Ask any city dweller about how they commute and they will paint you a picture of subway changes, bus stops, taxi rides, uber hailing, bike sharing and nowadays, free-floating carsharing is being added to the mix.
Free-floating carsharing, while still not a perfectly understood term has become an essential part of many cities’ bloodstream. Free-floating carsharing is the new generation of shared vehicles, allowing users to pick up a car wherever and whenever they want, and leave them anywhere within a predefined Home Zone.
As it stands today, there are more than 30 thousand vehicles equipped with free-floating carsharing in over 50 cities worldwide being shared by over 3 million users. Break that down into about 25 different services and you’ve got free-floating carsharing in a nutshell.
These various services have not only become a crucial part of the cities they service, but also an essential transportation option for city dwellers. We can see the uptake is rapid in cities like Madrid, where the new free-floating service, emov, acquired 75,000 subscribers in under two months.
Read more about emov here.
Trends show that free-floating carsharing is experiencing its greatest growth in Europe and in North America, with Asia trailing not too far behind with services of its own.
Why does Carsharing Succeed?
There are many reasons as to why carsharing is succeeding worldwide, but the principal factors have everything to do with people. Millennials are flocking to cities, demanding new mobility options and we can see that this shift is having a substantial effect on cityscapes. Millennials have moved away from the personal car, opting instead for more convenient on-demands services.
Secondly, cities themselves are grappling with the overwhelming number of cars on the road, taking up valuable parking space. These cities understand the potential for their inhabitants and to solve their issues, these cities are turning to carsharing, giving out super permits and issuing call for tenders. In 2016, for example, we saw Brussels release super permits for free-floating carsharing, Dubai and Singapore following suit within their own specific guidelines.
The last major influencer on the free-floating carsharing scene are the mobility operators themselves. Historically, the market has been lead by two principal global operators: Car2Go with Daimler and DriveNow with BMW.
Since 2014, however, the market has seen more and more independant players joining at the city and country levels. Evo Carshare in Vancouver, for example, launched in May of 2015 and now have 1000 vehicles, Enjoy Carsharing in Italy has a nationwide presence and Zipcar in Brussels is part of Zipcar’s expansion into the free-floating domain. Each service is successfully competing against the global operators.
Additionally, new players will dive in, profiting from the education already undertaken and the inviting conditions offered by more and more cities. From Startups to transportation operators, insurance companies to car rental companies to OEMs, like PSA in Madrid, the next big operators can come from anywhere and surprise even experts in the field.
Cities with the highest density and at least 100,000 inhabitants will be the focus, as they would see the biggest adoption rate and can handle an average anywhere between 500 and 10,000 shared vehicles!
With 4,000 cities in this category, that suggests that there is incredible potential for an average of 20 million free-floating shared cars, which may seem high, but it only represents less than two percent of the total number of cars worldwide.
Other research has focused on carsharing as a whole, McKinsey researchers suggesting one out of every ten cars sold in 2030 has the potential of being a shared vehicle. From a revenue standpoint, Navigant Research says that the global carsharing revenue will reach $6.5 Billion by 2024.