For those who are unfamiliar with car sharing, the concept isn’t exactly new as Zipcar has been dominating that particular market for the past decade or so. But what about electric car sharing? While the concept is more or less the same, electric vehicles are now set to gain more attention thanks to Car2Go’s recent efforts as they launch the country’s first large-scale electric car-sharing program in San Diego.
Unlike Zipcar, Car2Go’s model is looking to be much simpler. Whereas Zipcar requires members to pick up and return cars from the same location, make reservations and pay by the hour, Car2Go members can rent vehicles by the minute without reservations and drop off the vehicles at designated points throughout the city.
ECOtality has also partnered up with Car2Go and is currently installing approximately 1,000 publicly available Blink charging stations throughout the San Diego region. Not only will this provided charging stations for Car2Go’s members, but the stations will also collect data, which will then be analyzed to better understand how EV drivers charge their cars and will help to guide future rollouts of commercial charging stations.
The Car2go program in San Diego is currently scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2011 with about 300 electric SmartFortwo cars that are said to be able to travel up to 84 miles on a full charge. It seems that the company also has similar plans for overseas as they will be launching a similar service in Amsterdam later this year. If you’re looking to get yourself an electric vehicle, Car2Go’s service will be a good way to test drive some of them.