Cites Problems of Disappointing Infrastructure, Limited Range
Daimler’s Car2Go car-share unit has advised some 40,000 subscribers in the San Diego area that it’s replacing the all-battery fleet of Smart ForTwo cars with the gasoline version of the diminutive two-seater. The company cited problems of limited range (65 miles compared with 342 miles on a tank of gasoline) and a disappointing EV charger build-out by now-defunct Ecotality.
Car2Go San Diego was launched with an all-electric fleet in 2011.
“Our bold decision to go 100% EV was based on the Department of Energy’s commitment to install 1,000 Blink charging stations through a company called Ecotality by the end of 2011,” Car2Go told its San Diego clients.
‘Not Even Close’
“Unfortunately, that just didn’t happen. Not even close.”
“Ecotality went bankrupt in 2013, and despite efforts by the City of San Diego to encourage additional charging stations, we’ve all been left with inadequate EV charging infrastructure…
“To date,” states the notice, “only 400 of the 1,000 Blink charging stations promised by Ecotality have been installed, and just 126 of those stations actually fall within the Car2Go home area.”
All-Gasoline Effective May 1
“In San Diego, 20% of the EV Car2Go fleet, on average, is unavailable for use simply because it is being charged or because the charge is too low to be driven. That is over twice as high as the unavailability rate in any of the 12 locations with a fleet of internal combustion Car2Gos…
“As of May 1, we are replacing our San Diego EV fleet with the same internal combustion Smart ForTwo Car2Gos used by hundreds of thousands of members in our 12 other North American locations.”
‘We Love You’
“To show how much we love you,” the notice says, San Diego clients have been offered pricing of just 19¢ per minute (regularly 41¢) or $65.00 per day (regularly $84.99) through the end of 2016.
Early last year, the firm updated the fleet with higher-performance third-generation all-battery Smart cars (F&F, January 30, 2015).
“We would be happy to reconsider an all-EV fleet here once the infrastructure is in-place to support it and we are confident that an EV fleet can deliver the kind of mobility you deserve,” the company said.
In Europe, where EV charging infrastructure is more robust, Car2Go has successful all-battery fleets in Amsterdam and in Daimler’s hometown of Stuttgart, and most recently in Madrid.
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Source: Car2Go with Fleets & Fuels follow-up