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BMW is putting a new spin on the concept of the San Francisco treat. The German automaker cut a deal to clear out 80 street-parking spaces for its DriveNow car-sharing program in the notoriously parking-constrained City by the Bay. Bimmer is also more than doubling its all-electric ActiveE car-sharing fleet in San Francisco to 150 vehicles from 70.

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Zipcar has been around for over a dozen years, and now shares more than 10,000 cars on a short-term basis with 850,000 members around the world. But there's been one thing missing from the carsharing giant's quiver of options: the one-way rental. That changes today. For a select few in Boston, anyway.

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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.

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Like the Volar-E and E-Born3 concepts before it, the new iShare EV from Applus IDIADA makes you stop and look twice. Looking like the strange child of a Smart Fortwo and a flat-nose semi tractor, the iShare is a purpose-designed little car (technically, a heavy quadricycle) that Applus has prepped for carsharing duty in European cities. There are no key holes in the doors, but the designers didn't forget them. Instead, they rethought how a car like this should be locked and unlocked.

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Daimler's Car2go car-sharing service just announced that it will debut in Rome, its 26th global city. Now, BMW says it wants to expand its own carsharing program to, wait for it, 25 more cities. Coincidence? We think not.

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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.

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The lucky citizens of Japan are getting it now, and some folks in France will join the fray later this year, but that's about it for public, leaning-trike fun. The car in question is Toyota's three-wheeled i-Road concept electric vehicle. And in addition to being really narrow and quite environmentally friendly, this little EV leans quite a bit when it scoots around curves.

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The San Francisco bay area continues to expand as a carsharing hub, and the latest addition is going to attract some attention. Vukee, a Palo Alto, CA-based company, is introducing the Tesla Model S to carsharers in that market as a way to stand out from larger carsharing providers like Zipcar and City CarShare.

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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.

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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.

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Fans of the old Schoolhouse Rock cartoons (there are more of us than you think) know that three is the magic number, and that's the approach a new UK carsharing club is taking with its launch. The E-Car Club bills itself as the UK's "first entirely electric pay-per-use car club" and it debuted earlier this month at the University of Hertfordshire, about 20 miles north of London.

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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

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China's cities are blanketed by toxic haze with air pollution that can shut down places like Beijing. Of course, there are many citizens who want to move from a scooter to a car, but that could create more pollution. In steps carsharing, and an idea from Kandi Technologies Group that its small electric vehicles could be part of the solution in the city of Hangzhou, an hour-long train ride from Shanghai.

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When you're paying by the mile, a few cents here and there can make a difference. So, cost-conscious Car2go drivers in many North American cities should be aware that the Daimler carsharing company has raised prices a little bit.

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The world's largest carsharing company is subscribing to the theory that one can never have enough payment options. Zipcar, whose vehicle inventory numbers more than 10,000 worldwide, is complementing its annual-membership fee structure with a monthly payment option at almost all of its North American markets. That means that those with an aversion to long-term commitments can join in on the car-sharing fun.

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Just in time for the holiday travel rush, FlightCar is expanding to the Los Angeles airport. The why-don't-you-rent-out-your-car-while-you're-away carsharing service started in San Francisco and is also available in Boston. Now the money-making scheme will be on offer at the world's sixth-busiest airport, which could mean lots of potential customers. Especially since you can now get information through the new FlightCar smartphone app, which launched yesterday.

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Enterprise Rent-A-Car is going farther into the carsharing business with the launch of Enterprise CarShare in the Salt Lake City market. Customers can get the cars – available to rent for as little as an hour – at nearly 30 locations in the downtown area and on local university campuses.

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Since 2003, Toyota has been rolling out new personal mobility concept vehicles at the Tokyo Motor Show. The first was simply called the PM – for Personal Mobility – in 2003. After that came the i-Unit in 2005, the i-Swing in 2005 and again in 2007, along with two takes on the i-Real in 2007 and 2009. Even though the PM had a canopy and was conceived for urban use, it was little more than a chair on wheels, and the concepts that followed shed the canopy and actually were chairs on whe

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Christmas, or "Noel" to French Canadians, is coming a little early for carsharing enthusiasts in the Montreal area. Car2go, the all-Smart Fortwo carsharing division owned by Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler, will start service in that city on November 2.

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You many not be able to pahk yah cah at Hahvahd Yahd, but if you're driving one of Zipcar's new Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid vehicles nearby, you can now park it at Boston Common Garage. And a few other places.

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Toyota is adding its funky, "active leaning" i-Road electric concept vehicle to its rather utopian people-moving experiment in Toyota City that combines personal and public transportation sources. Announced last year, Toyota's "Ha:mo" (short for "harmonious mobility") urban transportation trial lets people get through town using a combination of shared electric vehicles and other transportation sources. Traffic-routing technology and smartphone communication are all part of the futuristic effort

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