car2go brings smart car sharing to Birmingham

By on 14/02/2013 in Cllr Ali, News

• Starting in second quarter 2013 with 250 smart for-two cars
• Contract with City of Birmingham signed

Stuttgart/Birmingham - car2go, the simple-to-use car sharing service from Daimler and Europcar, has signed an agreement with Birmingham City Council to bring the first fully-flexible car sharing service to town. 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 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 Birmingham to lay the ground for a successful launch.”

Councillor Tahir Ali, cabinet member for development, jobs and skills, welcomed car2go to Birmingham, with the associated jobs that this will bring.

He 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 to-wards this, alongside improvements to public transport and better walking and cycling links. The aim is to reduce traffic congestion and carbon emissions and en-courage people to think of alternatives to bringing their cars into the city centre.”

car2go will start with a fleet of 250 funky smart coupés in an area of 54 sqkm in 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 which can positively effect the commuter streams and which can help to reduce congestion and pollution in the city.

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 his first 30 minutes for free to understand how the concept will work without getting in a hurry. 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 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 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 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 35p 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:

Sarah Kirby 0121 303 3885

Daimler Mobility Services GmbH
Katrin Saternus
+49 (0) 176 309 11968
katrin.saternus@daimler.com

Europcar
Matthew Rodgers
matthew.rodgers@europcar.com

Mercedes-Benz UK
Debbie Hull
+44 1908 301313
debbie.hull@daimler.com
Further information on car2go:
www.car2go.com
www.media.daimler.com

About car2go

A wholly owned subsidiary of Daimler, car2go offers an innovative mobility solu-tion 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 comple-ments 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 deploy-ment 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 interna-tional acclaim: In 2012, car2go was named the “Best Carshare” by the Vancou-ver 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.”

About Daimler

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, leas-ing, 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 engi-neering, 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, Freight-liner, Western Star, BharatBenz, Fuso, Setra and Thomas Built Buses. The company is listed on the stock exchanges of Frankfurt and Stuttgart (stock ex-change 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 amount-ed to €8.6 billion.

About Europcar

Europcar is the largest car rental company in Europe and among the top three car rental companies in the world. With its 579 offices in Germany alone, many of which are open around the clock, the company offers optimum availability and service. ISO-certified quality and environmental management systems are firmly established within the company's philosophy. Numerous awards and distinctions such as “Bester Autovermieter 2012” (best car rental company 2012) as voted by the read-ers of the journal “Firmenauto” and the titles of “World's Leading Car Hire”, “World’s Leading Green Transport Solution Company” and “World’s Leading Leisure Car Rental Company” awarded at the World Travel Awards are confirmations of the company's customer orientation and commitment to environmental protection.

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  1. R Little says:

    They can be used as long as needed and then LEFT ON 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.

    B’ham Council is sanctioning free unlimited parking on pay and display parking bays.

    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 35p 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.

    WHAT PARKING CHARGES?

    The parking wil be paid for by public parking fees and or B’ham rate payers,
    B’ham Council is in effect extending the blue badge system to a private company.

    Here is a clue
    Daimler Mobility Services GmbH Katrin Saternus +49 (0) 176 309 11968
    katrin.saternus@daimler.com
    A division of Daimler AG is one of the world’s most successful automotive companies.

    Will the similar facilities be available for other car hire companies?
    If NO is the answer. Then a monopoly exists, and this should be referred to the Office of Fair Trading

    • geoffc says:

      The parking fees will NOT be paid for by taxpayers. The cost is covered car2go within the fee paid to Birmingham City Council. The aim of this pilot scheme is to reduce traffic congestion and carbon emissions and encourage people to think of alternatives to bringing their car into city every day

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