The BlueIndy carsharing program is currently being tested in Indianapolis, IN, but there is already some good news to report. The utility company supporting the all-electric-vehicle system, Indianapolis Power And Light, originally thought it would charge its customers 44 cents a month for BlueIndy, but that number has been dropped to 28 cents after a settlement with the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor.
The DriveNow carsharing service, which is a partnership between BMW and Sixt, is growing quite rapidly. "We've been surprised about the explosion of new subscriptions, which has helped boost revenue," says Sixt CEO Erich Sixt. The number of DriveNow users has increased from 215,000 at the end of last year to 300,000 today.
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
Toyota's i-ROAD and COMS teeny, tiny, city EVs are joining the Citélib carsharing fleet in Grenoble, France. The ultra-compact EVs, which will become available in October, are meant to supplement the Grenoble metropolitan area's existing public transit infrastructure, which includes trams, buses and trains. Toyota's i-ROAD and COMS will be connected to the transit systems IT infrastructure, allowing users to visualize their route on their smartphone or computer, and reserve and pay for th
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.