car2go car sharing set to debut in Vancouver

In terms of finding cleaner ways to navigate Vancouver, car sharing may not be a new concept, but it will be more available this summer.

Vancouver has been selected as the first Canadian city to feature car2go, which is a service that was started three years ago in Germany and has spread to a number of urban centres in the U.S. With the car2go service, users can access vehicles “on-demand” around the city or find and reserve their wheels up to 24 hours in advance through the new smartphone app, website, or telephone hotline. When finished driving, members can leave the car anywhere in permit-only residential parking or in designated spots in busier locations.

The car2go service will feature 225 fuel-efficient, low-emission smart vehicles as of June 2011. They aren’t hybrid vehicles, but they claim to be the most otherwise fuel efficient and make use of solar panels on the roof to increase efficiency.

Drivers pay 35 cents per minute, which includes fuel, parking, mileage, insurance, maintenance, cleaning, GPS navigation, 24/7 customer support service and roadside assistance at no extra cost. Usage is also billed directly to credit card so there’s no need for cash.

Sign up before May 29th and car2go will waive the $35 registration fee. car2go will also contribute $2 from every annual membership fee to the Canuck Place Children’s Hospice.