This weekend, I spent my time testing out car2go’s new next-gen smart cars. As an inner city dweller, I’d always seen the little blue and white bubble look-alikes zipping around everywhere with commuters going to and from work, cheekily squeezing between vehicles or comfortably pulling into the most awkward of parking spaces. They seemed like a good idea, but until I was asked to take one out and experience it for myself, I wouldn’t say I was a convert to the program.
As many of you might know, I don’t promote brands and services that I wouldn’t use myself. Working with car2go directly supported my desire to share and assist companies that work to minimize our ecological footprint.
Looking into the positive impact of car2go, I discovered that 1 car2go removes up to 11 vehicles from city streets, averting over 234 MILLION kilometers of travel and 14 METRIC TONS of greenhouse gases PER car2go. The numbers astounded me, I had no idea that carsharing could result in such a significant impact.
As of October 2016, car2go is officially the largest carsharing company in the world with over 2,000,000 members. If the service is new to you, what the company offers is one-way, point-to-point rentals. Members (who register online) are charged by the minute, with hourly and daily rates also available. The service is ultimately a replacement for car rental service, and cars are located on the streets using car2go’s downloadable app. The rates are all-inclusive and covers rental, gas, insurance, parking (in authorized areas), and maintenance.
My day in the car2go started off with picking up my friend Shannon from her house, and then immediately heading to the gas station to fill up, not that fuel costs are something members need to ever worry about – it’s one of the perks of car2go (which is awesome)! It gives members carefree use of the vehicle and they have a team that makes sure the tank is full. While I wasn’t paying for it, I took a peek at the meter and was surprised to find out it would have only cost me $14.00 to fill up a nearly empty tank in 30 seconds.
At that point, I really realized how efficient these vehicles were. I’d heard that the smart car was nearly 100% recyclable (including the battery), affordable and fun, but as we set off on our day, I finally came to an understanding of how great this car and concept was.
We spent the morning in Inglewood, sipping lattes at Rosso Coffee Roasters, exploring Silk Road Spices, and ‘Plant’… the most adorable plant store in YYC.
After a lazy morning we zipped off to the Crossroads farmers market, finding parking quickly in an awkwardly small space next to the entrance, and browsed amongst all the saturday locals looking for Halloween pumpkins.
We finished off the day with a bit of shopping across town at Market Mall, with special visits to Canadian favorites Saje Wellness and Rocky Mountain Soap Co. More coffee was consumed at the Loaf and Kettle before heading back across to the SW to drop my friend off at her house.
In comparison to the old model (which I also got to drive), the next-gen smart is punchy, and much easier to steer. The brakes feel smoother and it drives a lot less like a golf cart and much more like a regular car. The heated leather seats were perfect for the chilly October weather while the touch screen navigation and Bluetooth entertainment system was easy to use and helpful as we zipped around town.
By the time I dropped the vehicle off on monday, I was ready to rent another one to pop down to the shops. It is clear to me that car2go is enormously beneficial for not only the inner city commuter, but even travellers who need an easy way to get around town. It is a service that serves the people well, and the surrounding environment. Below I’ve included some information on the study done by Berkeley in California.
car2go has also kindly set up a promo code for anyone who wants to register with them before December 24th. Not only will it be free to set up an account (usually a $5 fee) but they are also offering a $5.00 driving credit to start you off!
Just include the promo code below to get started, or click on the image to be re-directed to the web page.
A study by UC Berkeley was conducted in July and gathered data from nearly 9,500 North American car2go members residing in Calgary; San Diego; Seattle; Vancouver; and Washington, D.C.
It revealed the following results across the cities:
• Between two percent to five percent of the car2go population sold a vehicle due to car2go across the study cities
• Another seven percent to 10 percent of respondents did not acquire a vehicle due to car2go
• Each car2go vehicle removes between seven to 11 vehicles from city roads (including sold and suppressed)
• One to three private vehicles were sold across the five cities per car2go vehicle
• In total, car2go took an estimated 28,000-plus vehicles off of the road and reduced parking demand
• A six percent to 16 percent reduction in vehicle miles traveled (VMT) across the study population (average of 11 percent)
• A four percent to 18 percent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the study population (average 10 percent)
• Estimates suggest that car2go’s one-way carsharing service prevented between 16 to 46.6 million VKT (vehicle kilometers travelled) per year per city, depending on assumptions of suppressed mileage, which in-turn removed between 5.5 to 12.7 metric tons of GHG emissions per car2go vehicle annually (on average).
The study also revealed notable 2015 city-specific findings across
the five cities analyzed…
Calgary: Each car2go vehicle removed an estimated 11vehicles from Calgary’s roads: more than 6,000 vehicles total. In 2015, car2go in Calgary reduced overall VKT by up to an estimated 52.9 million kilometers. Each car2go Calgary vehicle eliminated up to 14 metric tons of GHG emissions. car2go Calgary also prevented up to an estimated 8,000 metric tons of GHG emissions from polluting Calgary’s air.
San Diego: Each car2go vehicle removed an estimated seven vehicles from San Diego roads: nearly 3,000 vehicles total. In 2015, car2go in San Diego reduced overall VKT by up to an estimated 32 million kilometers. Each car2go San Diego vehicle eliminated up to 13 metric tons of GHG emissions. car2go San Diego also prevented up to an estimated 5,300 metric tons of GHG emissions from polluting San Diego’s air.
Seattle: Each car2go vehicle removed an estimated 10 vehicles from Seattle’s roads: more than 6,300 vehicles total. In 2015, car2go in Seattle reduced overall VKT by up to an estimated 55 million kilometers. Each car2go Seattle vehicle eliminated up to 14 metric tons of GHG emissions. car2go Seattle also prevented up to an estimated 9,000 metric tons of GHG emissions from polluting Seattle’s air.
Vancouver: Each car2go vehicle removed an estimated nine vehicles from Vancouver’s roads: more than 8,200 vehicles total. In 2015, car2go in Vancouver reduced overall VKT by up to an estimated 60.3 million kilometers. Each car2go Vancouver vehicle eliminated up to 11 metric tons of GHG emissions. car2go Vancouver also prevented up to an estimated 10,000 metric tons of GHG emissions from polluting Vancouver air.
Washington, D.C.: Each car2go vehicle removed an estimated seven vehicles from Washington, D.C.’s roads: more than 4,600 vehicles total. In 2015, car2go in Washington, D.C. reduced overall VKT by up to an estimated 34.2 million kilometers. Each car2go Washington, D.C. vehicle eliminated up to 10 metric tons of GHG emissions. car2go Washington, D.C. also prevented up to an estimated 6,500 metric tons of GHG emissions from polluting Washington, D.C.’s air.
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