In the fall of 2009, a big idea using little cars got its US start in Austin, TX. That's when Daimler's Car2go carsharing program first came to North America after its global debut in Ulm, Germany. The idea was simple: let people rent a car for just a few minutes at a time, and let them end their rental when they got to wherever it was they were going (within limits). It sure seemed to make sense, but would Americans like short-term rentals in the little Smart cars? Four years later, we thought we'd ask where things stand.
Daimler started with a fleet of 200 Smart Fortwos in Austin (and a similar number in Ulm) and has now become, "the largest global carsharing company," according to J. Paul DeLong, the chief marketing officer of Car2go NA. You can now step into one of 10,000 Car2go Fortwos in 25 cities in seven countries (sadly, not all using the same account). DeLong told AutoblogGreen that, with, "more than 600,000 total worldwide members," 18 million trips total and a new trip starting every 2.5 seconds, Car2go is "fast on Zipcars heels."
Car2go has more than 600,000 members, who have taken 18 million trips total and a new one every 2.5 seconds.
Car2go's push and pull with Zipcar looms big on DeLong's mind. He said that 73 percent of Car2go members in the US are not members of any other carsharing program. "So," he said, "think about how the Car2go one-way model has been able to attract more people to carsharing, because the classical carsharing was not attractive for them to join or not practical for their use. I love this stat, because everybody assumes that Car2go is piggy backing on the existing carsharing companies. It shows also that there is a lot of room for growth without having to engage existing classical carsharing member bases."
We've got the breakdown of the membership numbers for Car2go North American locations below.
According to DeLong, here are the official membership numbers for Car2go:
San Diego: +24,000
Minneapolis, Columbus, and Montreal member numbers have not been released.
Europe: +320,000 members
Three locations have an all-electric fleet with a total of 1,200 vehicles: