A new environmentally friendly car-sharing service has driven its way to Vancouver with smart cars available at by-the-minute rental rates.
Daimler’s car2go mobility service will deploy 225 smart cars in June, which are outfitted with telematics hardware and a 100-watt solar roof.
“(Vancouver) has a modern, progressive, sustainable transportation network,” said car2go CEO Nicholas Cole. “For us at car2go, it was an easy decision.”
Unlike traditional car-sharing programs or car rental services, car2go vehicles provide “on-demand” transportation where members may use the vehicles as long as they want without having a specific return time or location.
The $0.35 per minute rates include costs for fuel, insurance, maintenance, mileage and parking. Mercedes-Benz Canada and its Vancouver retail group will provide the “car2go edition” vehicles for Vancouver.
“People already walk, cycle and take transit in Vancouver in record numbers for North America and car sharing has been rapidly adapted here … so we see great promise in this convergence of technology of clean vehicles and the car sharing concept,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson.
Vancouver will also house car2go Canada Ltd., a newly created company and subsidiary of Daimler North America Corporation.
Robertson said having the new company will create new sustainable jobs and will help boost the city’s green economy.
The first pilot car2go program started in Ulm, Germany in 2008 followed by Austin, Texas in 2009.