A robust charging network and policies supportive of electric vehicles (EVs) are critical to improving the business case for free-floating carshare services. In electrifying these services, the potential exists to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the light-duty vehicle sector. Free-floating carshare services have especially difficult operational models for EVs as they can be picked-up and dropped-off anywhere within a large service area. The experience of car2go with their all-electric carshare fleet in San Diego at the early stage of the EV market demonstrates the challenges of transportation electrification. The short range of the company’s smart fortwo EVs and the lack of available charging infrastructure, due to the failure of the partner charging company, led to major issues keeping the EVs charged and in-service. In addition, unfamiliarity with the EVs resulted in customer confusion, and overall lack of trust in the services. Although car2go was unable to sustain their electric fleet in the United States, they continue to operate in a few European cities with EV-friendly policies.
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