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smart-share: car2go starts in Birmingham

Birmingham  - car2go, the simple-to-use car sharing service from Daimler and Europcar, launches in Birmingham on 8 May with 250 environmentally -friendly smart fortwo vehicles available to use over an area of 21 square miles. The idea behind car2go is simple: it’s the first fully-flexible and on-demand car sharing scheme – it’s a whole new way of getting around that’s easy to use, easy on the pocket, and easy on the environment. car2go is the future of Urban Mobility.

“We are proud to launch car2go in Birmingham”, said Stefan Mueller, CEO at car2go Europe GmbH. “car2go gives you the ability to go where you want, when you want – and in comfort – but without all the costs associated with owning, running and insuring a car full-time. We’re confident everyone will find car2go an easy, cost-effective and environmentally responsible way to get around Birmingham.”

 

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Councillor Tahir Ali, cabinet member for development, jobs and skills, today launch the 12 month pilot scheme. He said: “We want to develop a range of green transport initiatives, reducing traffic congestion and carbon emissions and encouraging people to think of alternative ways of getting about. I’m pleased to welcome car2go to Birmingham, particularly as they are making the city their UK headquarters, with the associated jobs that will bring. I will be monitoring this pilot closely for all the benefits it is expected to bring.”

car2go will start with a fleet of 250 smart coupés in an area of 21 square miles in Birmingham. The car2go zone covers the city area between Oxhill Rd, Pershore Rd, Vicarage Rd, Highfield Rd, City Rd, Grove Park, Stratford Rd, and Aston Park. Within this area people are allowed to park in any Pay & Display bay without time restrictions and wherever it is free to park without affecting private resident or business parking.

car2go perfectly complements the already well-established public transportation network (bus, train and Metro) in the City of Birmingham. car2go delivers the last mile of travel which helps commuters with their journey and can help to reduce congestion and pollution in the city.
 

 

Every car2go vehicle in Birmingham is based on the smart mhd – an efficient, compact two-seater which emits just 98g/km of CO2, plus the convenience of automatic transmission, start-stop technology, GPS navigation and the comfort of air conditioning. The smart fortwo coupé is easy to drive -- it’s the perfect size for urban mobility - , a dream to park, and super safe thanks to its tridion safety cell. It’s surprisingly practical too: Its boot can take accommodate everything from a quick shop to a tumble dryer – perfect for those impulse buys.

Marcus Breitschwerdt, President & CEO of Mercedes-Benz UK Ltd, added: “I’m delighted that car2go has chosen Birmingham as its second UK city. Our smarts all have eco stop-start, automatic transmission, air conditioning, GPS navigation, are fuelled, insured and cleaned and are available 24/7. You don’t even have to pay for parking if you park in any pay and display without affecting residents and businesses – car2go has got that covered too. Of course, car2go is all about making mobility easy, so anyone registered as a car2go member in London or Birmingham can use the service in either city.”

As easy as using your mobile phone

People can register for a one-time registration fee of £29.90 - either online at car2go.com/Birmingham or at the car2go shop at 10 Fleet Street, Birmingham B3 1JL nearby Snowhill Station. Once registered, car2go members can locate any available car through the car2go Birmingham website, by using a free app or just by walking up to an available car, touching the card reader on the windscreen with the car2go member card, getting in and driving off.

Once registered, driving will be charged by the minute (35p) and billed directly to the customers’ account.This rate always includes fuel, insurance, road tax, parking and maintenance at no extra cost. New customers will get their first 30 minutes of driving time for free to help them understand how the car2go concept will work well in their daily life.

Customers don’t have to return their car2go to the same parking bay where it was collected. The car2go can be kept as long as the customer needs, all day, or for a quick hop across town.

Birmingham is the 19th city around the world to offer the car2go scheme, and it’s the second city in the UK (London was launched in December 2012). Globally the company has more than 375,000 customers who use over 7,300 vehicles worldwide. More than eight million car2go rental transactions have been made to date, and this number continues to rise.

How It Works

As the world’s first-free floating car sharing service, car2go provides a new way of car sharing 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 – park it on any Pay & Display bay without time restrictions and wherever it is free to park without affecting resident or business parking within a defined business area. 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 and at the shop at 10 Fleet Street in Birmingham. Here they can immediately get their member card. This membership card will give members’ access to all the cars in Birmingham and London as well.

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 for 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 35 pence 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.

Photos: smart

(May 08, 2013)


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