Car share service car2go is adding 25 four-door sedans to its fleet in Vancouver today, as part of a massive expansion in the city.
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The Mercedes B-Class vehicles — car2go is a subsidiary of Daimler AG — can be rented for the same cost as the two-door vehicles, 41 cents per minute.
Prior to today, Evo was the only one-way car sharing service in the city to offer four-door vehicles.
The one-way car sharing service doubled its fleet in the past two months, it now has 1,275 vehicles on the road, making Vancouver home to the largest car2go fleet in North America.
"I am not sure how much of a game changer it is [four-door vehicles]. It is more of an impact that they are adding additional vehicles to our streets," said Tanya Paz, a car-sharing consultant and member of the Vancouver's Active Transportation Policy Council.
Paz says for car2go customers it will mean more options and more space. "You can't have any children in a two-seater or anybody who is too light or too young to have an airbag in their face, and a smart car is very small, so it really limits what people can take," she said.
In a statement, car2go spokeswoman Dacyl Armendariz took issue with Paz's statement. Armendariz says children are able to ride in the two-seat vehicle unless the child is in a rear facing car seat.
"An electronically controlled system will detect the weight of the occupant on the passenger seat or the installation of a child restraint system. ... For very young passengers, for whom an airbag deployment could mean a serious risk, the front and side airbags will be deactivated."
There are four car share service programs operating in Vancouver and the city has more car sharing vehicles per capita than any other city, says Paz.
"No one beats us in that. I would say, it is a combination of promotion of active transportation, making it easier to walk or cycle around means you don't need a car and our transit, as much as people have a love and hate relationship with it, it is really remarkable," she said.
Paz worked with Modo Car Co-op previously and says car sharing makes people think twice when it comes to driving, but parking is a big issue.
"Two-way car sharing has been proven over and over again, that it gets people out of their car, it reduces car ownership and reduces trips by car. One-way car sharing has yet to prove that and they are reluctant to share their data with cities," she said.
The car2go hatchback vehicles will be rolling out in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto.
To hear the full interview listen to the audio labelled Car2go adds Mercedes sedans to fleet with the CBC's Rick Cluff on The Early Edition.