Daimler AG's car2go car-sharing service, which has about 70,000 members throughout Europe and North America, is expanding its supply of Smart ForTwo cars to Vancouver customers by about 45 percent because of surging demand from customers throughout the Canadian West Coast city.
Next month, Car2go will add 100 of the two-seaters to Vancouver's existing inventory of 225 vehicles, the company said Tuesday. Car2go started service in Vancouver last June with 2,000 subscribers and has widened its customer base more than fivefold to more than 10,000 subscribers since then. Car2go's also widening its rental area around Vancouver to cover 70 square kilometers (also known as about 27 square miles to the metric-system-challenged).
Car2Go, which launched in the U.S. in 2009 in Austin, TX, appears to be on an expansion binge. Last week, it said it would start service in the UK this fall when it sends as many as 250 Smart ForTwo gas-powered cars to the city of Birmingham. Later this month, the company is debuting service in Washington, D.C., and Portland, OR. Car2go also runs operations in San Diego, Amsterdam and Vienna.
The company appears to benefiting from car-sharing demand that's already strong and expected to surge over the next few years. The North American car-sharing industry, which includes larger competitor Zipcar, which said it will generate about $3.3 billion in revenue in 2016, up more than tenfold from 2009, according to a Frost & Sullivan report. Zipcar went public last April in an IPO worth $174.3 million.
- Larger network of cars, additional parking spots, and a more expansive Home Area bring more convenience and flexibility to Vancouver carsharing community
VANCOUVER, B.C., March 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- car2go Canada Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Daimler North America Corporation, announced today it will expand its Vancouver, B.C. operations to meet the growing needs of its more than 10,000 members. Beginning in mid-April, 100 car2go edition smart fortwo cars will be added to the car2go carsharing network, the car2go Home Area will expand, and new car2go parking spots will be secured, including eight new spots on the University of British Columbia campus.
"The car2go program in Vancouver is growing exponentially," said Nicholas Cole, president and CEO of car2go Canada Ltd. "In less than a year we have built up a network of more than 10,000 members who share our 225 smart fortwo cars daily. This is a great accomplishment for car2go, and it's a great representation that Vancouver residents have high levels of awareness and demand for smarter urban transportation solutions."
Cole went on to say: "We have listened to the needs of our members, and we are pleased to introduce additional cars, expand our Home Area, and add new dedicated parking spaces. This expansion will undoubtedly provide a new level of convenience and flexibility to the carsharing community in Vancouver."
Expanding the car2go Network
car2go launched in Vancouver in June 2011 with 225 cars, 2,000 members, and an average of 1,500 trips per week. Today there are more than 10,000 car2go members in Vancouver, and the number of trips per week has increased to more than 8,000. To meet the demands of this increased utilization, an additional 100 car2go edition smart fortwo cars will be added to the Vancouver network and will be available for members to use collaboratively, beginning in April.
Additionally, car2go will begin a pilot with several smart fortwo electric drive vehicles to determine further development of electric carsharing in Vancouver.
The New car2go Home Area
Beginning in mid-April, the car2go Home Area will extend beyond its existing boundaries, South to 49th and East to Renfrew. Members will be able to pick up and drop off car2go anywhere within this 70 square kilometer space. To see the new car2go operating area, please visit: car2govancouver.com/VancouverHomeArea.pdf
car2go members will continue to receive the benefit of free parking. Free curbside and dedicated parking spots are conveniently located throughout numerous specially marked locations in the car2go Home Area; and several additional car2go parking spots will soon be available for members to use. For the entire list of car2go parking spots, please visit: car2govancouver.com/VancouverDesignatedParking.pdf.
Each car2go vehicle is now equipped with a GPS system that includes all car2go parking spots as points of interest. Members can simply touch the icon on the screen and they will be provided with directions to the nearest dedicated parking spot.
Additionally, car2go has worked with the University of British Columbia to bring more flexible on-campus parking to students. car2go designated on-street parking will be available in select locations on the UBC Campus, starting April 1. The parking spots are located on campus directly across the street from the Northern Bus Loop and can accommodate up to eight car2go; and off campus at Wesbrook Village where an additional eight cars can be parked.
To stay up to date on all car2go news, please follow @car2goVancouver on Twitter or become a fan of www.facebook.com/car2go.Vancouver.
A wholly owned subsidiary of Daimler North America Corporation, car2go Canada Ltd., 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; and in April 2012, car2go will launch in Berlin, Germany. 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.