3/18/2016 | 1 MINUTE READ

Car2Go to Drop EVs for Piston Powered Cars in California

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Daimler AG's car2go car-sharing business says it will swap its fleet of Smart ForTwo electric cars for conventionally powered versions of the city car in California by May 1 due to an insufficient recharging infrastructure in its service area.

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Daimler AG's car2go car-sharing business says it will swap its fleet of Smart ForTwo electric cars for conventionally powered versions of the city car in California by May 1 due to an insufficient recharging infrastructure in its service area.

The company says just 400 of the 1,000 charging stations that were to be built near San Diego by Ecotality Inc. under a Dept. of Energy grant came to fruition, and only 126 are within car2go's operating area. Ecotality filed for bankruptcy in September 2013.

Car2go says 20% of its San Diego EV fleet typically isn't available for users because vehicles aren't adequately charged or are in the process of being recharged (it takes 6-8 hours to fully charge a ForTwo EV). That is twice the out-of-service rates as the other 12 U.S cities in which the car-sharing service operates.

The company estimates an average of 50 member trips can be taken with a gasoline-powered ForTwo before it needs to be refueled. That's five times more than the average for the electric variants, which have a 65-mile driving range.

As an incentive to use the new vehicles, car2go is dropping service rates in San Diego from 41 cents per minute to 19 cents a minute for the rest of the year.