Car sharing in the US is about to take another hit. Share Now is shutting down its Car2go service in North America by February 29th, 2020, with "fewer vehicles available" as that date approaches. The company was blunt about the reasoning in a statement: it didn't feel it was in a position to make the "level of investment necessary" to succeed in North America. High costs and the "volatile state" of mobility services worldwide were key problems, Share Now said.
The company added that it was pulling Car2go out of all European cities other than Brussels, Florence and London.
This isn't the end of car sharing services in the US when recognizable names like Zipcar are still around. However, it caps a year of high-profile exits. BMW shut down its ReachNow service in July, and LimePod is winding down at the end of 2019 after Lime had trouble finding a partner for its all-electric fleet. The Car2go closure follows extensive efforts to keep services afloat, too -- BMW and Daimler combined their car sharing efforts in 2018.
We've asked for clarification on the volatility Share Now mentioned, but it's easy to see that the transportation landscape is changing. Ridesharing giants like Uber and Lyft are expanding into areas like scooters, bikes and car rentals, giving you a slew of Car2go alternatives that either provide more flexibility or let you avoid driving in the first place. There are also long-term concerns that self-driving taxis and shuttles may negate the need to drive cars in the long run. Car2go has its purposes, but it may become less and less relevant to people happy to let someone (or something) else take the wheel.