Latest Trends in Car-Sharing

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1 Latest Trends in Car-Sharing By Maike Gossen & Gerd Scholl, Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW) 27 September 2011 Key words: mobility behaviour, mobility & good practice, mobility & environmental assessment, carsharing Car-sharing is defined as the organized collective use of passenger cars. It can reduce car ownership while ensuring a high level of mobility for urban residents. Since its beginnings in the early 1990s, car-sharing has evolved into an economically viable mobility service. New and innovative business models, which are often based on mobile or social network solutions, show how urban mobility could possibly look, in the future. There are many reasons for the considerable growth in car-sharing in recent years, such as traffic congestion and limited parking spaces in urban areas, as well as increasing environmental pressure (e.g. GHG-emissions) and pollution. Another reason is the recent change in use patterns of cars, favouring car use without ownership. In particular, young and urban individuals no longer consider car ownership as an important status symbol; they regard it as one of several modes of transport. One vehicle used as a shared car can replace four to eight personal cars. Given this and provided the positive development of mobility services continues in future, car-sharing can help improve the quality of life in cities due to lower levels of noise and exhaust fumes, more space for bicycle lanes and local parks. Another strong argument in favour of car-sharing is cost savings for those who do not regularly use a car. The use of shared cars pays off for people driving less than 10,000 to 12,000 kilometres a year. Car sharing clients save on maintaining and purchasing costs. Station-based car-sharing The business concepts of station-based car-sharing providers like cambio Mobilitätsservice and DB Rent Flinkster in Germany, Mobility Carsharing in Switzerland or Zipcar in the US share several characteristics. They offer good service (cleaning, maintenance and repair) and guarantee a dense network of stations in residential areas, which suffer from a lack of parking spaces. Other aspects are simple tariff structures, with transparent prices and a broad vehicle fleet, with cars for any need. A 2010 study by the European project momo Car-sharing assessed station-based car-sharing services in 14 European countries and reported approximately 380,000 car-sharing participants having access to approximately 11,900 car-sharing vehicles. Setting these figures (latest update 2009) in Page 1

2 LATEST TRENDS IN CAR-SHARING relation to the countries total population, the share ranges from 0.001% up to a maximum of 1.08%, in Switzerland. Hence car-sharing is still a niche service. Car rental firms are new players in the market of station-based car-sharing. Some of them have set up their own car-sharing services, such as Hertz Connect and Sixti Car Club (only in Germany). Up to now, Hertz Connect, for instance, only operates in a few European cities such as Berlin, Paris and Madrid. Thus, the range and success of their business concept are not measurable yet. Free-floating car-sharing systems Free-floating systems operate without fixed stations and do not require a booking process in advance. This means, the user can take and leave a vehicle at any point within a predefined area ( get in and drive of ). Hence, the system is particularly suitable for spontaneous and short (one-way) trips in the city. So far, primarily car manufacturers offer free-floating car-sharing services. In Germany, for instance, there are Daimler car2go, BMW Drive Now and VW Quicar (in the planning stage). A study on Daimler s car2go in Ulm, Germany, indicated an improvement in terms of CO₂ emissions per average user and anticipates less car ownership in cities as a direct result of car-sharing usage. Private car-sharing In the case of private car sharing, a single car is used by a limited group, often a group of friends and/or neighbors. The car owner does not seek to make a profit. Users only have to cover operating costs, such as parking fees and petrol costs. Legal issues such as insurance and liability are usually covered in a contract. This kind of car-sharing is usually organized between car owner and car user. Yet, in some European countries organizations have set up professional car clubs matching car users and car owners. Autopia in Belgium, for example, supports car sharers with a platform on which car owners and car users can connect. The German equivalent is called Tamyca Carsharing, which offers its clients a specific insurance covering car damage, etc. The British service WhipCar facilitates the shared use of cars in 450 towns and is thus the largest car club in the UK. Private carpools via mobile A related, and quite new, concept is private ride-sharing organized via web, mobile or navigation system. Online platforms like Flinc (a German start-up) offer their users applications for their mobiles or navigation systems so that they can arrange spontaneous and flexible carpools 1. Green Mobility, another carpool project supported by the German Ministry of Economic Affairs, even includes public transport in the routes to raise the environmental value. 1 It works as follows: the driver enters start and destination of the upcoming trip into his mobile or navigation system, which indicates automatically if someone on the way is looking for a ride. Then he can agree or refuse to give that person a lift and gets more details about what he will earn etc. Page 2

