Navitas Systems becomes an affiliate to DOE Joint Center for Energy Storage Research
Axion Power and ePower Engine Systems enter 5-year agreement for use of PbC batteries in diesel-electric drivetrains for Class 8 trucks; tests suggest up to 35% improvement in fuel economy

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.

Car sharing was one of the various elements highlighted by Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman Bill Ford during a keynote address on the future of mobility at the February 2012 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. (Earlier post.)

As outlined in the company’s Blueprint for Mobility, dealing with growing congestion and environmental concerns will require the development of a true network of mobility solutions, with personal vehicle ownership complemented by greater use of connected and efficient shared services, and completely new business models contributing to improved personal mobility.

More than half (56%) of Europeans would consider car sharing, either through a formal program or through private arrangements, a Ford Motor Company-sponsored poll of more than 6,000 people shows. Of the 56% surveyed who said they would consider car sharing, 27% would be most attracted by reduced travel costs; 26% by convenience of location and operating hours; 23% by a straightforward booking system; and 22% by a reduced impact on the environment.

Drivers increasingly see car sharing programs as a viable option, particularly in dense urban areas where parking can be problematic, and public transit can meet many but not all transportation needs. Ready and affordable access to a pool of available vehicles can provide on-demand transportation flexibility.

Ford understands that for some of our customers—as this survey shows—car sharing is an attractive option. As a company, we are committed to a collaborative and integrated approach to future mobility, and the FORD2GO service is another significant step in exploring exactly how that future could look.

—Bernhard Mattes, chairman of Ford of Germany and vice president, Ford Customer Service Division, Ford of Europe

The Futures Company, a leading consulting firm, conducted the survey 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.

DB Rent has developed a Web-based booking system along with iOS and Android smartphone apps for private and commercial customers participating in the Ford car sharing program.

FORD2GO will be rolled out throughout the coming year. Ford’s German trade network includes 527 Ford dealers, 257 affiliated branches and 1,083 Ford-authorized repair shops—any and all of which would be able to take part in the program.

Comments

Tim.Ricks

I have seen car sharing used effectively in Austin, where they have a pretty reliable program downtown. People will try to hide the cars in alleyways and thing like that to try to make sure no one else uses them, but I think overall it's a good program for condensed urban areas where people only need to go a few miles.

HarveyD

Mini two-people, three wheels, e-vehicles would be a solution for many city folks and also for the 'last mile' for suburban dwellers.

They could also replace many 'Bicycles to go' for inter city movements.

ai_vin

We have at least one car sharing program here in Vancouver. In fact, one of the people at the club uses it.

mahonj

We have a very successful bike sharing program in Dublin.
It costs e10 / year if you sign up and is funded by the council selling advertising space on hoardings.

It strikes me that car sharing could work well with electric cars.
When you buy (say) a Leaf, you get 2 weeks free ICE rental (or swap / rental) per year. Thus, while the leaf will be fine for your normal use, the occasional long run can be covered by a rental / swap.
This is the "2 car" PHEV solution.

Mannstein

I can just imagine being forced to use "bicycles to go" during some of the worst New England or Eastern Canada winter weather. Never a dearth of crack pot ideas from the Spinach Party.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)