As more and more people opt to live in urban centers and near suburban town centers, the question of transportation is becoming a hot topic, though not in the way you may think it has.
There was a time when owning your own car was a given – a rite of passage that usually began with an ill advised and underfunded purchase. As the years went by, you upgraded your car, trading and trading up but always with the title in your name.
For city dwellers, car ownership has become a bit more complicated. The added cost of a car – from keeping it gassed up and the oil changed to paying for parking and, in a growing number of cities, congestion charges. As a new generation adapts by embracing the likes of Uber, they have fueled the rise of shared car services like car2go.
How car2go Got Its Start
Developed in 2008, car2go was originally created and field tested in Ulm, Germany where it was used exclusively by the employees of Daimler AG. The service proved useful, and the business model looked sound, so car2go expanded throughout Europe and into the United States. Over the next few years, some markets were closed or scaled back, but the model proved successful. Today, car2go operates in 30 cities in the United States, Canada, and Europe.
Since their debut, the car2go fleet has reportedly driven a combined 217 million miles – enough to have driven to Mars and back. In the United States, car2go uses a mixed fleet of gas and electric cars to service the following cities:
- New York City
- San Diego
- Twin Cities
The car2go Business Model and Experience
car2go also goes out of its way to foster a sense of community among its members. Their car2go blog features member stories to encourage people to share their experiences. They also sponsored a Halloween contest, #Scare2Go, which featured entries inspired by the Nightmare Before Christmas and plastic Army men.
car2go has become a well-known and easily recognized brand in the emerging market of car sharing. As they work to find their feet in newer markets, they have provided a solid business model that competitors have been quick to copy and evolve in this new marketplace.