The big names in one-way car sharing in Vancouver are BCAA Evo Car Share and Car2Go. Aside from the look of the cars, it’s not really clear what the differences between the two companies are. So we’re going to take an in-depth look at both operations. Read on to find out who wins the one-way car sharing showdown, Evo vs Car2Go.
Evo vs Car2Go – The companies
BCAA Evo car share are an offshoot of their parent company BCAA, the BC insurance and auto services provider. They were founded in 2015, which makes them the youngest car sharing company in Vancouver by 4 years. Evo brand themselves as, “Car sharing made for BC”, which is fairly accurate. They exist only in the Vancouver market, and their hybrid cars are designed to suit some stereotypical BC activities (biking, skiing, and snowboarding).
Evo states a fleet size of 1,250 cars – I’ve counted their map and it’s a bit under, but only by about 10%. As of March 2019 they state that the fleet is expanding to 1,500 cars. It’s not evident how many members Evo currently has. But using estimations for Car2Go’s figures and applying it to Evo we can make a guess. For a fleet the size that Evo currently has, the membership [goal] might be around 300,000.
Car2Go were founded by Daimler in 2008 in Germany, though they officially entered the car sharing market in 2010. The project was originally an in-house innovation experiment that became wildly successful. They are arguably the market leaders in floating car share services.
Car2Go have around 14,000 cars in their fleet, servicing 25 locations in 8 countries. 3 of 25 locations are exclusively electric, in Amsterdam, Stuttgart, and Madrid, totalling around 1,400 cars (10% of their fleet). It’s worth noting that the Vancouver Car2Go fleet is the biggest in their portfolio, just beating Berlin which has 1,250 cars. Car2Go claims 3.4 million users worldwide, which results in an average of 243 members per car.
Evo vs Car2Go – The cars
Evo uses a single car in its 1,250 – 1,500 strong fleet – the Toyota Prius C Hybrid. This stylish little hatchback is black with blue sign writing. It has 5 seats, has a mixed leather and cloth interior, and a great roof rack for bikes and ski/snowboard equipment. It doesn’t feel like some poverty-spec basic rental car, but a well equipped fun hatchback. Click the pictures to zoom.
Car2Go use the Smart ForTwo, Mercedes GLA, and Mercedes CLA in their fleet of 1275 cars. The fleet composition isn’t clear, but I’ve seen a alot more Smart ForTwo than Mercedes around town. The Smart ForTwo is the most recognisable of the cars in Vancouver, due to its white and blue paint job. It’s a nimble little 2-seater that still has room for shopping in the rear. It has a black cloth and leather interior, bluetooth media player, and seat warmers (though I didn’t test). It does feel spacious for such a small car. Click the pictures to zoom.
The Mercedes GLA is shown below. It is a compact SUV type car, with a plush leather interior and a premium feel throughout. The car comes with plenty of gadgets as you’d expect with Mercedes, such as a sunroof, rear camera and blind spot assist. This is a premium motor but it does feel a bit squished inside for a taller person. Click the pictures to zoom.
Comparing the vehicles isn’t particularly fair, because they’re different types of cars, best suited for different purposes. Also, I feel it’s not particularly useful as they all meet reasonable expectations of what a driver needs for a car-share vehicle. You can connect your mobile device and play your own music. They’re nippy enough to pull away promptly, and perform safely with systems like traction control and anti-lock brakes.
The ForTwo is excellent for city parking, but no good if you have more than 1 passenger. And the Prius wins if you need to carry a couple of bikes or four sets of skis. But the Mercedes is best for impressing a date.
However, my first preference is for the Prius. I like function over form. Though the Prius’s form is pretty good too! I like that it is versatile and covers all bases, whilst doesn’t feel cheap. It’s the solid all-rounder and you know what you’re getting every time.
With Car2Go you have to make extra checks on whether the vehicle is suitable for your needs that time. Car2Go has choice, which makes it better in some circumstances, but overall, I prefer the certainty of the Prius.
Evo vs Car2Go – Tailpipe emissions
Based on fuel consumption figures from the Canadian Government, we can see that Evo’s Prius C has the lowest tailpipe emissions with an average of 115 g CO2 per km driven. We’re assuming that Evo runs an equal amount of cars manufactured in each year, which probably isn’t correct (but it won’t change the results).
