Car2go, a car sharing service from Daimler and Europcar, has launched in Birmingham with 250 environmentally-friendly Smart fortwo vehicles available to use over an area of 21 square miles.
"We are proud to launch Car2go in Birmingham," said Stefan Mueller, CEO at Car2go Europe. "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."
Councillor Tahir Ali, cabinet member for development, jobs and skills, launched 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.
Every Car2go vehicle in Birmingham is based on the smart mhd - a compact two-seater which emits 98g/km of CO2, plus the convenience of automatic transmission, start-stop technology, GPS navigation and the comfort of air conditioning.
People can register for a one-time registration fee of £29.90 and once registered, Car2go members can locate any available car through the Car2go Birmingham website, by using a free app or 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.