MONTREAL — The city's two main ride-sharing services — Car2go and Communauto — are making significant changes to broaden their customer base and make more cars available in more areas and on shorter notice.
Daimler-owned Car2go, which currently uses two-seat Smart ForTwo vehicles, will introduce five passenger vehicles to its Montreal fleet of 450 cars by the end of 2017 to better meet the needs of customers with children or those who simply need more room.
“It’s been a constant request from our customers,” said Jeremi Lavoie, general manager for Car2go in Quebec, about the move to add larger vehicles.
As two-seaters, Car2go’s Smart ForTwo models run in to a serious snag in that provincial regulations don’t permit passengers weighing less than 36 kilograms (80 pounds) to sit in the front seat. That means no children.
The entire fleet is in the process of being replaced this year with 340 new-model Smart ForTwos; 110 of the older model will remain in circulation until the remaining void is filled later in the year with the coming five-seat vehicles, likely to be Mercedes-Benz GLA and/or CLA models. Car2go services in Toronto and Vancouver have already been replaced with the new-model ForTwos.
The little blue and white gas-powered two-seater ForTwos have been crisscrossing Montreal since 2013.
Also missing from the picture at Car2go Montreal is an electric vehicle. The company has more than 2.2 million vehicles worldwide, including electric units, but Lavoie says that there are not enough public charging points available in the city yet to make such a switch feasible.
The city is installing more charging stations and still has its sights set on 1,000 battery-electric sharing cars by 2020.