300 smart fortwo electric vehicles on the streets of Amsterdam by end of 2011

Car2go today announced to bring its innovative mobility program to Amsterdam before end of 2011 and decided to run one of the world’s first large scale carsharing fleets of pure electric vehicles there with 300 smart fortwo cars. “The future of mobility has arrived. The smart fortwo electric drive has already been delivered to our customers in 18 markets worldwide. And car2go, our innovative mobility concept, has proven to be a success in Germany and in the U.S.,” says Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. “We will next set a new benchmark for sustainable individual mobility by bringing these two intelligent concepts together.”

The car2go program is already very successful in Ulm/Germany and Austin/Texas with a total of more than 35.000 members. In Hamburg, the car2go program was made available to the public with 300 vehicles last week. The electric car2go program is going to start operations in Amsterdam before end of 2011 with 300 smart fortwo electric drive vehicles. All cars will be equipped with latest telematics technology, allowing fully automated, easy and convenient rental operations. It allows customers to rent the cars spontaneously with having the burden to commit to a specific return time or location.

“We are delighted that car2go has opted for Amsterdam as one of the first cities in the world to start this electric car sharing project”, says Eric Wiebes, alderman for traffic, transportation and air quality of the city of Amsterdam. “It fits perfectly into Amsterdam’s strive for improving the air quality in the city. This project brings electric car sharing a significant step closer to a major audience. As car sharing vehicles are completing many kilometres within the city, electrification of such vehicles in particular has a positive effect.”
Amsterdam is known world-wide for its openness to new technologies and businesses. Around 300 electric charging stations are expected to be installed by end of 2011 for public use, increasing to 1000 by end of 2012.

“As from the very beginning, our smart fortwo has been invented as the ideal car for individual mobility in dense urban areas,” says Dr. Annette Winkler, Head of smart. “The smart fortwo electric drive has been tailored to shape the future of urban mobility, combining environmentally responsible driving with a lot of fun and perfect functionality. smart is much more than just a small car – it is a big idea for metropolitan areas and now for the wonderful city of Amsterdam – Proficiat!“

“car2go is designed to meet the growth and diversity of mobility needs in dense urban areas while protecting environment and quality of life,”says Robert Henrich, CEO of car2go GmbH, “Amsterdam’s strong focus on implementing and fostering green technologies such as an extensive electric infrastructure and its citizen’s open-minded lifestyle makes it the perfect place to launch an electric car2go program.”

Amsterdam has an efficient public transit network as well as various bike and car sharing schemes which are well accepted by its citizens. “car2go is aiming to complement the existing transport systems by providing a service for short and spontaneous one-way trips. We see ourselves not as a competition to other means of transport, but as another puzzle piece in the mix of Amsterdam’s different means of urban transportation,”says Henrich.

car2go is planning to establish a subsidiary in the Netherlands in order to bring the service to Amsterdam. Further details of the service such as business area, parking/charging concept and start of customer registrations will be discussed in the course of the coming months based on a memorandum of understanding with the City of Amsterdam signed today.