You may expect the Smart ForTwo to have the lowest emissions, being a smaller and lighter car. However, the Prius C is a hybrid which is helping to reduce those tailpipe emissions. The Smart ForTwo has higher tailpipe emissions, despite being a smaller and lighter car. And the Mercedes are bigger vehicles and not hybrid so it makes sense that they have higher emissions.
So Evo is the more environmentally friendly choice, based on tailpipe emissions data. I don’t have data on emissions resulting from manufacture, but for other cars I’ve seen, the emissions due to fuel consumption outweigh those from manufacturing.
|g/CO2 per km driven||Toyota Prius C||Smart ForTwo||Mercedes GLA||Mercedes CLA|
Evo vs Car2Go – The coverage
Both Evo and Car2Go are one-way service providers and operate a ‘home-zone’ model. This means that you can pick-up and drop-off the car anywhere in the home zone (or a dedicated parking space outside the home-zone). You can go outside the home zone on your trip in between pick-up and drop-off.
So the best company will have the biggest home zone and the most parking spaces outside the home zone. Have a look at the maps by clicking on them, and see if you can work out who wins.
Evo has a larger home zone, beating Car2Go by including both South East Vancouver and New Westminster. Evo also has more parking spaces in further-out places, at SFU, Capilano, and Grouse Mountain. So that’s a win for Evo on service coverage.
Evo vs Car2Go – The products and packages
Evo and Car2Go both include fuel, insurance, and parking with all rentals. There’s no difference.
Should you pick per minute, per hour, or per day?
Evo’s products are simple and clear. You can borrow the car and pay per minute, per hour, or per day. And Evo will automatically charge you the lowest possible combination. So if you drive for 36 minutes they’ll charge you per minute. If you drive for 37 minutes, they charge you for 1 hour, as it’s cheaper for you! (36 * $0.41 = 14.76 and 37 * $0.41 = 15.17 but the hour rate is $14.99, so they charge you $14.99 instead of $15.17).
Car2Go offers include bookings per minute, per hour, per day AND 3-hour, 6-hour, and 2-day packages. The choice of packages can result in better value if you only need 2 seats, and will stick to your plan. But if you want a 5 seater, Evo’s pricing is the same or better for most trip lengths.
The devil is in the detail with Car2Go. They don’t automatically charge you the lowest (best) rate. You pick the per-minute rate, and you’re stuck on the per-minute rate. Even if you go past 32 minutes, and it would have been cheaper to have a 1 hour package.
So you need to pick what the best package will be in advance. Car2Go do give a bit of a margin – generally the packages are still worthwhile with about 45 minutes either side, e.g. a 3 hr package is the cheapest deal you could get, if you use the car for between 2:15 and 4:00 hrs.
Which company and plan is best for a given trip length?
I’ve modelled each company’s rates, and produced some graphs (see below). If you know how long you will need a car for (minutes, hours), I can tell you which company will be the cheapest!
Both companies charge a $1 fee that’s payable on your first 200 trips. This can add up… to $200 over the year. With Car2Go, this $1 fee also reduces your insurance deductible to $500, but not for Evo. You can avoid worrying about the deductible if you have suitable insurance coverage on your credit card.
In addition to the cost for the time you use the vehicle, consider trip length (km). If your trip is greater than 200km, you will pay extra with Car2Go, but not with Evo. Car2Go charges $0.45 per km for trips above 200km, whereas Evo has unlimited km per trip.
To work out which car package will be cheapest on rental time:
- Pick an amount of time that you want to rent the car for. E.g. 2 hours.
- Well find ‘2’ on the x-axis (horizontal scale). Then look upwards along the y-scale (vertical), and see which of the coloured lines is reached first.
- For ‘2’ hours, the first line reached is ‘Evo’. That means Evo is cheapest for 2 hours (with a cost of $30).
- However if you picked 2 1/2 hours, you would find that the ‘C2G SF2 3h’ line is reached first, so the Car2Go Smart ForTwo 3h package would be cheapest.
These graphs below show Hours on the x-axis (the horizontal scale), and Cost ($) on the y-axis (the vertical scale). Each of the lines shows a different package or product. For example ‘EVO’ (black line) shows the pricing for Evo. The ‘C2G SF2 min’ (red line), shows the pricing for Car2Go Smart ForTwo per minute package.
