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Daimler’s Car2Go Launches First All-Electric Car Sharing Service

Daimler is launching the first all-electric vehicle car sharing service in North America through its Car2go subsidiary. The all-electric Car2go program is scheduled to start operations in San Diego, California, before the end of 2011 with 300 of Daimler’s Smart Fortwo electric drive vehicles.

Car2go bills itself as the first “free-floating car-sharing service”, allowing its members to rent the cars spontaneously without having to commit to a specific return time or location.

Car2go is already in four cities with a total of more than 40,000 members and 1,000 smart fortwo vehicles with low-emission gas engines. The new San Diego operation will add a fifth city and a 100% electric fleet.

All smart fortwo electric drive cars will be equipped with Car2go’s telematics technology, allowing fully automated, easy and convenient rental operations.

On a single charge, the Fortwo can travel up to 84 miles. Battery recharging time from 20% to 80% of battery full capacity is just three and a half hours.

Recharging a completely discharged battery takes no more than eight hours, which makes it possible to recharge overnight. Past experience shows that this is seldom necessary, as the daily stretch covered by Car2go drivers in urban areas rarely exceeds 6 miles, the company says.

“The launch of an all electric vehicle fleet marks a new era in carsharing in North America,” says Nicholas Cole, President and CEO of car2go N. A. LLC. “Our goal is to complement the existing transportation infrastructure by providing an emission- free car-sharing service for short and spontaneous one-way trips.”

The electric car2go vehicles will be charged at Blink EV charging stations developed by California-based technology provider ECOtality. The company is currently in the process of siting and installing the charging stations, and approximately 1,000 Blink commercial charging stations are expected to be installed by end of 2011 for public use in San Diego.

Bart King is the principal of New Growth Communications, a network of affiliated content producers and strategists serving clients in the emerging green economy. He is also Associate Editor of Sponsored Content for Sustainable Brands. Follow him @bart_king [Read more about Bart King]

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