Car2Go Vacates UK Market Due To Tradition Of Private Ownership
Car-sharing service Car2Go, whose ubiquitous blue-and-white Smart Fourtwos can be seen parked on the streets of many a major city, will leave the United Kingdom market today.
Autoblog Green reports the Daimler-owned service is vacating its presence in London and Birmingham in the face of “the UK’s strong culture and tradition of private vehicle ownership.” While total membership is over 750,000 around the world, the U.K. campaign — which began in the autumn of 2012 — never climbed over 10,000 members between the two cities.
That said, Car2Go will still monitor changes in the market in the hopes a return will someday be possible. In the meantime, U.K. members who are registered with Daimler’s moovel app and possess a valid license will be able to drive the two-tone Smarts from IKEA to Starbucks in 12 cities over in the mainland.
While Car-sharing services and call-a-cab apps have merit in the big cities, why is it they pick the absolute smallest, most unsafe vehicles to rent? Civic, Dart, Elantra, Sonata, Mazda 3... I don't want a goddamned STUPID Fortwo.
London has public transport that works. As a car nut who lived in London for 5 years, I never needed one and never bothered, and it gets you off your big fat ass walking to the bus stop, tube station or commuter train station. If you really need to get somewhere fast, flag a cab and hang the expense, or call the ambulance for serious cases. You can't even enter central London in most cars without paying the congestion fee. "The new scheme, the Ultra Low Emission Discount (ULED), went into effect on 1 July 2013. The ULED introduced more stringent emission standards that limit the free access to the congestion charge zone to all-electric cars, some plug-in hybrids, and any car or van that emits 75g/km or less of CO 2 and meets the Euro 5 emission standards for air quality. As of July 2013 there are no internal combustion-only vehicles that meet this criteria." Mercedes should have known better. "Strong culture of private car ownership"! Utter hogwash and misdirection blaming something else for the obvious.
People who use these services view cars as an appliance and have zero interest in what they are driving as long as they are comfortable. When they get on a train they also pay zero attention to the locomotive version pulling it, when they get on a bus they almost certainly can't tell you what brand of coach it is. That's why they rent these things.
But, but, but, cars are evil, private ownership is dead, and no one in Europe drives anymore. All snark aside, as a visitor of London it is, like other great cities of the world, a place where you really don't need a car. Between the choices of mass transit, black cabs, and very walkable streets, along with ancient roadways that criss-cross with little reason and were originally designed for a sewer trough and ox carts, driving in London (which I've done) is an, errrrrr, adventure.