Europcar, the leader in car rental services in Europe, and car2go, a subsidiary of Daimler AG, officially launched car2go services, an innovative concept in urban mobility, in Hamburg yesterday. Members of the media, customers, as well as representatives of Europcar, car2go and Daimler AG, participated in the launch ceremony, which took place at Hamburg’s FischMarket.
The “car2go edition” vehicles are the latest-generation, two-seater smarts equipped with state-of-the-art telematics and an innovative solar roof. They can be spontaneously rented for a price of 29 cents per minute or a maximum of €14.90 per hour (the cheaper of the two is always automatically charged), used for any length of time and then simply left again at any free public parking space within the area of operation.
Further to the success of car2go in Ulm, Germany and Austin, Texas, Hamburg with its population of 1.8 million is the first major city to see the roll-out of car2go. It is expected to be followed by an international roll-out of the service.
The service is provided through a joint venture between car2go GmbH and Europcar Germany, with Europcar holding a 75 percent share of the joint venture. The service is fully operated by Europcar and benefits from the company’s exhaustive expertise in fleet management, distribution and related logistics. Europcar’s extensive rental network will also provide outlets for registration, complementing the car2go locations.
Commenting on the launch, Philippe Guillemot, Chief Executive Officer of Europcar Groupe, said: “Europcar has been anticipating changes in travelers’ needs and offering mobility solutions for the past 60 years. With car2go, we are now expanding our offering to provide urban residents with a new lifestyle service and mobility by the minute. Through such innovations, we demonstrate our commitment to constantly enhancing the customer experience, and answer all needs related to the car. This explains why Europcar is the industry leader in Europe today.”
Robert Henrich, Managing Director of car2go GmbH says, “car2go is characterized by its unique flexibility and opportunity to use the vehicles spontaneously, making it ideal in combination with local public transport. After piloting the scheme in Ulm and Austin, Hamburg is the first city where we are launching this new environmentally friendly form of urban mobility on the market and here, too, we will demonstrate that a system like car2go can be financially successful in a large city.”
Unlike station-based car sharing and car rental, Hamburg drivers can find car2go vehicles anywhere in the covered area and rent them immediately, without a reservation. The vehicles may be parked in any public car park, as well as specific car2go reserved spots, and all parking fees are included in the rent. The rental can therefore be done on a one-way basis.
There is no additional deposit or minimum charge, and no monthly or annual fee: customers pay purely for the period of usage. Registered car2go customers also benefit from special advantages when renting with Europcar.