Car2go will launch in Paris with 400 smart EQ fortwos in January of 2019. Within Europe, the carsharing service is already operating in cities like Madrid, Stuttgart, and Amsterdam, and worldwide, the company has had about 3.4 million customers. Christian Mueller, Head of Global Communications at car2go, answered some questions for CleanTechnica.
Why are you starting up a carsharing service in Paris, and what makes it a good city for it?
The city of Paris is a very promising market for free-floating carsharing. The inhabitants of Paris are very open-minded to different forms of mobility. The city itself shows huge ambitions in developing smart services, mobility as a service and autonomous vehicles testing. Paris is leading the way in the fight against climate change (Paris Agreement, Climate Plan 2050, sustainable 2024 Olympic Games, ICE ban, etc.) and therefore will be an important market in the coming years.
You are launching with 400 of the Smart EQ Fortwo models to start, so will you be adding more later?
We will add some hundred vehicles during the year 2019.
Where will the smart cars be located?
In the free-floating carsharing concept the vehicles can be parked everywhere within a defined home-area.
Do customers use an app to locate and rent a car?
Yes, that is right. Locating and renting will be done via the car2go app.
Did you choose the Smart EQ Fortwo because it is already popular in Paris?
The smart EQ fortwo is the perfect city car – especially for cities like Paris where parking is a major challenge. Paris will be our fourth location with a fully electric fleet after Amsterdam, Madrid, and Stuttgart.
Is renting one done by the hour, kilometer, or both?
The rental is paid by the minute – including all car related costs from insurance to maintenance, from leasing costs to charging.
About how much does it cost to rent one for 2-3 hours?
The final pricing has not yet been determined. The price per minute will be comparable to those in other European car2go countries. We will announce the final pricing structure prior to the launch in January.
How do you charge them when they are not being used?
We will be able to use the existing Belib network and 1,000 charging spots from the former Autolib charging infrastructure.
Typically, about how far does one of your customers drive during a rental?
A typical rental is between 20 and 30 minutes long and includes between 6 and 8 kilometers of driving.
Do you expect tourists might use the service?
Yes, we do. In other cities like Berlin, Madrid, or Rome the number of trips done by business customers and tourists is constantly increasing. Customers from other European car2go countries can also use their existing account to use car2go in France.
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