Car2Go, a subsidiary of Daimler, has just announced the launch of North America’s first all-electric car sharing program, which will have 300 Smart ForTwo electric vehicles by the end of this year. In addition to being the greenest car sharing program in the U.S., the San Diego program will allow drivers to be spontaneous. Unlike ZipCar, which requires drivers to return a vehicle to the pickup location, the Car2Go program will allow them to quickly grab ForTwos from designated spots around San Diego, in the hopes of making car sharing more practical. “The launch of an all electric vehicle fleet marks a new era in carsharing in North America,” said Nicholas Cole, President and CEO of Car2Go N. A. “San Diego is a forward-thinking city determined to meet the future transportation demands of its residents. Our goal is to complement the existing transportation infrastructure by providing an emission-free carsharing service for short and spontaneous one-way trips.”
The Car2Go San Diego car sharing setup is much larger in scale than any other similar program in the U.S. so far. It is modeled after its predecessor in Ulm, Germany, which was launched 3 years ago. Similar programs also exist in Austin, Texas; Hamburg, Germany; and Vancouver, British Columbia. Smart may not make the quickest electric cars, but the car sharing program is encouraging San Diego to install electric charging station infrastructure to support it, which is good news for electric car buyers in general. The city is working with Ecotality to install 1,000 Blink charging stations by year’s end.