BIRMINGHAM – car2go, the simple-to-use car sharing service from Daimler and Europcar, launches in Birmingham on 8 May with 250 environmentally-friendly smart fortwo vehicles available to use over an area of 21 square miles.
The idea behind car2go is simple: it’s the first fully-flexible and on-demand car sharing scheme – it’s a whole new way of getting around that’s easy to use, easy on the pocket, and easy on the environment. car2go is the future of Urban Mobility.
“We are proud to launch car2go in Birmingham,” said Stefan Mueller, CEO at car2go Europe GmbH. “car2go gives you the ability to go where you want, when you want – and in comfort – but without all the costs associated with owning, running and insuring a car full-time. We’re confident everyone will find car2go an easy, cost-effective and environmentally responsible way to get around Birmingham.”
Councillor Tahir Ali, cabinet member for development, jobs and skills, today launch the 12 month pilot scheme. He said: “We want to develop a range of green transport initiatives, reducing traffic congestion and carbon emissions and encouraging people to think of alternative ways of getting about. I’m pleased to welcome car2go to Birmingham, particularly as they are making the city their UK headquarters, with the associated jobs that will bring. I will be monitoring this pilot closely for all the benefits it is expected to bring.”
car2go will start with a fleet of 250 smart coupés in an area of 21 square miles in Birmingham. The car2go zone covers the city area between Oxhill Rd, Pershore Rd, Vicarage Rd, Highfield Rd, City Rd, Grove Park, Stratford Rd, and Aston Park. Within this area people are allowed to park in any Pay & Display bay without time restrictions and wherever it is free to park without affecting private resident or business parking.
car2go perfectly complements the already well-established public transportation network (bus, train and Metro) in the City of Birmingham. car2go delivers the last mile of travel which helps commuters with their journey and can help to reduce congestion and pollution in the city.
Every car2go vehicle in Birmingham is based on the smart mhd – an efficient, compact two-seater which emits just 98g/km of CO2, plus the convenience of automatic transmission, start-stop technology, GPS navigation and the comfort of air conditioning. The smart fortwo coupé is easy to drive – it’s the perfect size for urban mobility - , a dream to park, and super safe thanks to its tridion safety cell. It’s surprisingly practical too: Its boot can accommodate everything from a quick shop to a tumble dryer – perfect for those impulse buys.
Marcus Breitschwerdt, President & CEO of Mercedes-Benz UK Ltd, added: “I’m delighted that car2go has chosen Birmingham as its second UK city. Our smarts all have eco stop-start, automatic transmission, air conditioning, GPS navigation, are fuelled, insured and cleaned and are available 24/7. You don’t even have to pay for parking if you park in any pay and display without affecting residents and businesses – car2go has got that covered too. Of course, car2go is all about making mobility easy, so anyone registered as a car2go member in London or Birmingham can use the service in either city.”
As easy as using your mobile phone
People can register for a one-time registration fee of £29.90 – either online at car2go.com/Birmingham or at the car2go shop at 10 Fleet Street, Birmingham B3 1JL near Snowhill Station. Once registered, car2go members can locate any available car through the car2go Birmingham website, by using a free app or just by walking up to an available car, touching the card reader on the windscreen with the car2go member card, getting in and driving off.
Once registered, driving will be charged by the minute (35p) and billed directly to the customer’s account. This rate always includes fuel, insurance, road tax, parking and maintenance at no extra cost. New customers will get their first 30 minutes of driving time for free to help them understand how the car2go concept will work well in their daily life.
Customers don’t have to return their car2go to the same parking bay where it was collected. The car2go can be kept as long as the customer needs, all day, or for a quick hop across town.
Birmingham is the 19th city around the world to offer the car2go scheme, and it’s the second city in the UK (London was launched in December 2012). Globally the company has more than 375,000 customers who use over 7,300 vehicles worldwide. More than eight million car2go rental transactions have been made to date, and this number continues to rise.
How It Works
As the world’s first-free floating car sharing service, car2go provides a new way of car sharing 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 five minutes or an entire day – members simply get in and drive, for as long as they want without having to commit to a mandatory return time or location. 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 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 – park it on any Pay & Display bay without time restrictions and wherever it is free to park without affecting resident or business parking within a defined business area. 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 destination, end the rental by swiping the card on the windscreen reader, and instantly the car becomes available for the next member to use.
There are five simple steps to using car2go:
Step 1: Become a Member – Licensed drivers can register to become a car2go member at car2go.com and at the shop at 10 Fleet Street in Birmingham. Here they can immediately get their member card. This membership card will give members access to all the cars in Birmingham and London as well.
