car2go, a new car share program, selected Vancouver as the first Canadian city to launch its innovative mobility service. A newly created company, car2go Canada Ltd., a subsidiary of Daimler North America Corporation, will also be located in Vancouver. For Vancouverites that live in the city core this is great as many of us only need cars once in awhile.
car2go first launched with great acclaim in Ulm, Germany, three years ago, car2go was successfully rolled out a year later in North America in Austin, Texas. To date, a total of more than 35,000 customers have joined the car2go program in Ulm and Austin. There have been more than 600,000 fully automated rental transactions, averaging between 10 and 60 minutes. As a city whose mandate is to become the world’s greenest city by 2020, Vancouver was a natural choice for the expansion of car2go in North America.
A Different Way to Car Share
car2go uses a “free-floating” model of car sharing, where cars are available throughout the city and can be accessed “on-demand” or reserved up to 24 hours in advance. car2go members can use car2go smartphone apps, the car2go website or a telephone hotline to find the nearest vehicle within the 47-square-kilometre pickup and drop-off area which consists of the following quadrant: the south border follows 41st Avenue to the north border which follows the Burrard Inlet. The east border is Nanaimo Street and the west border is Alma Street.
Members can drive the car when and where they want, and then they can simply leave it in any available “permit only” on-street parking spot in downtown or residential neighbourhoods within the defined business area, or in one of the specially marked car2go parking spaces. In essence, every trip is a one-way rental, with no need to return to the location where the driver picked up the vehicle.
car2go charges customers only for the actual use of the vehicle, with rental periods as short as a per-minute basis. The rental prices in Vancouver are $0.35 CAD per minute, $12.99 CAD per hour and $65.99 CAD per day which includes fuel, parking, mileage, insurance, maintenance, cleaning, GPS navigation and a 24/7 hotline customer support.
A network of 225 fuel-efficient, low-emission smart “car2go edition” vehicles will be available to Vancouver car2go members as of June 2011. Starting today until May 29, 2011, Vancouver residents can pre-register for their car2go membership without having to pay the registration fee (a $35 CAD value) at www.car2govancouver.com using Promo Code: VAN, or in person at the car2go office at 45 Water Street in the Gastown area of downtown Vancouver.
I know I’ll be checking this out. Look for a post on Vancity Buzz soon that sheds more light on how to use this program.