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‘Car Sharing’: Some New Business Opportunities In Urban Mobility

‘Car Sharing’ Some New Business Opportunities In Urban Mobility

Both car-sharing and moto-sharing have led to the birth of new businesses in favor of urban mobility increasingly sustainable.

Shared Cars: The car-sharing was the first to weave a new concept of urban sustainable mobility that contributes to cleaner air in cities. A handful of brands share this market still under construction.

Reduce pollution in large cities, decongest public spaces occupied by private vehicles (a carpool can replace more than 10 cars) and make cities more friendly are the background that is driving a new ecosystem of sustainable mobility through the use of shared electric cars, motorcycles and scooters.

In carsharing, the pioneers were Car2Go (now Share Now) and eMov, then followed by Zity and Wible to add today a small legion of car-sharing companies. Whom were generally backed by strong automotive brands, large companies and investment funds: Daimler is behind Car2Go; BMW, from Drive Now.

Business model: It is the same for everyone: a shared mobility service accessed through an app downloaded on the mobile phone activates the service, the user only has to locate in his smartphone the nearest vehicle, reserve it and ready. And when you arrive at your destination, park the car in the action area. Rates are flexible: by minutes, hours and days. Everything through the mobile. “Carsharing would not be the same without the support of new technologies, which have allowed its development,” says David Bartolomé, CEO of Share Now.

Individuals or companies? It serves both, with the prevalence of the first. For companies, carsharing also becomes a way to reduce the costs of owning a fleet. In that sense, carsharing operators pamper companies with flat rates and discounts.

Where are the differences? You will find them in the vehicle model (2, 4 or 5 seats), the areas of action and the service. Regarding the first, most are electric cars and hybrids. Do not forget that one of the competitive advantages of the sector is to be a proposal of clean mobility for cities, such as Madrid, where carsharing of electric and hybrid vehicles can circulate without restrictions and park for free in regulated service areas. 

The priority areas of action are the center, but in recent years they have been opening up to neighboring neighborhoods and even to the periphery (WiBLE also operates in Getafe, Leganes or Villaverde). The service also marks differences, small details such as, for example, the inclusion of child seats in the fleet (eMove).

A market under construction: In the chess game of this new commercial board the carsharing companies are building a market that requires heavy investments, but also opens up new business opportunities. “Nobody bets on a business to lose money, we believe that behind these new models of the economy there are always formulas of profitability”, adds CEO of WiBLE. 

For another one of the big operators in Madrid, Zity, “the carsharing is in full boil. The demand is growing, according to our analysis in 2030, 25% of journeys will be made through shared mobility systems. In Madrid there are already more than 500,000 users, so it is increasingly becoming a popular alternative for citizens.”

Ideal ecosystem: We speak of a market that needs the support and encouragement of municipal or regional policies that encourage and favor sustainable mobility solutions. In that sense, beyond the political ups and downs, Central Madrid is the benchmark in which everybody agrees.

That’s how it works: To rent a shared motorcycle, the first thing to do is download the selected operator’s app (free), and register. From there, through the mobile application, you can select and reserve the nearest motorcycle (for motorcycles with performance equivalent to 125 cc you need a driver’s license A, A2, A2 or B). 

Once located, just press Start in the app to unlock it, Start to start it (or Finish)to finish the service). And ready. Of course, before making sure you put on your helmet, your own or one of the two with which the shared motorcycles are equipped, which you will usually find inside the trunk of the motorcycle, along with the documentation and hygienic covers courtesy of the house. 

Once in your destination, you can leave it parked in the areas of performance of the operator you have chosen or on the street. And all this with prices that make this urban mobility proposal very attractive: between € 0.19 and € 0.25 / minute, depending on the brands.