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Daimler trials latest car club concept

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Daimler is trialling a new mobility concept - car2go – that provides a new approach to urban mobility with environmentally-friendly vehicles.The first pilot phase of the project starred in the southern German city of Ulm where car2go will be tested in real-life conditions.

A fleet of Smart fortwo vehicles will be made available within the city, functioning as a vehicle pool that can be accessed at any time.

Following a one-off registration process, the Smarts can be hired spontaneously in passing, or pre-booked and used for as long as desired.

The concept aims to ensure that a reliable vehicle is available at any time, just a few minutes walk away.

Once the trip is completed, the driver parks within the city limits.

Billing is to the nearest minute, at 19 cents (15p) per minute inclusive of all associated costs such as fuel, insurance and taxes.

Favourable hourly or daily rates apply to longer rental periods.

There is no joining fee as a special motivation to try out car2go.

Customers are not required to enter into any long-term contractual commitment, and there is no deposit or minimum usage fee.

Customers pay for the actual vehicle use by means of a convenient monthly bill.

Robert Henrich, the responsible project manager in Daimler's Business Innovation division said: “Our objective in this initial project phase is to gather practical experience of using car2go.”

The next pilot phase will begin in the spring 2009, and will see the size of the vehicle fleet increased considerably and the group of car2go users expanded to include all residents of the city and visitors.

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