LONDON – car2go, the pioneer of simple-to-use carsharing-schemes from Daimler and Europcar, expands its business area in London starting June 2013. In December 2012 car2go launched in two boroughs (Islington and Sutton), the service is now also available in large areas of Wimbledon, Raynes Park, Kingston, Richmond, South Lambeth, South Southwark and Croydon. In the new business area the 500 smart cars can be rented and parked in all legal and unrestricted free-parking areas without considering any fixed rental station. In Islington and Sutton the car2go vehicles can also use any metered or pay station spaces as well as any shared residential permit parking space. At the same time the car2go service in Newham will be suspended as a result of higher demands in other areas of the city.
“Many Londoners have already started to use this new on-demand way of travelling around the city,” said Stefan Mueller, CEO of car2go Europe GmbH. “Expanding our free-floating business area allows us to offer the car2go service to even more people.”
The idea behind car2go is simple – it’s a whole new way of getting around that’s easy to use, easy on the pocket, and easy on the environment. Once registered, car2go members can locate any available car through the car2go London website, by using the free app or just by walking up to an available car, touching the card reader on the windscreen, getting in and driving off.
car2go costs 35p per minute and is billed directly to the customer’s account. This rate always includes fuel, insurance, road tax, parking and maintenance. Customers don’t even have to return their car2go to the same parking bay from which it was collected – any unregulated parking space within the home area will do. And, of course, the cars can be driven anywhere any car can. The car2go can be kept as long as the customer wants, or just for a quick hop across town.
Every car2go vehicle in London is a smart mhd – an efficient, compact two-seater which emits just 98g/km of CO2, and provides the convenience of automatic transmission, start-stop technology, GPS navigation and the comfort of air conditioning. The smart fortwo coupé is easy to drive due to its dinky dimensions, a dream to park, and super safe thanks to its tridion safety cell.
car2go service started in London in December 2012 and is now available in 19 cities worldwide. Early May 2013, Birmingham launched car2go as the second city in the UK. The company has more than 375,000 customers worldwide using more than 7,300 vehicles. Over nine million car2go rental transactions have been made to date, and this number rises continuously.
How It Works
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 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 − in any legal on-street parking space, including metered, non-metered and residential neighbourhood 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 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. After validation of the driving licence, a member card will be mailed to them, within three to five business days. This membership card will give members access to all the cars in London.
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 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 and unrestricted free public parking space within the car2go Home Area (in Islington and Sutton also on metered and shared residential parking areas). Charges are calculated by the minute, at a rate of 35 pence per minute, and will be debited from their credit or debit 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
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 7,300 smart fortwo vehicles: Ulm, Germany; Hamburg, Germany; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Vienna, Austria; Dusseldorf, Germany; Berlin, Germany; Cologne, Germany; Stuttgart, Germany; London, England; Birmingham, 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 375,000 car2go members worldwide which made more than 9 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.