Car rental company car2go, which allows members to rent vehicles anytime and anywhere without having to specify a time or place of return in advance, announced Nov. 14 that it would start operations in Vienna, according to a Daimler press release.
Beginning in December, 500 smart fortwo “car2go edition” vehicles will be distributed throughout Vienna. The company states it is the world’s first mobility program without prior reservation or specifying a time of return. Renters simply leave the vehicle at their destination without having to return it to the departure point.
The car2go vehicles can be rented and returned within an operating area of approximately 80 square kilometers covering the city center and several densely populated suburbs. Vehicles will not be parked at fixed stations. Instead, they are moved by the members several times a day so that public parking spaces are occupied no longer than necessary.
In Vienna, car2go will deploy what the company says is the world’s first production model specifically developed to enable a fully-automatic and simple rental process: the smart fortwo “car2go edition.” The company says the vehicle is known for its agility in city traffic and is fitted with an economical petrol engine with automatic start/stop system.
Customers can rent car2go vehicles on the street or find and reserve them via the Internet and smartphone applications. The vehicle selected can be unlocked using a membership card. The car2go rental can be finished at any public parking space within the business area, with no need to put money in the meter because parking fees are included in the rental fee. Customers decide when they start their trip, how long they keep the vehicle and their destination.
In September 2011, the car2go Österreich GmbH was founded as a company of the Daimler subsidiary car2go GmbH. It will be integrated into the Joint Venture between car2go and Europcar International named car2go Europe GmbH.