SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The car sharing service Car2Go is reducing its carbon footprint. Local users can soon take advantage of a more powerful electric fleet.
Bret Marquis was one of the very first San Diegans to join Car2Go when the car-sharing company debuted here in 2011. On Wednesday he was one of the first to give one of the newest models a spin.
"They're little rocket ships. They are much faster than the other ones," he said.
Over the next couple of months, all of the 2010 Daimler smart electric vehicles in Car2Go's San Diego fleet will be replaced by 400 newer, more powerful smart electric vehicles.
"It's a single-gear transmission now, meaning that the car accelerates in a much smoother fashion, and it also has a much better freeway drive now," Rebecca Nurlu of Car2Go San Diego said.
While the older models could reach speeds up to 65 miles an hour. The more powerful successor can hit 85 miles an hour, all while maintaining a zero-emission carbon footprint.
"They've improved the performance and, you know, they're fun," Marquis said.
San Diego is the only North American city with a completely all-electric Car2Go fleet, earning it the unofficial nickname the "Electric City."
"We already have the charging infrastructure which has developed so much, and we also have one of the highest numbers of electric vehicles in the nation. So San Diego was a perfect fit," Nurlu said.
Also fitting, Car2Go now no longer requires a membership card to rent a car. Instead, customers can use their smart phones to locate, reserve and even open their temporary ride.
"You can just click 'Start Rental,' you'll hear the doors unlock, and you're ready to rent your Car2Go," Nurlu said.
One thing that hasn't changed is when customers are finished, they can leave the vehicle in a metered space, without having to feed the meter.
"I like the fact I can just kind of park it and walk away," Marquis said.
Car2Go San Diego charges 41 cents per minute, which includes parking, fuel and insurance.