Car2Go announces Portland car-sharing service

Car2Go, a point-to-point car-sharing service from Daimler, confirmed Wednesday that it will launch its service in Portland next month.

Car2Go, a point-to-point car-sharing service from Daimler, confirmed Wednesday that it will launch its service in Portland next month.

Car2Go North America LLC announced Wednesday it will launch its point-to-point car-sharing service in Portland starting March 31.

Car2Go, a subsidiary of Daimler North America, uses a network of Smart Fortwo vehicles that can be located via a smartphone app and driven anywhere within a 34-square-mile area. The car network is free-floating without the requirements of a mandatory return location or time.

"We are proud to welcome our sister company Car2Go to Portland," said Martin Daum, president of Daimler Trucks North America LLC, in a press release. "Daimler was the first automobile manufacturer in the world to launch a car-sharing program."

Portland will be Car2Go's fourth U.S. market. Car2Go announced Wednesday it will launch the service in Washington, D.C., a few days before the Portland launch. The service is already operational in Austin, Texas and San Diego. It also operates in Vancouver, B.C.; Amsterdam; Vienna, Austria; Lyon, France and the cities of Dusseldorf, Hamburg and Ulm in Germany.

Portland Afoot reported the news about Car2Go coming to Oregon last week, after noticing local jobs posted by the car-sharing service.

The Car2Go announcement comes on the heels of the official launch of peer-to-peer car-sharing service Getaround, which was marked last week at Portland City Hall.

Car2Go has experimented with adding electric cars to their fleet in San Diego, Austin and elsewhere. It's not immediately clear whether the Portland service will include electric vehicles. The initial announcement refers to the efficiency of gas-powered Smart cars.

Members of the service locate available cars using their smart phones and access them with a card-swipe. They pay by the minute and are not on the hook for parking, fuel, insurance or maintenance.

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