Daimler AG's Car2go car-sharing service, which has North American operations in San Diego, Vancouver and Austin, TX, will start the open-ended car-sharing program in Washington, D.C., and Portland, OR, later this month.

Car2go, which has overseas operations in cities such as Amsterdam and Vienna and has more than 70,000 subscribers worldwide, will open in D.C. on March 24 and in Portland a week later. Each city will receive more than 200 of Daimler's Smart ForTwo two-seat vehicles.

Daimler launched Car2go in Austin, where a two-year pilot program ended late last year. Daimler and Austin's city government reached a December agreement to continue offering cars and to introduce all-electric vehicles to Austin, as Car2go does in San Diego. More than 20,000 people signed up for the company's service in Austin during the trial period. For a deep dive into Car2go, read this and this.

Car2go competes against Zipcar in a car-sharing market that's forecast to surge over the next few years as gas prices rise and cities get more dense. Two years ago, Zipcar, citing a Frost & Sullivan report, said North American car-sharing revenue would rise more than tenfold between 2009 and 2016 to about $3.3 billion. Zipcar went public last year.
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Daimler's car2go Continues Carsharing Expansion from Coast to Coast

- car2go set to launch its carsharing business in Washington, D.C. and Portland, Oregon in March, with additional expansion planned for cities worldwide

AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- car2go North America, LLC, a subsidiary of Daimler North America Corporation, announced today it will launch in two new cities, from coast to coast in March 2012. The car2go carsharing service will be available in Washington, D.C. beginning March 24 and in Portland, Oregon beginning March 31.

"car2go is an integral part of Daimler's overall mobility service strategy," said Bodo Uebber, member of the Board of Management at Daimler AG and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Daimler Financial Services, the division of Daimler that has recently assumed responsibility for car2go. "And the success speaks for itself: Starting with an innovative idea three years ago, car2go today is a benchmark mobility business that expands rapidly."

"Already more than 70,000 people worldwide are car2go members, using our smart urban transportation each and every day," Uebber went on to say. "We will continue this success story by bringing car2go to further cities worldwide step by step," said Klaus Entenmann, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler Financial Services.

The car2go program will provide the people who live, work and visit Washington, D.C. and Portland with a smart transportation solution that is designed for rapidly growing urban areas.

"In each car2go city, we provide a carsharing service that helps ease congestion, reduce emissions and provide a viable automobility solution that complements public transportation," said Nicholas Cole, President & CEO of car2go North America. "The people who live, work and visit the vibrant cities of Washington, D.C. and Portland already embrace a variety of transportation options, and we are excited to bring them the unsurpassed convenience and flexibility of the car2go way of carsharing."

As the world's first-free floating carsharing service, car2go provides a new way of carsharing that is unique, particularly in these three areas:

•BY THE MINUTE: Members pay only for the time they use the car, by the minute, with discounted rates for hourly and daily use. There is no minimum amount of time that a car can be used – whether a member needs a car for 10 minutes or an entire day -- members simply get in and drive, for as long as they want without a mandatory return time. Parking, fuel, maintenance and insurance are included at no additional cost, and there are no annual or monthly fees.
•ON DEMAND: Members can use the first available car2go they find, via a smart phone app, the car2go vehicle finder at car2go.com, by calling the customer call center, or by simply locating an available car2go on the street. There is no need to make a reservation in advance because members have unrestricted and unlimited access to car2go vehicles 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
•FREE FLOATING: Members can pick up and drop off any car2go anywhere within the car2go Home Area -- in any legal on-street parking space, including metered, non-metered and residential neighborhoods parking spaces. Members do not need to drive the car back to its original location or commit to a predetermined amount of time. They can simply drive the car for as long as they need it, park the car at their individual destination, end the rental by swiping the card on the windshield reader, and instantly the car becomes available for the next member to use.

At the end of March, car2go will begin to phase-in more than 200 smart fortwo cars in each of the two cities, with the official launch dates set for March 24 in Washington, D.C. and March 31 in Portland, Oregon.

Registration for both cities opens today, and for a limited time, car2go is offering new members in Washington, D.C. and Portland free registration and 30 free minutes of driving time. For more information about the special promotions, please visit WashingtonDC.car2go.com and Portland.car2go.com. Additional information about car2go can be found at www.car2go.com.

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. 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.

SOURCE car2go North America, LLC

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