After updating the fleet to newer EVs last year and even providing incentives to users to charge up when they were done driving, Car2go has announced it will get rid of all of the electric Smart Fortwos and replace them with gas-powered cars. Car2go is laying part of the blame on the Department of Energy, which had a plan to install 1,000 charging stations in San Diego by the end of 2011. There are only 400 installed around the city today, and only 126 are inside the Car2go Home Area. That's why, "we've all been left with inadequate EV charging infrastructure in San Diego that makes it very difficult to maintain an EV fleet," Car2go says in an email. For the rest of the year, Car2go San Diego is dropping its prices to just 19 cents a minute (the usual price is 41 cents).
San Diego city councilman Todd Gloria told The San Diego Union-Tribune that, the announcement is "a lesson to all of us that we have to work harder to build the infrastructure necessary to support electric vehicles and other transportation modes."
The company's headline on the email announcing this change? "Want to go father for less? Of course you do!" You can read the whole thing below.
When we launched car2go San Diego in 2011, we were excited to make San Diego the first city in America with a fully electric (EV) carsharing fleet. Our bold decision to go 100% EV was based on the Department of Energy's commitment to install 1,000 Blink charging stations through a company called ECOtality by the end of 2011. Unfortunately, that just didn't happen. Not even close.
ECOtality went bankrupt in 2013, and despite efforts by the City of San Diego to encourage additional charging stations, we've all been left with inadequate EV charging infrastructure in San Diego that makes it very difficult to maintain an EV fleet. For that reason, as of May 1, we are replacing our San Diego EV fleet with the same internal combustion smart fortwo car2gos used by hundreds of thousands of members in our 12 other North American locations.
We at car2go want to show how much we love you and all of San Diegan members! Beginning May 1, San Diegan members like you will pay just $0.19 per minute (regularly $0.41) or $65 per day (regularly $84.99) to drive*. This reduced pricing will be in effect for the rest of 2016, making it even more affordable to use car2go to get around.
Why we are making this change:
To date, only 400 of the 1,000 Blink charging stations promised by ECOtality have been installed, and just 126 of those stations actually fall within the car2go Home Area used by you and your 40,000 fellow San Diego members.
When fully charged, an EV car2go can travel 65 miles max. Our internal combustion car2gos can travel up to 342 miles on a single tank. These new vehicles will make all-day trips possible in ways our EV fleet couldn't because of the lack of charging stations.
Why you'll love the new fleet:
Internal combustion car2gos can make an average of 50 member trips before needing to be refueled, compared to just 10 trips for EV car2gos.
In San Diego, 20% of the EV car2go fleet, on average, is unavailable for use simply because it is being charged or because the charge is too low to be driven. That is over twice as high as the unavailability rate in any of the 12 locations with a fleet of internal combustion car2gos.
An EV car2go takes 6-8 hours to charge. With internal combustion car2gos our dedicated fleet team can get our vehicles topped up with fuel and available for you to use in just 5-10 minutes. That means more car2gos will be ready for you to drive all around the city so you can find a one where you need it, when you need it.
While car2go remains committed to EV mobility, the car itself is one piece of a larger EV puzzle. We would be happy to reconsider an all-EV fleet here once the infrastructure is in-place to support it and we are confident that an EV fleet can deliver the kind of mobility you deserve.
Meanwhile, we know you're going to love the benefits the new fleet will deliver for nearly half the price from May 1st to the end of this year!
Questions? Please feel free to email us directly at memberservicesNA@car2go.com or give us a call at 877.488.4224.
Thank you for your membership and continued support.
Your car2go San Diego Team
*Taxes and fees apply.