Reporting on pedestrian life in the D.C. area

Look! A tiny Car2Go smartcar has landed on D.C. streets

February 15, 2012 - 12:29 PM
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Here already? (Photo: John Hendel)

Lo and behold! The above Car2Go vehicle was parked yesterday evening shortly after 5 p.m. on Quincy Ave near its intersection with Georgia Ave, up in Petworth.

This car is part of a new car-sharing network, stressing urban mobility and charging by the minute, poised to launch in Washington, D.C. in the coming months. The service, however, is not yet legal or operating. So why would this tiny cute car be parked here on D.C. streets? I walked around the car in awe of its presence. The license plate belonged to Texas — no surprise, given that Daimler rests its American headquarters in Austin. Perhaps the car was here for another round of press photos, as Car2Go had done for a couple days late last year to feature on its D.C. site (already live but still being tested as of a couple weeks ago).

Two weeks ago, Car2Go communications manager Katie Stafford told me that operational agreements with the D.C. government were still in progress, which prevented a formal launch. Was this still true?

"We are still in negotiations," noted District Department of Transportation spokesman John Lisle last night, "so nothing to report at this point."

Hmm. I contacted Stafford by e-mail to see why such a Car2Go vehicle was resting up in Petworth of all places.

"The Car2go you spotted in D.C. is one of our test cars, which we are
currently testing throughout the D.C. metro area," Stafford replied.

Car-sharing has rarely been so exciting as now, with Hertz On Demand launching its services at the beginning of the month and Zipcar acquiring more than 2,000 members through a LivingSocial deal last week. Keep your eyes open, D.C. These Car2Go vehicles may be anywhere in our town as Daimler prepares to launch its new car-sharing service.

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