3 BY MAIKE GOSSEN & GERD SCHOLL, IÖW Opportunities for policy making In many European countries, both commercial mobility services (station-based and free-floating carsharing) and private car pooling are experiencing increasing demand. A recent study predicts a car sharing membership growth of almost 42% in the EU to 2016 (in absolute terms: five million adopters) due to government sponsored initiatives such as Autolib, 2 which is expected to offer one-way trips and open-ended reservations. The optimistic scenario presented in this study shows a growth of almost 53%. This scenario would require a comprehensive set of instruments such as exemption of car sharing organizations from road pricing taxes based on vehicle miles travelled, or EU wide programs, which integrate car sharing into public transportation. In order to consolidate this development in the long run, the support of local authorities is especially necessary. There are several opportunities for cooperation: Provision of public parking space: Authorizing car-sharing stations in public space can be a useful tool to support this mobility service, since its attractiveness essentially depends on high density and good accessibility for the stations. Green public procurement: Local councils and municipal authorities can work together with the local car-sharing provider to replace their own, often underused vehicle fleet. Thus, savings in transport costs and a reduction of CO₂ emissions can be realized. By doing so, authorities can serve as a good example. Public car-sharing systems: Local authorities can set up their own car-sharing systems as a supplement to public transport. The French capital Paris, for instance, is going to launch its Autolib service in autumn Cooperation with public transport operators: Many car-sharing providers already offer package deals in collaboration with local or regional public transport organizations to users such as reduced car-sharing rates for public transport customers holding a season ticket. 3 State-run programs to benefit car-sharing: In Italy the Ministry of Environment, in collaboration with ICS 4, initiated a scrappage bonus that enhances car-sharing membership (the owner of a car with pollution level Euro 0, Euro 1 or Euro 2, who scraps it, gets a bonus from the government entitling him to car-sharing participation such as a free car-sharing membership and a driving credit). Governmental-supported campaigns: Most of the car-sharing providers do not have large budgets for advertising. As ads in public space are necessary to raise public awareness, gov Self-service electric car system in Paris, France. Examples of further development of collaborations on the part of the public transport operators include: making car-sharing stations visible on its route maps; working together on marketing and advertising issues and integrating car-sharing into its product communication; giving discounts on public transport fees for carsharing users; training its staff (especially those who work in the customer centre) regarding car-sharing products; including car-sharing information in their information channels such as printed timetables and display screens; placing car-sharing vehicles on the property in urban areas on which it usually parks and maintains its busses and vehicles. National coordination point Iniziativa Car Sharing Page 3

4 LATEST TRENDS IN CAR-SHARING ernment financial support, e.g for generic campaigns, can be very helpful for increasing the visibility of car-sharing. Eco-label for car-sharing: The German Blue Angel, for instance, is available for car-sharing services, provided cars which are newly purchased for the car-sharing fleet meet high CO 2 emission standards. Scientific References Firnkorn, J. & Müller, M., What will be the environmental effects of new free-floating car-sharing systems? The case of car2go in Ulm. Ecological Economics, 70, pp Available at: <http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/s > [Accessed 26 September 2011]. Scholl, G., Schulz, L., Süßbauer, E., Otto, S., Nutzen statt Besitzen Perspektiven für ressourceneffizienten Konsum durch innovative Dienstleistungen. Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, Wuppertal. Available at: [Accessed Shaheen, S., Cohen, A., Worldwide Carsharing Growth: An International Comparison. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 1992, Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Washington, D.C., 2007, pp Available at: <http://escholarship.org/uc/item/1139r2m5> [Accessed Wilke, G., Böhler, S., Bongardt, D., Schäfer-Sparenberg, C., Zukunft des Car-Sharing in Deutschland. Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, Wuppertal. Available at: <http://www.wupperinst.org/uploads/tx_wiprojekt/zukunft_car-sharing.pdf> [Accessed 26 September 2011]. Frost & Sullivan, Sustainable and Innovative Personal Transport Solutions - Strategic Analysis of Carsharing Market in Europe. London. Other Documents Bundesverband CarSharing e. V. (bcs), Jahresbericht Die Offensive CarSharing gestalten. Hannover. Available at: <http://www.carsharing.de/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=243&itemid=121> [Accessed Bundesverband CarSharing e. V. (bcs), CarSharing für gewerbliche Kunden - Gute Beispiele der CarSharing-Nutzung in Unternehmen, Verwaltungen, Organisationen und Vereinen. Available at: <http://www.carsharing.de/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=278&itemid=92> [Accessed Loose, W., The environmental impacts of Car-Sharing use. Car-Sharing fact sheet No. 3, momo Car-Sharing - More options for energy efficient mobility through Car-Sharing. Available at: Page 4

5 BY MAIKE GOSSEN & GERD SCHOLL, IÖW <http://www.momocs.eu/index.php?obj=page&id=151&unid=c202d8fbc36bfa41a27cb3542e380089> [Accessed Loose, W., State support for Car-Sharing. Car-Sharing fact sheet No.5, momo Car-Sharing - More options for energy efficient mobility through Car-Sharing. Available at: <http://www.momocs.eu/index.php?obj=page&id=151&unid=c202d8fbc36bfa41a27cb3542e380089> [Accessed Projects momo Car-Sharing More options for energy efficient mobility through Car-Sharing (www.momo-cs.eu) Page 5

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