The Car2Go car-sharing unit of Daimler AG is expected to have over 1 million registered users by the end of 2014, according to Rainer Becker, head of business development for Asia Pacific at Daimler's mobility arm Moovel, operator of Car2Go. The service currently has 900,000 users across 29 cities in Europe and North America having access to its global fleet made up of 12,000 Smart ForTwo microcars.
These users can pick up and park anywhere within a specific urban zone. Daimler is eyeing to introducer Car2Go in China as it bids to hike its penetration rate in the country by over 70 percent to 50 cities by the end of 2016, Becker said. He remarked that while launching the service in China might be risky, it also brings opportunities.
Becker disclosed that Daimler was holding discussions with individual cities over Car2Go introductions. He added that Daimler is ready to operate a fleet of battery-powered Smarts if asked to by city governments.
Car2Go offers EV ForTwos in three cities, including Amsterdam. Becker told Automotive News Europe that while Car2Go has yet to make a profit, but it is starting to be financially viable. He noted that Car2Go is profitable in some cities where it has operations.
Car2Go pulled out of the United Kingdom UK earlier this year after commencing operations in London in 2012 and Birmingham in 2013. The service said at the time that the unique challenges encountered were “more significant than expected," blaming the country’s strong car-ownership culture.
It added that it found hard to get local governments to agree to offer ‘free-floating’ parking.