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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

I Have Fallen in Love With a Car (Sharing Service)

Author: Reilly Capps/Monday, November 25, 2013/Categories: art and design


​[Car2Go in Larimer Square in Denver. Photo from Daimler.]

By Reilly Capps

Cars are shiny and pretty and they smell good, and most people love them like their own family, but more and more people are seeing them as a scourge on the level of polio, volcanoes and Attila the Hun. 

But I have just found a car that I love with a passion that borders on creepy. 

It's a Car2Go, and these cars are popping up all over. They are tiny cars. They are not powerful. They are more like the smallest kid in your high school: they have an inferiority complex -- they like to stress how "Smart" they are. 

Car2Go Smart Cars are extremely short-term rentals -- you rent them by the minute, and drive them wherever you want. They are like Occasional Car or Zip Car or Relay Rides but slicker and more futuristic, like a space pod or a time machine, as if they got here by driving 88 mph.

They are strewn all over many major cities, and driving a Car2Go is literally the highlight of my night. 

But the best part is what comes AFTER you rent the little guys. With traditional rentals, either from Hertz or from Zip Car, you have to bring them back to where you got them. But with Car2Go, you abandon them wherever you like -- which, since I cannot commit to anything, either a hairstyle or lifestyle or a mode of transportation, is what I generally like to do ... use it and then walk away. 

And you can park them anywhere. And when I say you can park them anywhere, it really is pretty much anywhere. The you don't have to worry about feeding the meter. The company has agreements with many cities to allow it to be exempt from most of the parking laws. the next person finds it by locating it on a smart phone app.

They are owned and operated by Daimler, and they can be used by anyone who is a member of the Car2Go network. 

I also find them tremendously fun to drive. They're tiny -- like go carts. You can slip them into any parking spot. 

Mostly, I get to feel cool; these are the newest, latest, hippest thing. I get to feel morally superior; these things sip gas, they take cars off the road, and they un-clog streets. I get to feel European;  I feel sophisticated and smart. 

Driving a Car2Go requires that you shift your idea of what is cool. The Smart Car is not a Lambo. It's not a Maybach. Heck, it's not even a Tesla. It is a car built for practical men who read climate reports and try not to build up too much debt. Men with Transition Lenses in their glasses. Men with thoughts about snow tires. No one ever had to tint the windows on a Smart Car so they could get some. 
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