Careful start for car2go in London as DriveNow set to follow

Careful start for car2go in London as DriveNow set to follow


Careful start for car2go in London as DriveNow set to follow

Though Transport for London is the regional transport agency, the local streets are in the domain of the 33 boroughs. The scheme has been introduced in three London boroughs initially – Islington, Sutton and Newham – but it is expected to expand into other areas throughout the capital in coming months.

Members can drive off any of the 98g/km CO2 smart fortwo coupes available, and leave it at any borough-owned parking space in a participating borough free of charge. It costs 35p a minute, with caps at £14.90 an hour or £59 a day, with fuel, insurance, road tax, and maintenance all included.

Car2go has over 6,000 vehicles in operation in its 17 cities, and has been launched in the UK as a partnership between Daimler and Europcar Stefan Mueller, CEO of car2go Europe gmbh, reckons Londoners will appreciate the freedom and the benefits of obtaining a car on a minute-by-minute basis without having to worry about the running and maintenance costs.

“We’re really at the beginning of a very exciting story for urban mobility in Great Britain,” he said. Car2go says other cities and towns in Great Britain will get one-way carsharing fleets soon. All car2go’s smart fortwo coupes are exempt from the C-Charge, have eco-start/stop, automatic transmission, air conditioning, sat-nav, and are available 24/7.

Car2go is making a brave attempt to get off the ground in London by starting with a few hundred cars in the three disconnected parts of London, something it has not resorted to anywhere else. Its standard practice is to strike a city-wide deal with whoever’s in charge of on-street parking, but the sticking point is that no single agency fits that bill in London.

It is a challenge it must address as BMW is hot on their heels with its competing DriveNow system, with staff in London in the advanced stages of planning its offer. Scott Le Vine points out that the two services both operate in several German cities, with each offering a somewhat distinct offer.

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