They are a familiar sight on the streets of Vancouver, but now Car2Go is gone.
The popular company merged with Share Now, a company owned by BMW, which is looking to expand its car-sharing fleet worldwide.
“It’s a brand new company that BMW and Daimler announced called Share Now,” Car2Go’s general manager Chris Iuvancigh said.
“They’re basically joining forces to expand and improve car-share offerings across North America, Europe and eventually the world.”
The merger is a product of Car2Go’s success. More than 200,000 people use the service, which has been operating in the city since 2011.
WATCH: Car2Go drives away from Toronto, cites over-regulation (May 2018)
Vancouver has the biggest fleet and highest membership in North America, which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. With the cost of living being what it is in Vancouver, car sharing means cost savings.
UBC Urban Planning and Public Health Professor Lawrence Frank says a recent study on the Comox Helmcken Greenway in the city’s West End led to some interesting discoveries on car sharing, which is soon going to be the focus of another study.
Frank says car ownership is quickly becoming pointless in the sharing economy.
“What we need is the ability to get places. Car sharing is perfectly logical, it’s a wonderful model, it’s making good use of information and data that we have available,” Frank said. “Bikesharing is happening now, all kinds of sharing economy are emerging.”
As for Car2Go, there are no immediate changes to rates or the way the service operates.
There could be changes to the fleet in the future, as a merger with BMW means access to more vehicles for people to share.