car2go announced March 15 that it won a tender offer from the Birmingham City Council in the United Kingdom to set up an urban mobility scheme. Birmingham will be the first UK home of car2go, in which more than 70,000 people are already using the car-sharing service in Continental Europe, the United States and Canada.
“We are proud to be chosen to build up Birmingham’s first fully-flexible car-sharing service,” said Robert Henrich, CEO of car2go. “Winning this important bid shows that car2go is ready to quickly expand its service in forward-thinking cities which require an innovative mobility solution complementing their existing transportation infrastructure.”
In February 2012, car2go accepted an invitation to bid for the provision of an urban mobility scheme in Birmingham. Starting in fall 2012, car2go will provide its members there access to a fleet of up to 250 smart fortwo "car2go edition" vehicles fitted with an economical petrol engine with an engine start/stop system. The cars are specially developed for car-sharing and can be rented spontaneously inside an operating area of around 30 sq. miles, which covers the city center and several densely populated suburbs.
There is no limit on when customers can start their reservation or for how long. There is also no mandatory return location, in which the vehicle can be parked at any legal public parking space. car2go is paying a monthly fee to the city which covers on-street parking and selected off-street spots operated by the city.
“Birmingham is committed to developing a wide range of green and public transport initiatives to reduce both traffic congestion and carbon emissions within the city, and then country at large,” said Councillor Timothy Huxtable, cabinet member for Transport, Environment and Regeneration. “Through these projects we are keen to explore the potential that short-term car share schemes may have, alongside improvements to public transport and walking/cycling links, in removing the traditional reliance on bringing cars into the city center every day.”