by Adrian Dorofte and Adrian Andronic
e-mail: mercedesbenzblog@gmail.com

car2go: on-demand smart car sharing comes to Milan

The joint venture of Daimler and Europcar is bringing the first 150 smart fortwos to the city. The car2go vehicles can be rented autonomously, without dedicated stations. The total fleet of 450 car2go smart fortwos will be available until mid of September. The cars can be used as needed and left in any public car park in the 120 square kilometres business area, without time restrictions or any monthly or annual fees. Registered users only pay for their actual usage with an all-inclusive price per minute (taxes, insurance, fuel, parking costs and congestion charges linked to the so-called Area C). car2go is a new and innovative solution for urban mobility that is easy to use, economical and environmentally friendly. It’s the future for urban mobility.

“Milan is a dynamic, modern city, which is very attentive to the problems of an intelligent urban lifestyle and sustainable mobility,” said Stefan Mueller, CEO of car2go Europe GmbH.“Italy is the largest market in the world for smart, and the smart fortwo - a perfect combination of lifestyle and functionality - is valued for being completely at home in an urban environment. That’s why we are confident that the people of Milan will experience car2go as a new, easy, and environmentally friendly way of getting around the city.”
car2go will make its debut in Milan today, starting with a fleet of 150 environment-friendly smart fortwo Coupés (98 g C02/km), active over an area of about 120 square kilometres covering almost the whole city and all its main gathering points. Until mid of September all 450 car2go vehicles will be available. The cars can enter the limited traffic Area C and the congestion charge is included in the rental. It is also possible to park in yellow line spaces reserved for residents and without having to pay on the blue lines. Clients can preregister online at: www.car2go.com and in the car2go shop at the smart centre at Piazza XXIV maggio and at the Click Utility on Earth offices at the Colonne di San Lorenzo. New members must be at least 18 years old. Payment will be by credit card. The registration is free until end of September. After the starting period there is a one-time registration fee of 19 Euro.
The public transport network of Milan and the car2go project will complement each other. car2go is the alternative solution for commuters to reduce traffic and pollution in the city. This is why car2go won the most important Legambiente prize in 2012 for “Environmentally Friendly Innovation.”
Fabrizio Ruggiero, Managing Director of car2go Partner Europcar Italia says: “We are indeed happy to be part of this project introducing in Italy a new concept of mobility, particularly created for an urban environment. car2go is somehow completing our rental offers and perfectly fits our philosophy to stay close to our clients and their need in terms of mobility.”
As easy as using a mobile phone
Once you are registered, the rental is charged by the minute.There are no monthly fees, or minimum charges, only a one-off subscription charge (free during the launch). You only pay for the time you are actually driving. Each new client gets thirty free minutes so they can easily learn how the service works. Clients don’t have to bring the car2go car back to the same place they got it from. There are no time limits on use, so the cars can be used for many different routes, even for a short trip around the city.
How it works
car2go is the first “independent” on-demand car sharing service in the world, which can offer unique solutions, in particular:
Charge by the minute:Subscribers pay a charge by the minute, only for the time they use, with discounted rates for use by the hour (€14.90 including 50 km) and by the day (€59 with unlimited mileage). There is no minimum use time for the car: five minutes or a whole day, car2go subscribers can get in the car and drive for as long as they need, they don’t have to know beforehand when and where they will return the car. The price includes parking, fuel, maintenance, insurance and the congestion charge there is no annual or monthly subscription charge. Registration starts today with a promotional offer that for the launch period waives the one-off €19 registration fee.
On-demand:Members can take the first car2go available using a smartphone app, with the car2go search function on the car2go.com site, or by simply getting into one of the available car2go cars. No need for advance booking, because subscribers have unlimited 24/7 access to car2go cars.
Maximum freedom of rental:Members can take and return the cars at any point in the area covered by the car2go service. When finished with, they can even be left in blue line (paying) and yellow (residents) parking spaces without time restrictions. Subscribers do not have to take the car back to where they got it from, nor are they limited to a predefined time period. They can drive for as long as needed, park the car once they have arrived at their destination and finish by swiping their card over the reader on the windscreen. The car will be available straightaway for the next client.
Five simple steps to use car2go
Step 1: Registration – People with a driving licence can register on the car2go.com site and at the shop in 12 Piazza XXIV maggio in Milan. They will get their subscription card straightaway. Once registered, clients will have access to all the cars available in Milan. They can also register at the Click Utility on Earth offices at the Colonne di San Lorenzo. For the launch, the one-off registration charge will not apply and clients will get 30 minutes free.
Step 2: Locating car– Members can use the car2go finder on the car2go.com site, with the smartphone and tablet app, or the Facebook car2go app to locate the nearest available car. They can use the car independently (without booking) or book a car2go on the site or with the app.
Step 3: Getting in the car – Members find the car2go and swipe their card on the reader on the windscreen. This unlocks the doors. After entering a PIN on the touchscreen and confirming the conditions, the key is activated and the driver can drive off.
Step 4: Driving – Members can take the key placed near the touchscreen unit, start the engine and drive off. They can drive for as long as they want without restrictions on time and location for returning it within the area served by the car2go.
Step 5: End of the trip - Members can return the cars at any point in the area covered by the car2go service. Charges are calculated by the minute (€0.29 a minute) and are debited from the client’s credit card once the vehicle is returned. Costs of fuel, parking, maintenance insurance and the congestion charge are included without additional cost.




Credits: Daimler AG
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