Daimler’s car-sharing service on a strong start in China image

Car2go free-floating car sharing programme has debuted in China in April and it already has 78,000 registered customers.

Daimler has been one of the first automakers which entered into the car-sharing business and in mid-April it has decided to expand Car2go’s operations in Asia, where it is a high demand for such services. The company has picked Chongqing as its first regional location, a mega 30-million-inhabitant city in central China, where it deployed 400 Smart models. By contrast to the traditional ride-sharing plan, Daimler’s free-floating service allows its users to pick up and return the cars from each legal parking space within a designated downtown area.

In Chongqing, the designated zone is covering around 60 square kilometers. And, by now, the company said Car2go had more than 40,000 rentals, while more than 78,000 customers have registered with Daimler’s service in less than two months. By comparison, the largest Car2go locations in Europe and North America have around 100,000 to 130,000 registered users per city, after four to five years since the service has been launched. “The start in Chongqing far exceeds our expectations”, says Roland Keppler, CEO of Car2go. “The Chinese customers are really enthusiastic about the service and make intensive use of the vehicles.”

In China, Car2go’s users have to pay an initial registration fee of 99 RMB (15 dollars), while the rental fees are based on the travelled distance (1.19 RMB/0.18 dollars per kilometer), as well as a time-based fee of 0.59 RMB/0.09 dollars per minute.