The trademark smart cars rented out by car-sharing service car2go will be gradually phased out and replaced with Mercedes-Benz vehicles over the next few years, the company has recently confirmed.
Since its Canadian launch in Vancouver in June 2011, car2go has been synonymous with its white-and-blue smart fortwo two-seaters, available for rent to car2go subscribers on-the-fly for minutes, hours, or days.
But the next-generation fortwo is set to lose its gasoline engine options and instead go fully electric only, and the car-sharing company – which is owned by Daimler, the same automaker that makes the smart – doesn’t see EV car-sharing working out as well.
As a result, the smart fortwos currently in the company’s fleet will be gradually replaced by other Mercedes-Benz vehicles, like the GLA crossover and CLA sedan that were rolled into car2go service in Canada in early 2017.
While car2go does operate electric car fleets in Europe – specifically Amsterdam, Madrid, and Stuttgart – the charging infrastructure required to make adding for-rent EVs possible in Canada is not here right now. However, a car2go spokesperson confirmed the car-sharing service would consider adding an electric smart fortwo to its fleet if that changes.
Most of car2go’s roughly 2,700-car fleet in Canada lives in Vancouver (1,100 cars) though the cars in Toronto are the most utilized, on average spending no more than 30 minutes parked. The company also loans out cars in Calgary and Montreal. Car2go has more than 320,000 Canadian subscribers.