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Car2go Hopes San Diego Car Sharing Gets Plugged In

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Aired 7/13/11

San Diego will be home to the nation's first all electric car sharing service this fall. Diamler-owned Car2go picked San Diego because the city will have more than 1,000 public charging stations by the end of the year.

Car2go already operates car sharing programs in Austin, Texas and Vancouver, Canada. But those services use small smart for-two gas powered vehicles. The San Diego service will have the same small vehicles, but they will all be electrically powered. Both existing car2go services allow users to use a smart phone app or the web to find a car, drive it and then leave it. That's different from car sharing services like Zipcar which require renters to return cars to designated pick-up and drop off points. Car2go officials said the free floating car sharing system works great for short, spontaneous, one way trips.

All Electric Smart fortwo vehicle
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Above: All Electric Smart fortwo vehicle

"We see the cars at night in the residential areas, around buildings, around some of the homes downtown," said Nicholas Cole, Car2go President and CEO. "During the day they're in the business district where the restaurants are also, so its truly a natural flow of where people need the cars and where they pick them up and take them."

Cole said the city's efforts, make the 300 vehicle all electric car sharing fleet possible. Car2go's decision to pick San Diego validates the mayor's commitment to supporting the emission free technology.

"To being one of the first cities in the nation to provide a charging network that can support wide spread use of electric vehicles," said Mayor Jerry Sanders.

The city council is poised to consider changing city rules so it is easier for car sharing services like Car2go to operate. Most of the changes focus on creating parking for the cars in crowded downtown areas. The full council could consider those measures as early as next week.

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