Hopefully that makes sense. Ask in the comments if you’re not sure.
Graph showing costs vs rental time, for Evo and the Car2Go Smart ForTwo car.
Car2Go Smart ForTwo 2-seater is cheapest for trip lengths between:
- 0:00 and 0:46 hrs using the per-min rate.
- 0:30 and 1:45 hrs using the 1-hour package deal.
- 2:15 and 4:00 hrs using the 3-hour package deal.
- 3:15 and 7:45 hrs using the 6-hour package deal.
- at least 4:30+ hrs using the 1-day package deal
Evo is cheaper for trip lengths between:
- 1:45 and 2:15 hrs.
- If you don’t know your trip length and need the best price and flexible timing.
Graph showing the costs vs rental time, for Evo and the Car2Go Mercedes-Benz cars.
- 5-seat Car2Go is cheapest for:
- 6 hour package for rentals between 4:30 and 6:45 hrs.
- Otherwise Evo is cheaper.
Overall package value
If you only need 2 seats and are sure of your trip duration, then Car2Go’s Smart ForTwo plans can give the best value. BUT, if your plans change and you need the car for less or more time than envisaged, or you have a trip >200km in mind, Evo is probably better. Evo keeps it simple and gives the best rate possible automatically, which gives you greater flexibility, and is more convenient. Remaining on the theme of convenience, I like the flexibility and automatic selection of the lowest cost package as offered by Evo, so think Evo offers the best value, despite Car2Go giving potentially cheaper options in some circumstances.
Evo vs Car2Go – The costs
When thinking about the costs involved in car sharing in Vancouver, it’s best to break it down as:
- One-off costs
- Recurring costs
One-off costs include a sign-up fee and annual membership fee ($2). The annual membership fee of $2 is negligible. The sign-up fee can be avoided with a promo code – see the end of this article.
Some car sharing companies in Vancouver can have recurring monthly fees (Zipcar, Modo). But neither Evo and Car2Go have any recurring monthly fees. So no worries here too.
Rate costs for both Evo and Car2Go are similar. You’re not going to lose out drastically by picking one or the other. Sometimes one company is running a promotion, so it’s better to use them for a period. But generally the prices only vary slightly, and they vary in accordance with the size and class of the vehicle.
Remember, the rates do tell most of the story, but recall the section above – products and packages. Rates may be cheaper, but if you under-do it or over-do it and need more time, you may pay more with Car2Go.
|Sign up fee||$30||$5|
|Per min rate||$0.41||$0.32 - $0.45|
|Per hour rate||$15||$13 - $17|
|Per day rate||$90||$69 - $99|
|3 hour rate||-||$35 - $45|
|6 hour rate||-||$49 - $69|
|2 day rate||-||$129 - $179|
|Trips over 8 hrs||$1.50||$1.50|
|Exceed booking time||Optimises to minimise charges||Charges by the minute|
|Exceed trip km limit||Unlimited km||$0.45/km
|Insurance deductible||$1,000||$1,000 / $500|
|Deductible fee (first 200 trips / yr)||-||$1 fee payable for first 200 trips in a year. After 90 trips, deductible reduces to $500.|
|Access fee (first 200 trips / yr)||$1||-|
Evo vs Car2Go – The customer service
I’ve spoken to both customer service teams, and I asked questions relating to use of the apps and technical points about membership, when applying. I found them to answer the phone quickly, discuss things politely, and answer my questions effectively. I’ve also had prompt replies back regarding email enquiries. So it’s a thumbs up for both teams in my personal experience.
I know very well that customer service can be hit or miss depending on a lot of factors. I realise that I didn’t conduct a thorough survey where I tested lots of different questions, on different customer service assistants, at different times of day! But I’ve no reason to doubt that each company will be helpful and courteous.
Reviews online from websites like Yelp show medium approval ratings for both companies, with slightly higher marks awarded to Evo. There are recent bad reviews for customer service for both companies. They focus on points that I’ve raised here, such as the difficulty of selecting the correct package in advance for Car2Go. Bad reviews prior to 2018 tend to focus on the unreliability of the app. Personally, I’ve found both companies to be good, but if you focus on online reviews, it’s a slight win for Evo.
