Stuttgart/Birmingham – car2go, the simple-to-use carsharing service from Daimler and Europcar, has signed an agreement with the Birmingham City Council to bring the first fully-flexible carsharing service to the area. The idea behind car2go is simple: the smart fortwo cars can be rented spontaneously and without fixed rental stations. They can be used as long as needed and then left 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. It’s a whole new way of getting around the city , easy to use, easy on the pocket and easy on the environment: The future of Urban Mobility.
“We are proud to have signed the contract with the City of Birmingham to launch car2go in the second quarter of 2013”, said Stefan Müller, CEO at car2go Europe GmbH. “Since winning this important bid for the provision of an urban mobility scheme last year we have been working closely with the City of Birmingham to lay the foundation for a successful launch.”
Councillor Tahir Ali, cabinet member for development, jobs and skills, said: “Birmingham is committed to developing a wide range of green transport initiatives and this 12 month pilot will establish how this scheme can contribute towards this, alongside improvements to public transport and better walking and cycling links. The aim is to reduce traffic congestion and carbon emissions and encourage people to think of alternatives to bringing their car into city every day.”
car2go will start with a fleet of 250 iconic smart coupés in a 34 sq mile area of Birmingham. People are allowed to park in any Pay & Display bay without time restrictions and wherever it is free to park without affecting resident or business parking. Customers will soon be able to pre-register online www.car2go.com The well-established public transportation (bus, train and Metro) in the City of Birmingham and the car2go scheme will complement each other perfectly. car2go delivers the last mile of travel, helping commuters and reducing congestion and pollution in the city.
Marcus Breitschwerdt, President and CEO, Mercedes-Benz UK, said: "I am delighted that car2go is expanding to Birmingham, one of the UK's largest cities and a major international commercial centre. Our Mercedes-Benz and smart retailers have been serving customers in this region for many years and I am looking forward to introducing the people of Birmingham to car2go."
As easy as using your mobile phone
Once registered, driving will be charged by the minute. There are no monthly fees or minimum turnovers – it’s just ‘pay as you drive’. Every new customer gets the first 30 minutes of driving for free, helping them to understand how the concept works. Customers don’t even have to return their car2go to the same parking bay from which it was collected. And of course the cars can be driven anywhere any car can. The car2go can be kept as long as the customer wants, or for a quick hop across town.
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 www.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 www.car2go.com Within three to five business days, a member card will be mailed to them. This membership card will give members access to all the cars in London.
Step 2: Locate a Vehicle – Members use the car2go finder at www.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 public parking space within the car2go Home Area. Charges are calculated by the minute, at a rate of 0.35 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) 176 309 11968
+44 1908 301313
Further information on car2go:
About Daimler Mobility Services GmbH
Daimler Mobility Services GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of Daimler Financial Services AG, offers its customers innovative mobility services from a single source. With the car2go brand, the company is the world’s leading provider of flexible carsharing programs. With the moovel brand, Daimler Mobility Services GmbH offers an intuitive smartphone app that enables customers to compare various mobility options on the basis of several parameters, and then choose the best options for traveling from Point A to Point B. The company’s other activities include the development of innovative solutions for searching for and reserving parking spaces in cities.
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 18 cities worldwide with more than 6,100 smart fortwo vehicles: Ulm, Germany; Hamburg, Germany; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Vienna, Austria; Dusseldorf, Germany; Berlin, Germany; Cologne, Germany; Stuttgart, Germany; London, UK; Austin, Texas; Vancouver, British Columbia; San Diego, California; Washington, D.C.; Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington Toronto, Ontario; Calgary, Alberta and Miami, Florida. 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. Currently, there are more than 275,000 car2go members worldwide which made more than 4 Million rentals in 2012.
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 honored 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 totaled €114.3 billion and EBIT amounted to €8.6 billion.
Europcar is the leader in car rental services in Europe. Present in 140 countries, the company provides customers with access to the world’s largest vehicle rental network through its own operations, franchisees and partnerships. With 6,500 employees committed to delivering customer satisfaction and an average fleet of 190,000 vehicles, Europcar is conscious of its corporate citizenship responsibilities. Winner of the first World Travel Award recognising the World's Leading Green Transport Solutions Company, Europcar also was honored with the Award in 2010 and 2011. Europcar is owned by Eurazeo, one of the leading listed investment companies in Europe.