Car2Go Smart ForTwo Electric Drive in San DiegoEnlarge Photo
Certain parts of the media would have you believe that slow electric car sales indicate that no-one wants to drive electric cars.
Not so, says all-electric car sharing service Car2Go, which has announced over 6,000 user registrations in its first 100 days.
Founded last year by Daimler North America Corporation, the same company that owns Smart, Car2Go offers customers pay-as-you-go electric car rentals within San Diego.
Because of its connections with Smart of America, the only car on offer is the two-seat Smart ForTwo Electric Drive, but with over 300 all-electric Smarts parked at strategic locations around the city and suburbs, members are never far from a rental car.
Online and Smartphone apps let users check where the nearest car is and reserve a vehicle for when they need it, while the fully automated Car2Go system gives 24-hour access, and automated billing.
Registration costs $35 a year, while car rental itself costs no more than $12.99 per hour or $65.99 per day plus tax. There’s also a maximum 150 mile limit per rental, with each additional mile costing 45 cents plus tax.
In the 100 days since it launched, more than 6,000 users have registered for the service, with up to 3,500 rentals occurring every week.
car2go Smart ForTwo Electric Drive charging at San Diego Automotive MuseumEnlarge Photo
“At a time when the cost of fuel is reaching record-high prices, San Diegans are looking for ways to reduce their dependence on fuel and for more cost-efficient modes of transportation; and Car2Go is a very logical choice for them,” said Nicholas Cole, president and CEO of Car2Go North America LLC. “As thousands of residents of San Diego embrace Car2Go and the electric vehicle driving movement, they are setting an outstanding example in emissions-free urban mobility for the rest of the world.”
According to Car2Go, the average rental time is between 15 and 30 minutes in length, with the average distance driven ranging between 5 and 10 miles.
That’s well within the 85-mile range of the Smart ForTwo Electric drive, but long enough behind the wheel to leave a lasting impression on first-time electric car drivers.
While many members of the service either don’t own a car of their own or use the Car2Go service as a secondary car when needed, we’d like to think time alone in an electric car might encourage them to buy their own at some point in the future.
That, especially when viewed against a backdrop of rather negative electric vehicle news of late, has to be a good thing.