When beginning a trip you will need to report in any damage on the car. Otherwise you risk being held liable for damage that may be caused by a previous driver.
Evo facilitate this through a button on the car dashboard. This saves time and avoids faffing around taking photos and typing on your smart phone. Also, Evo marks damage that’s already been reported with a sticker. I’m yet to come across an Evo that hasn’t had its damage marked with a sticker already. So they seem prompt on marking the cars, which saves you time. The downside of the dashboard process is you may be left waiting if someone doesn’t answer in time.
You can report damage with Car2Go through the app or calling them, but it’s not quite as easy as doing it through a button the dashboard. I’ve not actually found any damage on my rentals so far. Perhaps the Car2Go drivers are better…!
Evo vs Car2Go – The apps
The apps from Evo and Car2Go are both very good. They are both fast and responsive, and I have had no issues with them crashing, performing poorly, or inaccurate data. The apps are very similar in functionality. Key features include exploring the area around you for cars, and checking the status of individual cars (distance from you and fuel level). Have a look at the app screenshots below.
It’s a very close race, but I think the Car2Go app is marginally better, as you can see more of the map. When you select a car on the Evo screen, there is a lot of wasted space surrounding the details that come up. Also, it becomes a bit fiddly to then see other cars in the area and review.
Evo vs Car2Go – Anything else
Evo send your annual membership fee ($2) to community initiatives that protect kids. Currently it’s being sent to the BCAA Play Here initiative. Evo adds a few sweeteners to its membership. As an Evo member you can access ‘Evo Extras’ which includes local deals and offers:
- 49th Parallel & Lucky’s Doughnuts – 10% discount
- Comor – Go Play Outside – 10% discount
- Free night lift ticket with 3-day snow pack @ Grouse Mountain
- Pacific Boarder – 10% discount
- Roaming Dragon – free drink with meal purchase
- Soft Peaks Ice Cream – free upgrade to larger size
- SPUD.ca – $20 off first order over $60
- Vij’s railway Express – free drink with meal purchase
- YYoga – 15% off certain packages
Finally it’s worth noting that if you’re a BCAA member, you can get 10% off Evo pricing.
As for Car2Go, your Vancouver membership gets you access to other schemes in North American cities. If you want to use the membership in the EU or China, you’ll need to re-register.
Evo vs Car2Go – The conclusion
Evo vs Car2Go is a contest between a local champion and international behemoth. BCAA’s Evo arrived late to the party, but they hold their own against the self proclaimed market leaders of floating car share.
Evo and Car2Go seem fairly similar on the surface. They’re closely matched on metrics like fleet size and rates. However when you dig in, I think you find that currently BCAA’s Evo are likely better for most people.
Yes, Car2Go has a choice of packages. Their rates can be cheaper (for 2 seaters). And give you a choice of flashier motors. But Car2Go also have a pricing structure that punishes you if your plans change. To avoid this, you have to overestimate the booking time you’ll need. Which then defeats the point of picking an optimal package. And all this feels rather… inconvenient. Evo is simple and clear, and seems better focused on delivering value for the customer. They do the maths for you and give you the best price possible. Their car has lower emissions, is great for all group sizes, and the roofrack making it excellent for carrying sporting kit. Evo also has a larger home zone, and more satellite parking spaces.
I think Evo is the best all-rounder, and wins the showdown Evo vs Car2Go.
But I still encourage you to join Evo AND Car2Go. They both have negligible recurring costs, meaning it’s worth having both in your back pocket. The sign-up fee can be avoided with a promo code, like so:
- Evo promo code – ‘C000137778’, get to EVO here.
- Car2Go promo code- ‘JOINC2GVAN_luke@brightaroundthecorner.com’, get to Car2Go here.
If you use the above codes, you will get some free minutes as well as avoiding the sign-up fee. I will also get a few free minutes too. I don’t get paid to write this stuff, I just enjoy spreading the love for car sharing! But any free minutes are appreciated.
If you enjoyed this, and would like to learn more about the other companies doing car sharing in Vancouver, check out our complete guide to car sharing in Vancouver.
This information was correct at the time of publishing. Please check all the Vancouver car sharing companies websites for their exact and current service offers.
And if you can’t book a car when you need, get back on the bus. Vancouver’s public transport system is great.
Let us know your opinions and questions in the comments section below.