Step 2: Locate a Vehicle – Members use the car2go finder at car2go.com, a smart phone app, tablet app, or the car2go facebook app to locate the nearest available car. They can either use the car spontaneously (without a reservation) or book a car2go in advance online or through the app.
Step 3: Access the Vehicle – Members can simply walk up to the car2go, hold the membership card against the card reader on the windshield and the doors will unlock. After entering a PIN on the touchscreen and rating the condition of the vehicle, a key will be released, allowing them to drive.
Step 4: Drive – Members can take the car key which is stowed next to the touchscreen unit, start the car2go and drive off. They can drive for as long as they want, without having to commit to a return time or location.
Step 5: Finish the Trip – Members can complete their trip in any available public parking space within the car2go Home Area. Charges are calculated by the minute, at a rate of 35 pence per minute, and will be debited from their credit card after exiting the vehicle. Fuel, parking, maintenance and insurance are included at no additional cost.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Daimler Mobility Services GmbH
+49 (0) 731 505 6821
Mercedes-Benz UK Limited
+44 (0) 1908 301313
+44 (0) 7841 451444
Europcar UK Group Press Office
Wendy Harrison, Madeleine Roles or Dominic Dennis at HSL
+44 (0) 208 977 9132
Further information on car2go:
A wholly owned subsidiary of Daimler, car2go 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 19 cities worldwide with a total of 7,000 smart fortwo vehicles: Ulm, Germany; Hamburg, Germany; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Vienna, Austria; Dusseldorf, Germany; Berlin, Germany; Cologne, Germany; Stuttgart, Germany; London, England; Austin, Texas; Vancouver, British Columbia; San Diego, California; Washington, D.C.; Portland, Oregon; Toronto, Ontario; Calgary, Alberta and Miami, Florida. Currently, there are more than 350,000 car2go members worldwide which made more than 8 Million rentals.
The innovation and environmental sustainability of car2go have earned international acclaim: In 2012, car2go was named the “Best Carshare” by the Vancouver Courier. In September 2010, car2go received the “Clean Tech Media Award” in the category of “Mobility” in Berlin. In May 2010, car2go was honoured by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with its prestigious “2010 EPA Clean Air Excellence Award.”
Daimler AG is one of the world’s most successful automotive companies. With its divisions Mercedes-Benz Cars, Daimler Trucks, Mercedes-Benz Vans, Daimler Buses and Daimler Financial Services, the Daimler Group is one of the biggest producers of premium cars and the world’s biggest manufacturer of commercial vehicles with a global reach. Daimler Financial Services provides financing, leasing, fleet management, insurance and innovative mobility services.
The company’s founders, Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz, made history with the invention of the automobile in the year 1886. As a pioneer of automotive engineering, Daimler continues to shape the future of mobility today: The Group’s focus is on innovative and green technologies as well as on safe and superior automobiles that appeal to and fascinate its customers. For many years now, Daimler has been investing continually in the development of alternative drive systems with the goal of making emission-free driving possible in the long term. So in addition to vehicles with hybrid drive, Daimler now has the broadest range of locally emission-free electric vehicles powered by batteries and fuel cells. This is just one example of how Daimler willingly accepts the challenge of meeting its responsibility towards society and the environment. Daimler sells its vehicles and services in nearly all the countries of the world and has production facilities on five continents. Its current brand portfolio includes, in addition to the world’s most valuable premium automotive brand, Mercedes-Benz, the brands smart, Freightliner, Western Star, BharatBenz, Fuso, Setra and Thomas Built Buses. The company is listed on the stock exchanges of Frankfurt and Stuttgart (stock exchange symbol DAI). In 2012, the Group sold 2.2 million vehicles and employed a workforce of 275,000 people; revenue totalled €114.3 billion and EBIT amounted to €8.6 billion.
Europcar is the leader in car rental services in Europe. Present in over 130 countries, the company provides customers with access to the world’s largest vehicle rental network through its own operations, franchisees and partnerships. With some 6,500 employees committed to delivering customer satisfaction and an average fleet of 186,000 vehicles, Europcar is conscious of its corporate citizenship responsibilities. Winner of the first World Travel Award recognizing the World's Leading Green Transport Solutions Company, Europcar also was honored with the Award in 2010, 2011 and 2012 and received for the first time in 2012 the “Europe’s Responsible Tourism Award”. Europcar is owned by Eurazeo, one of the leading listed investment companies in Europe.
For more information: www.europcar.co.uk