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Public (subsidiary)
IndustryCar rental
Founded2008 (2008)
Number of locations
ParentDaimler AG

car2go is a German car rental company. It is a subsidiary of Daimler AG providing carsharing services in urban areas in Europe, North America, and China. As of July 2017, car2go is the largest carsharing company in the world with 2,500,000 registered members and a fleet of nearly 14,000 vehicles in 26 locations in North America, Europe and Asia.[1]

The company offers exclusively Smart and Mercedes-Benz vehicles and features one-way point-to-point rentals.[2] Users are charged by the minute, with hourly and daily rates available.[3] The service forgoes the typical centralized rental office, and cars are user-accessed via a downloadable smartphone app wherever they are parked.


Daimler introduced the service in Ulm, Germany, in October 2008,[4] where it was developed by one of its internal business innovation units and was first tested exclusively by Daimler employees.[5]

Starting in May 2015, car2go added a $1 'Driver Protection Fee' for each ride to offset the lowered deductible.[6]

car2go car in Stuttgart

Since inception, car2go withdrew from several locations, including Britain, where it closed its service in London and Birmingham after only a year of operation.[7] Due to a lack of charging stations, car2go in San Diego, California, decided to replace all of its all-electric vehicle fleet with gasoline-powered cars starting on 1 May 2016. When the service started in 2011, car2go expected 1,000 charging stations to be deployed around the city, but only 400 were in place by early 2016. As a result, an average of 20% of the carsharing fleet is unavailable at any given time because the cars are either being charged or because they don’t have enough electricity in them to be driven.[8] At the end of 2016 car2go left the San Diego market.[9]

As of July 2017, car2go operates over 14,000 vehicles, which serve eight countries and 26 cities worldwide with over 2,500,000 customers.[10]

In January 2018 Daimler and BMW appeared to prepare the merger of their carsharing subsidiaries to strengthen their market position.[11] On March 1, 2018, Daimler announced that its subsidiary Daimler Mobility Services had acquired the 25% stake of minority shareholder Europcar Group for an undisclosed amount to now hold 100% of car2go's European subsidiary. The new combined company is called ShareNow.[12]



The following table details all locations where car2go or DriveNow (soon-to-be combined) are active as of March 2019:[13]

Bolt font awesome.svgindicates electric fleet

Smart.svg Mercedes-Benz Logo 2010.svg
City Country Fleet fortwo fortwo new forfour CLA GLA A-Class B-Class DriveNow Start date
Amsterdam Bolt font awesome.svg Netherlands 350 Bolt font awesome.svg November 2011
Austin U.S. 320 May 2010
Berlin Germany 2,600 ✔/new April 2012
Brussels Belgium 310 July 2016
Calgary Canada 600 July 2012
Chicago U.S. 400 July 2018
Chongqing China 600 April 2016
Copenhagen Denmark 550 September 2015
Denver U.S. 330 June 2013
Düsseldorf/Cologne Germany 1,300 January 2012
Florence/Prato Italy 250 May 2014
Frankfurt Germany 250 September 2014
Hamburg Germany 1,500 ✔/Bolt font awesome.svg ✔/new April 2011
Helsinki Finland 150 May 2017
Lisbon Portugal 210 September 2017
London U.K. 720 December 2014
Madrid Bolt font awesome.svg Spain 850 Bolt font awesome.svg Bolt font awesome.svg Bolt font awesome.svg November 2015
Milan Italy 1,440 August 2013
Montreal Canada 460 ✔/Bolt font awesome.svg November 2013
Munich Germany 1,250 ✔/new June 2013
New York City U.S. 570 October 2014
Paris Bolt font awesome.svg France 400 Bolt font awesome.svg January 2019
Portland, Oregon U.S. 420 March 2012
Rome Italy 665 ✔/cabrio March 2014
Seattle U.S. 720 December 2012
Stuttgart Bolt font awesome.svg Germany 500 Bolt font awesome.svg Bolt font awesome.svg Bolt font awesome.svg November 2012
Turin Italy 450 March 2015
Vancouver Canada 1,200 June 2011
Vienna Austria 1,500 December 2011
Washington, D.C. U.S. 600 March 2012


The following table details all locations where car2go is no longer active as of July 2018:

Country Start date End date Reference
Ulm Germany October 2008 December 2014 [14][15]
Lyon France February 2012 June 2012 [16]
London United Kingdom December 2012 May 2014 [17]
Birmingham United Kingdom May 2013 May 2014 [18]
South Bay, Los Angeles U.S. June 2014 June 2015 [19]
Eugene, Oregon U.S. October 2014 June 2015 [20]
Copenhagen Denmark September 2014 January 2016 [21]
Miami U.S. July 2012 February 2016 [22]
Stockholm Sweden November 2014 September 2016 [23]
Minneapolis-Saint Paul U.S. September 2013 December 2016 [24]
San Diego U.S. November 2011 December 2016 [25]
Toronto Canada June 2012 June 2018 [26]
Columbus, Ohio U.S. October 2013 June 2018

Business model[edit]

car2go member card reader that allows access to the vehicle

The car2go business model is similar in all markets, although rates vary by location. The company charges a per minute rate, with discounted fixed rates for hourly and daily usage also available and applied automatically.[27] The rates are all-inclusive and cover rental, gas, insurance, parking (in authorized areas), and maintenance, a low fixed annual fee is sometimes also charged. In most markets, car2go vehicles can park in either specially designated parking spots, or in standard parking areas, with a special permit from the local municipality.[28] Users have the option of refueling cars with a supplied charge card, customers receive bonus minutes for performing this service.


