Car2Go Sweeps Austin Off Its Wheels

After a year's courtship with Austin, Car2Go takes it to the next level

On its first anniversary of partnering with the city of Austin, Car2Go N.A. LLC – Daimler's North American car-share program – celebrated this past week with the traditional one-year gift of paper: a press release detailing the program's coming expansion. The plan is to expand the current operating "fence" (which presently stretches to 51st and Koenig to the north, Highway 183 to the east, MoPac and Exposition Boulevard to the west, and Oltorf to the south) after completing an assessment of current mobility patterns. The new boundaries will be announced closer to an anticipated spring 2011 fleet expansion. According to Car2Go CEO/President Nicholas Cole, the Austin program has logged in "300,000 miles driven, 100,000 rentals and close to 15,000 registered members" in its first year. Next year, the program will add 100 cars to the current fleet of 200, and the original 200 smart fortwo models will be replaced by a new Car2Go edition, designed by the Smart company specifically for car-sharing. The new edition will feature navigation and radio upgrades, "more robust" seats and rims, and new hardware to streamline the car-sharing procedure. About 80% of the new Car2Go cars will also sport solar roofs to charge the battery, power the hardware, and run a ventilation system to reduce the interior temperature, thereby expending less energy for cooling and ultimately reducing fuel consumption – a thoughtful gift for a hot bride like Austin.

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