Daimler has passed ten years as a provider of on-demand free-float car rental ('carshare') services.

It says it was the first manufacturer to put a fleet of 200 smart vehicles on the road for location-independent carsharing in 2009. Ten years later, the sharing economy has grown into a booming industry – with carsharing as one of the most popular business models. The brand celebrated the anniversary together with Share Now in Paris with a panel discussion on the topic.

In 2009, Daimler established the first fleet for free-floating carsharing in Ulm with 200 smart vehicles. One year before, car2go – today Share Now – had started operations as the first location-independent carsharing system worldwide. Today, Share Now has more than four million customers around the world, more than three million of them in Europe alone. The service provides some 20,000 vehicles, including 3,200 electric cars. Customers take advantage of the offer in 31 cities in 14 countries for more than 100,000 drives a day, with more than 12,000 of them on all-electric power.

"When we started in Ulm in 2009, the sharing economy was still in its infancy. Today, free-floating carsharing is a perfectly natural part of the daily routine in larger cities. We are delighted that we at smart together with Share Now have shaped this field from the very start and have also paved the way for private carsharing. Because carsharing reduces congestion, air pollution and parking shortages. smart delivers the perfect vehicles for this purpose," says Jakob Luickhardt, Portfolio Strategy and Hardware smart Services.

Anniversary with panel discussion

Daimler says Paris is considered the "first mover" in matters of innovative mobility services. An all-electric smart fleet numbering 400 vehicles has been in flexible carsharing operations there since the beginning of the year. An ideal place for celebrating the sharing economy anniversary of the brand. The highlight of the event was a panel discussion on the subject of the "Sharing Economy", in which Jakob Luickhardt, Simon Broesamle, chief business development officer Share Now as well as strategy consultant, speaker and blogger Stéphane Schultz took part.

Amongst other things, the discussion centred on the question of how needs-based, sustainable and efficient passenger transport can be designed in the future. How can traffic be reduced and city-centre infrastructures be relieved? How can a new urban quality of life be created?

"Each of our vehicles already replaces up to eight private cars today and thus makes an important contribution to a higher quality of life in the cities. In high-density metropolises such as Paris, the all-electric smart is the most popular carsharing vehicle for the customers of Share Now and an optimal complement to the public transport network and other mobility solutions," says Simon Broesamle.

Carsharing with smart – simple, flexible, private

Smart plays an important role not only with regard to free-floating carsharing. With the "ready to share" service, the brand has been making private carsharing as simple, safe and straightforward as using Share Now since 2016. Authorised users can open their friends' smarts in a matter of seconds using their smartphone. smart "ready to share" uses the vehicle's "keyless entry" function. Three factors make "smart ready to share" unique: the safety and security of a solution provided by the manufacturer, complete control by the vehicle owner as the sole administrator and decision-maker, and the simple and inexpensive handling. The payment function for "ready to share" helps smart owners who share their cars to split the costs, too. The hardware and the data processes for this are identical to those of the Share Now technology. The technology builds on tried and proven components.

The mobility of the future – multi-modal, convenient, sustainable

Daimler says The target vision is a mobility that is no longer guided by the question of how to get from point A to point B with a previously defined means of transport. Future mobility concepts focus on how customers can travel a route preferably conveniently, safely, quickly and in a sustainable fashion using a combination of different means of transport. This takes offers of the public transportation network equally into account along with sharing services ranging from minibuses to bicycles and even pedestrian routes. Digital services calculate the routeing and open up the possibility to book and pay for all stages and services. The first components for this multi-modal and sustainable mobility vision have already been put in place at Share Now and smart and are being expanded continuously.

Smart – all-electric into the future

Daimler says smart is the world's first car brand to complete the systematic switch from combustion engines to electric powertrains. By 2020, smart will gradually reduce the range of combustion engines in all European markets and switch over completely to the locally emission-free, battery-electric powertrain for the smart fortwo, fortwo cabrio and forfour. The electric models from smart combine the agility of the smart with locally emission-free driving.

Share Now – the world's largest carsharing company

Share Now is a leader in flexible carsharing and one of five mobility services in all to emerge from the joint venture founded by BMW Group and Daimler AG in 2019. With Share Now, the previously independent offers car2go and DriveNow form a joint carsharing service. The fleet comprises vehicles of the smart, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Mini brands.

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