Two car2go Smart electric drive cars charging at the Herengracht in Amsterdam
car2go 4-door Mercedes-Benz B-Class and a 2-door Smart fortwo in Downtown Vancouver

In most cities, car2go offers only two-passenger vehicles, namely two types of Smart Fortwo "car2go edition" vehicles: gasoline-powered, and electric-powered. The gasoline-powered cars can be found in three variants based on roof configuration: "original" with integrated solar panel roof; "upgraded" with a panoramic polycarbonate roof and power side mirrors; and "new" featuring a standard roof.[citation needed] Electric car2go models are currently available in several markets, have a range of 84 miles (135 km), and need to be recharged every two or three days.[29] In its Canadian markets, car2go has a pilot program in place to supplement its fleet with a small number of four-door Mercedes B-class vehicles.[30][31] car2go is currently adding Mercedes GLA and CLA to its locations worldwide.


First-party and third-party apps for mobile devices allow users to locate and reserve vehicles.[32] When reserving a car online, the customers are able to see the car's fuel gauge (gasoline-powered cars) or the battery's state of charge (electric-powered cars), so if the customer wants to go for an extended drive, they can find the right car for that trip.[33]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "car2go Crosses Two Million Global Member Milestone".
  2. ^ Michael Sheetz. "Now New Yorkers can get a new Mercedes-Benz for 47 cents (a minute)". CNBC. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  3. ^ Stephanie Steinberg and Bill Vlasic (25 January 2013). "Car-Sharing Services Grow, and Expand Options". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
  4. ^ "Daimler's car2go: Rent a Smart anywhere, anytime". Retrieved 21 December 2012.
  5. ^ Jeremy Korzeniewski (21 October 2008). "Daimler's car2go: Rent a Smart anywhere, anytime". Autoblog.
  6. ^ Taylor Soper. "Car2go adds $1 'Driver Protection Fee' for each ride to offset lowered deductible - GeekWire". GeekWire.
  7. ^ Griffin, Jon (23 May 2014). "Car2go scrapped a year after setting up in Birmingham". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  8. ^ Garrick, David (16 March 2016). "Car2Go switching electric cars to gas". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  9. ^ Garrick, David. "Car2go ceases San Diego operations". Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  10. ^ "car2go brings New Mercedes-Benz vehicles to Denver".
  11. ^ "BMW and Daimler close to merging car-sharing units: executive". Reuters. 23 January 2018. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  12. ^ "Daimler Mobility Services purchases Europcar Group's 25% stake in car2go Europe GmbH". Daimler. 1 March 2018. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
  13. ^ "Brand Hub | car2go". Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  14. ^ "In depth: Daimler's Car2Go program is simple, amazing, but not perfect". Retrieved 26 November 2012.
  15. ^ "eSmart III Production Commences". Fleets and 19 June 2012. Archived from the original on 28 June 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2012.
  16. ^ "Car2go suspends operation in Lyon, France because of name conflict with Car' Go". Retrieved 26 November 2012.
  17. ^ "Reif für die Insel: car2go bringt smart(e) Mobilität nach London | Daimler Global Media Site > Mercedes-Benz Cars > smart > car2go". Archived from the original on 17 December 2013. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
  18. ^ "Daimler's car2go car-sharing service will launch in UK this fall". Retrieved 26 November 2012.
  19. ^ "Car2go car-sharing service to suspend South Bay operations".
  20. ^ "car2go Bailing out of Eugene".
  21. ^ "Car2go shutting down in Copenhagen".
  22. ^ "Car2Go suspending business indefinitely in Miami, Miami Beach". miamiherald.
  23. ^ "Stockholms parkeringselände sätter P - Car2go lämnar Sverige". Veckans affärer. Retrieved 17 February 2017.
  24. ^ "car2go Twin Cities on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 17 February 2017.
  25. ^ "car2go San Diego on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 17 February 2017.
  26. ^ "Important Update". Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  27. ^ "Mobility for a reasonable price".
  28. ^ "Hello Vancouver".
  29. ^ "Hello Austin".
  30. ^ "Four Door Vehicles".
  31. ^ "How to find car2go's 25 new four-door Mercedes vehicles on the streets of Vancouver". The Georgia Straight.
  32. ^ "car2go Apps".
  33. ^ "Just hop in".

External links[edit]