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Toyota, City of Grenoble, Grenoble-Alpes Métropole, Cité lib, EDF launch ultra-compact urban EV car-sharing project; i-ROAD and COMS

March 04, 2013

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Concept of the Grenoble urban EV car-sharing project. Click to enlarge.

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), the city of Grenoble, the Grenoble-Alpes Métropole, car-sharing service operator Cité lib, and French energy provider Électricité de France (EDF) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to begin by the end of 2014 a collaborative zero-emission ultra-compact urban electric vehicle car-sharing project in Grenoble aimed at addressing “last mile” transportation needs for those using public transportation.

TMC plans to supply nearly 70 ultra-compact electric vehicles for the 3-year project, including the COMS ultra-compact vehicle produced by Toyota Auto Body (earlier post), as well as a new vehicle based on the Toyota i-ROAD concept vehicle. (Earlier post.)

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Ford launches FORD2GO car sharing program with its German dealer network; Ford poll shows 56% of Europeans would consider car sharing

Ford of Germany has signed a cooperation agreement with the German Ford dealers association FHD GmbH and DB Rent GmbH—the company behind Flinkster car sharing—for a new car sharing platform. FORD2GO will be the first automotive manufacturer-backed, nationwide car sharing program incorporating dealerships.

The program calls for participating Ford dealers across Germany to offer cars and sharing services to customers in their town, allowing easy access to shared cars and offering the chance for potential customers to experience Ford vehicles. Daimler, with its car2go effort, was an early OEM entrant into car-sharing. (Earlier post.) BMW is also exploring car-sharing services (earlier post), as is GM (earlier post) and Toyota (earlier post), but none have directly involved their dealer network at this point as Ford is.

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Daimler creates subsidiary for innovative mobility services; targeting €100M revenue within next 24 months

January 21, 2013

As part of its plan to significantly expand the mobility services business operations, Daimler Financial Services AG (DFS) has created a subsidiary known as Daimler Mobility Services GmbH (DMS). Daimler’s car2go, moovel, and other mobility services have been consolidated into DMS. The new company’s headquarters are in Stuttgart.

Daimler Financial Services is responsible for the provision of mobility services within the Daimler Group. In 2011, the company assumed responsibility for managing the car2go mobility concept developed by the Group’s Business Innovation department. In addition to car2go, the moovel smartphone app is another mobility service offered by Daimler Financial Services.

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Avis Budget group to acquire car-sharing company Zipcar in cash deal for approximately $500 million

January 02, 2013

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Avis Budget sees car-sharing as a rapidly growing component of the mobility industry, with Zipcar well positioned for the opportunity. Source: Avis Budget. Click to enlarge.

Rental car company Avis Budget Group, Inc. has agreed to acquire car-sharing company Zipcar for $12.25 per share in cash, a 49% premium over the closing price on 31 December 2012, representing a total transaction value of approximately $500 million. Founded in 2000, Zipcar operates the largest member-based, car sharing network in the world.

The transaction is subject to approval by Zipcar shareholders and other customary closing conditions, and is expected to be completed in the spring of 2013. The Boards of Directors of both companies unanimously approved the transaction, and Zipcar shareholders representing approximately 32% of the outstanding common stock have agreed to vote their shares in support of the transaction.

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Ford poll finds Europeans want freedom of car ownership, but worry about traffic, cost of driving, environment

November 14, 2012

A new Ford Motor Company-sponsored poll of 6,000 people across Europe found that most Europeans remain committed to car ownership, but have growing concerns about traffic congestion, the cost of driving and the environment. Ford commissioned the survey, conducted by the consultancy The Futures Company, to better understand the opinions and attitudes of Europeans across a range of mobility issues—from car sharing to green driving to the future of the internal combustion engine.

The Ford survey showed the majority of people say life would be “impossible” without a car; however 76% of Europeans say they are affected by stress from traffic congestion and fuel prices. The survey shows 74% use public transport, 37%share cars when making the same journey and 3% use formal car sharing schemes.

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NYU-BMW i report explores future urban mobility; sustainability and resilience

November 13, 2012

A new study released by BMW i and New York University (NYU) finds that, in the coming years and decades, fundamental changes in the demographic makeup of cities will profoundly alter the way people travel.

This report, prepared by the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management at NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service with the assistance of Appleseed, a New York City-based consulting firm, examines several aspects of the challenge of urban mobility in the twenty-first century: the growth of the world’s urban population, and changes in the characteristics of that population; emerging patterns of urban mobility; and changes in technology design and connectivity.

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