Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Car2go opens for business in Hamburg

Hamburg became Car2go's second city in Germany, which opened for business last week. Unlike other operations, the service is operated by EuropCar, which will have a majority 75-percent stake in this shared project. Reports suggest that this relationship may be extended to other cities in the future.

 The Hamburg car2go launch is set to start with 300 vehicles. Prices for car2go usage in Hamburg will be 0.29 € per minute or at least 14.90 € per hour.  Here's a link to the map showing the large area that one way trips can end in.

Daimler has high hopes for car2go.  Last year Daimler Chief Financial Officer Bodo Uebber told the Financial Times Germany, that "it might have revenue potential comparable to our vehicle manufacturing" (rough translation).  Some analysts have calculated that car2go has a worldwide market potential of more than 100 million € is possible. The FT article indicated that Daimler was still considering whether to take the service to Paris using their Smart ED electric drive vehicles.

Daimler has some unique advantages in considering alternative mobility concepts, such as car2go and their dynamic ridesharing "app" car2gether, since they don't have any "entry level" brands or models, they can pursue the carsharing and car-alternative sector without fear of cannibalizing their up-market cars.

Previously, Daimler reminded us that in the first year of Ulm project, almost 18,000 customers had signed up, taking more than 235,000 trips. On average, the trips were used 30 to 60 minutes long and about 15 km. Daimler claims that in Ulm one in three driver's license holders between 18 and 35 years old is a car2go customer.

Meanwhile, there's still no confirmation about the second North American car2go city.