Many large cities in Europe have problems with pollution created by vehicles running on petrol and diesel engines. Complex schemes that restrict access to the city centers have been implemented, for instance, in Madrid, Spain, but the problem remains. Big automakers believe that people and tourists in the French capital Paris are ready to adopt electric cars: Daimler’s Car2Go is the latest car rental that started its operation in the city. You may pick up a tiny electric Smart car from the street.
The petrol engine -powered tiny and cute Smart (by Daimler) has been a common sight in European cities for years. The Smart’s electric cousin Smart EQ has been available for a couple of years. The Smart EQ ForTwo is the electric car model that Daimler is providing for car sharing onto the streets of Paris.
Car2Go rentals are available in 10 cities in North America, 1 in China, and in 14 cities in Europe. Only four cities according to 01net, however, provide electric cars at the moment: Amsterdam, Paris, Stuttgart, and Madrid.
New services like Moovin, Free2move (Citroen), and Car2go like to call their services car sharing – not renting – probably because the transaction differs from traditional car rental business model. All these new services require you first to register, download an app to your phone, and use the app to book a car. The application tells you where the nearest available vehicle is. Once you find the car, you unlock it with a PIN. After your road trip or city tour, you may park at any car park.
Car2go’s pricing is based on a minute rate.
- The price varies by demand between 0.24 € and 0.34 €.
- Other possibilities are packages that allow you to set the maximum cost and time for your drive: 2 hours for 17.90 €, 4 hours for 29.90 €, 6 hours for 39.90 €, and 24 hours for 79.00 €.
Even before its mass-market breakthrough, electric compact cars are being distributed to the streets of big cities in Europe and in North America. Car sharing actually may be a good way to attract gasoline-heads to try out an EV, and perhaps convert a few drivers to electricity.