Car2go Electric Car-Sharing Service Launches Across the US This Year

Daimler’s car-sharing service, the first electric car sharing service, will launch across the US this year, and is opening this month in Washington, D.C. and Portland, Oregon.

The company says it already has over 70,000 members worldwide in Car2go.

Through the service, Daimler makes available its Smart Fortwo vehicles for rent.

Car2go bills itself as the first "free-floating car-sharing service" – members can rent cars spontaneously without having to commit to a specific return time or location.

They can rent by the minute, paying only for the time they use, with discounted rates for hourly and daily use. Parking, fuel, maintenance and insurance are included at no additional cost, and there are no annual or monthly fees.

Members can use a smart phone app or the website to find the nearest available car – no need for advanced reservations.

The car can be picked up and dropped off anywhere, they don’t have to return it to the original location.

Members can register now in Washinton DC and Portland, Oregon. Free registration is available for a limited time.

car2go is currently operational in nine cities: Austin, Texas; Vancouver, British Columbia; San Diego, California; Ulm, Germany; Hamburg, Germany; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Vienna, Austria; Lyon, France; and Dusseldorf, Germany.

In related news, ABB (NYSE: ABB) is revving up its electric car charging network, saying it could be a $1 billion business by 2017, up from $50 million to $100 million today.

By 2017, there will be 1.5 million charging stations in the US and 7.7 million worldwide, says Pike Research, which forecasts sales to reach 5.2 million by then, up from just 114,000 in 2011. 

Here’s the Car2go website:

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