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First all-electric carsharing fleet for North America

San Diego will be the first North American city to have a 100-percent electric vehicle (EV) carsharing program.


July 15, 2011
by Fleet Management staff

SAN DIEGO, CA: San Diego will be the first North American city to have a 100-percent electric vehicle (EV) carsharing program. The all-electric car2go program in San Diego is going to start operations before the end of 2011 with 300 smart fortwo electric drive vehicles.

“We’re proud that car2go has chosen to launch the first North American all-electric carsharing service in San Diego,” said San Diego mayor, Jerry Sanders. “car2go’s launch here further supports our efforts to make San Diego the nation’s electric vehicle capital.”

“The launch of an all electric vehicle fleet marks a new era in carsharing in North America,” said Nicholas Cole, President and CEO of car2go N. A. LLC. “San Diego is a forward-thinking city determined to meet future transportation demands of its residents. Our goal is to complement the existing transportation infrastructure by providing an emission- free carsharing service for short and spontaneous one-way trips.”

All the fleet’s smart fortwo electric drive cars will be equipped with the latest car2go telematics technology, allowing fully automated, easy and convenient rental operations. As the world’s first free-floating carsharing service, car2go provides its members with the possibility to rent the cars spontaneously without having the burden to commit to a specific return time or location.

Right from the beginning, the smart fortwo was designed for electric drive and that now shows,” says Annette Winkler, of smart. “I love driving the smart electric drive and I am convinced that the car2go members in California will enjoy using this forward technology to get around their home town San Diego – a new method of transportation both pleasing to the ear and the environment.”

The car2go program is already successful in four cities with a total of more than 40,000 members and 1,000 smart fortwo vehicles with low-emission gas engines. The smart fortwo electric drive is powered by a 30 kW electric propulsion system. It is economical, quiet and emissions-free.

In San Diego, the high-efficiency lithium-ion batteries can be recharged at designated EV charging stations. On a single charge, the car can travel up to 84 miles. Battery recharging time from 20 percent to 80 percent 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 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.