Daimler’s carsharing company car2go is replacing its San Diego electric vehicle fleet with gas-powered cars, a symbolic setback for the emission-reduction aspirations of the city’s ballyhooed climate action plan.
The problem, car2go says, is there are not enough EV charging stations in the San Diego area to make its business model viable. It currently has about 400 electric cars in its car sharing fleet. It will start phasing out its smart ED cars on May 1.
The move comes shortly after the California Public Utility Commission authorized San Diego Gas and Electric to install 3,500 chargers in the region.
car2go launched its electric carsharing service in 2011 partly based on the DOE’s commitment to install 1,000 charging stations through ECOtality by the end of 2011. Unfortunately, only 400 of those stations were installed before the company went bankrupt in 2013.
Want to go father for less? Of course you do!
When we launched car2go San Diego in 2011, we were excited to make San Diego the first city in America with a fully electric (EV) carsharing fleet. Our bold decision to go 100% EV was based on the Department of Energy’s commitment to install 1,000 Blink charging stations through a company called ECOtality by the end of 2011. Unfortunately, that just didn’t happen. Not even close.
ECOtality went bankrupt in 2013, and despite efforts by the City of San Diego to encourage additional charging stations, we’ve all been left with inadequate EV charging infrastructure in San Diego that makes it very difficult to maintain an EV fleet. For that reason, as of May 1, we are replacing our San Diego EV fleet with the same internal combustion smart fortwo car2gos used by hundreds of thousands of members in our 12 other North American locations.
We at car2go want to show how much we love you and all of San Diegan members! Beginning May 1, San Diegan members like you will pay just $0.19 per minute (regularly $0.41) or $65 per day (regularly $84.99) to drive*. This reduced pricing will be in effect for the rest of 2016, making it even more affordable to use car2go to get around.
Why we are making this change:
To date, only 400 of the 1,000 Blink charging stations promised by ECOtality have been installed, and just 126 of those stations actually fall within the car2go Home Area used by you and your 40,000 fellow San Diego members.
When fully charged, an EV car2go can travel 65 miles max. Our internal combustion car2gos can travel up to 342 miles on a single tank. These new vehicles will make all-day trips possible in ways our EV fleet couldn’t because of the lack of charging stations.
Why you’ll love the new fleet:
Internal combustion car2gos can make an average of 50 member trips before needing to be refueled, compared to just 10 trips for EV car2gos.
In San Diego, 20% of the EV car2go fleet, on average, is unavailable for use simply because it is being charged or because the charge is too low to be driven. That is over twice as high as the unavailability rate in any of the 12 locations with a fleet of internal combustion car2gos.
An EV car2go takes 6-8 hours to charge. With internal combustion car2gos our dedicated fleet team can get our vehicles topped up with fuel and available for you to use in just 5-10 minutes. That means more car2gos will be ready for you to drive all around the city so you can find a one where you need it, when you need it.
While car2go remains committed to EV mobility, the car itself is one piece of a larger EV puzzle. We would be happy to reconsider an all-EV fleet here once the infrastructure is in-place to support it and we are confident that an EV fleet can deliver the kind of mobility you deserve.
Meanwhile, we know you’re going to love the benefits the new fleet will deliver for nearly half the price from May 1st to the end of this year!
Questions? Please feel free to email us directly at [email protected] or give us a call at 877.488.4224.
Thank you for your membership and continued support.
Your car2go San Diego Team
*Taxes and fees apply.