Within a month, Lyon will become the first city in France to participate in Car2go with a fleet of 200 on-demand Smart Fortwo commuter cars. A 44-square-kilometer (17-square-mile) area defined by Daimler will soon mark the "geofence" where the cars will be available for rent.
Like all Car2go programs, the system in Lyon will allow members to use the Smart Fortwos for as long as they like, without requiring users to commit to a specific return time or location. Members pay only for the time of use, with rentals as short as one minute.
More than 45,000 people and 1,100 vehicles in Germany, the U.S. and Canada participate in Car2go. Daimler says its on-demand vehicle rental service has so far proven to be a success in four cities: Ulm and Hamburg in Germany, Austin, TX and Vancouver, Canada. Daimler is also getting set to try out Car2o rentals of the all-electric Smart Fortwo ED in Amsterdam and San Diego, CA.
200 car2go vehicles available beginning of 2012
car2go shows strong commitment to expand to the European market
Lyon - Following the successful launch of the car2go mobility service in the German city of Hamburg, car2go GmbH, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Daimler AG, and Europcar, the leader in car-rental services in Europe, announced today that within a few weeks, Lyon will become the first French city to enjoy the benefits of the unique car2go mobility programme.
Starting in 2012, car2go will provide Lyon residents with a fleet of 200 low-emission, self-service smart fortwo cars which will be available for "on-demand" rentals throughout the city. Members can easily locate the closest available vehicle within a defined operating area of 44 square kilometres via the internet at www.car2go.com or with the help of a smartphone application. They can rent a vehicle spontaneously without the need to reserve it in advance. car2go allows its members to use the vehicle for as long as they like, without committing to a specific return time or location. Members pay only for the time they use the vehicle, with rental periods as short as one minute. More than 45,000 people in Germany, USA and Canada have already become members of car2go, the world's first one-way carsharing service.
"Innovative urban mobility solutions like car2go offer a way to help meet the challenges of urban congestion, reducing carbon emissions and improving quality of life," said Gérard Collomb, Mayor of Lyon and President of "'Grand Lyon". "Following the actions we initiated in 2005 with Velo'v, the first self-service bike sharing system, Lyon is innovating again with car2go, a new approach to car sharing which is complementary to other initiatives enabling our residents to move around town. Choosing Lyon, Europcar and Daimler strengthen the role of our city being one of the European leaders in terms of sustainable mobility."
"This roll-out marks an important step of car2go into the European market and we are proud to name Lyon the first home of car2go in France," said Robert Henrich, CEO of car2go GmbH. "The overwhelming success in Germany and North America shows that car2go offers what people are searching for: a very convenient and flexible mobility solution for short and spontaneous one-way trips."
car2go complements the existing transportation infrastructure in dense urban areas and aims to reduce the burden on city-center traffic, parking and the environment by using the smart fortwo "car2go edition". The vehicle has been specially developed for the purpose of carsharing and is manufactured at the smart plant in Hambach, France.
The idea of car2go was born at the Business Innovation Department of Daimler AG. Today, with a total of more than 45,000 members and 1,100 vehicles worldwide, car2go has proven success in four cities: Ulm and Hamburg in Germany, the Texan capital Austin in the US and Vancouver in Canada. Since the first launch in the southern German city of Ulm in March 2009, more than 900,000 trips have been made and approximately 9 million kilometres have been covered. Experience shows that customers highly value the possibility to do one-way trips. Nine out of ten car2go rentals end at a different location than where they began, further showcasing that customers value the car2go model of point-to-point mobility.
After successfully launching car2go in Hamburg, car2go and Europcar will continue their strong partnership in Lyon.
"Together with car2go, we are providing innovative mobility solutions to serve urban communities and reach new categories of customers," said Phillipe Guillemot, CEO of Europcar International. "For more than 80 years, Europcar has been building the expertise and strong market positions that have established it as the undisputed European leader in car rental services. Through this partnership with Daimler, we are exploring new ways to combine urban mobility services with short term car rental services, to provide comprehensive mobility solutions to urban customers.