to play together a lot nicer. With the new "Regional Access" plan, every North American Car2go member will be able to use his or her membership from one city in another. This was previously available within the US to US-based members who wanted to use their accounts in another US city, but now US users can drive in the three Canadaian Car2go cities - Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver - and vice versa.
When in Rome, folks can start using Daimler's Car2go car-sharing service. The Mercedes-Benz parent says its car-sharing fleet of Smart Fortwo two-seaters will be available in the Italian capital starting mid-March. Upon the debut, about 300 cars will be available, with another 200 added by April. Lessons in Italian driving gestures will not be included.
Carsharing is a big deal in many urban centers, and it's only going to get bigger. Last fall, one study predicted that the 2.3 million users around today will grow to more than 12 million by 2020. While that's good news for cities already dealing with congestion, some are sounding the alarm that all of this shared consumption is going to hurt car sales.
Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler has finally decided to go to its proverbial mothership to further expand its Car2go carsharing service in Europe. The German automaker has long used its itty-bitty Smart Fortwo vehicles for the program, but now it's kicking off a pilot program called Car2go Black that will share Mercedes-Benz B-Class models in Berlin and Hamburg.
In the fall of 2009, a big idea using little cars got its US start in Austin, TX. That's when Daimler's Car2go carsharing program first came to North America after its global debut in Ulm, Germany. The idea was simple: let people rent a car for just a few minutes at a time, and let them end their rental when they got to wherever it was they were going (within limits). It sure seemed to make sense, but would Americans like short-term rentals in the little Smart cars? Four years later, we thought