Daimler’s car2go car-sharing service won a tender offer from Birmingham City Council to set up an urban mobility scheme there. More than 70,000 people are already using the service in Continental Europe, USA and Canada. Birmingham will become the first home of car2go in the United Kingdom.
Starting in autumn 2012, car2go will provide its Birmingham members access to a fleet of up to 250 two-seater smart fortwo “car2go edition” vehicles fitted with a gasoline engine with start/stop system. The cars are specially developed for carsharing and can be rented spontaneously inside an operating area of around 30 square miles which covers the city center and several densely populated suburbs.
Customers have complete freedom with regard to when they start their journey and how long they keep the vehicles without a mandatory return location. The car2go vehicles will not be parked at fixed stations but can be located at any legal public parking space. car2go is paying a monthly fee to the city which covers on-street parking and selected off-street spots operated by the city.
Experience in other cities has shown that car2go is complementing the already existing means of transportation in a city. It gives Birmingham a further option for city-dwellers, making the overall system of public transport, biking and the car clubs more attractive.
Birmingham is committed to developing a wide range of green and public transport initiatives to reduce both traffic congestion and carbon emissions within the city, and then country at large. Through these projects we are keen to explore the potential that short term car share schemes may have, alongside improvements to public transport and walking/cycling links, in removing the traditional reliance on bringing cars into the city centre everyday.
—Councillor Timothy Huxtable, Cabinet Member for Transport, Environment and Regeneration
car2go is specially made for short trips in urban areas. Customers will only be charged for the actual use of the vehicle, with rental periods as short as a per-minute basis. The rental prices and further details regarding the Birmingham launch will be announced in the near future.