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San Diego's all-electric carshare off to fast start

San Diego's all-electric carshare off to fast start

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The first all-electric carshare fleet in North America is growing quickly, with thousands of new members in less than a year.

They're cute, clean, and a hit in San Diego.

Car2go announced yesterday that its all-electric carshare fleet in San Diego, the first in North America, is being used by more than 6,000 members. And since hitting the streets in November, they have taken more than 25,000 trips. The carshare company, a subsidiary of Daimler, also grew its weekly rentals from 500 to 3,500.

As we've written before, carsharing allows members to rent cars for a few minutes or a full day. The idea is that carsharing provides an alternative to owning a car in the city. While prices are high for daily use ($65.99 plus tax in San Diego, including recharging costs and insurance) it's theoretically cheaper than owning a car if you only use it for essential trips.

That's how San Diego's Car2go members are using the system: to make quick, short, essential trips. Data from Car2go's first 100 days shows that members use the cars for an average of 15 to 30 minutes, and drive an average distance of 5 to 10 miles.

Car2go also makes carsharing more convenient by allowing members to use the vehicle for an unspecified amount of time. You don't have to schedule your day around the carshare and you can use the cars without committing to a specific return time or location. Cars can be returned to any valid public parking space within a specific zone.

Car2go isn't just catching on in San Diego. Car2go is currently in 12 cities across the globe and four cities in the U.S. But San Diego is the only U.S. city with the all-electric fleet.

Photo: Salon de Maria/Flickr

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Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk is a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure