Car2Go, a popular car-sharing service has been operating in Montreal since 2013. This past year they merged with Drive Now to become Share Now, owned by Daimler AG and the BMW Group. However, this past Wednesday, they announced the shutting down of their operations across North America by the end February 2020. Car2Go and competitor Communauto have been the two main car-sharing companies in the city. Their cars can be rented out by the day or by the hour and conveniently parked in reserved spaces in parking lots and in some residential areas. Whether Communauto will, or can pick up the slack, remains to be seen.
Car2Go shutting down operations in North America
In 2018 Car2Go pulled their service out of Toronto, where they were struggling with several issues being put forth by the city, making it near to impossible for them to operate there. It included a pilot program that would forbid the use of almost 10,000 on-street parking spaces, where their users usually picked up or left their Car2Go vehicles, as well as parking permit fees passed by the city council requiring companies taking place in a new car-sharing pilot project to pay $1,4999.02 per vehicle. This past September they pulled out of Calgary, citing the reason of it being a ‘highly volatile transportation market’. Vancouver and Montreal were the last two cities left and now operations in both cities will end. The company will also be pulling out of Washington, New York and Seattle in the US and ending operations in London, Brussels and Florence, but will continue to operate in 18 other European cities. On the SHARE NOW website, they posted a letter to their customers:
To Our Customers,
SHARE NOW, in conjunction with its shareholders at Daimler AG and The BMW Group, has decided to exit the North American market and cease operations in London, Brussels and Florence, effective February 29, 2020.
The decision to close North America was made based on two extremely complicated realities. The first being the volatile state of the global mobility landscape, and the second being the rising infrastructure complexities facing North American transportation today – such as a rapidly evolving competitive mobility landscape, the lack of necessary infrastructure to support new technology (including electric vehicle car share) and rising operating costs.
Further, despite our best efforts and investments in Brussels, London and Florence over the years, we are unable to continue operations in a manner thatâ€™s sustainable for our business due to low adoption rates.
Moving forward, SHARE NOW will focus on the remaining 18 European cities. We, along with our shareholders, believe these markets show the clearest potential for profitable growth and mobility innovation. We want to extend a heartfelt thank you to every employee, member, business partner and city stakeholder who have supported us throughout the years in these markets. We deeply regret the inconvenience this decision causes.
Sincerely, SHARE NOW