First publishedon www.ITSInternational.com
Free floating car sharing services utilised 40,000 vehicles and served 5.6 million members in 2017, according to a report released by Swedish internet of things firm Berg Insight
. The study also forecasted that membership of the service will reach 14.3 million using around 102,000 vehicles by the end of 2022.
This service allows members to pick up and drop-off cars anywhere within a designated area where parking is allowed. Users can access available cars without prior booking or be required to schedule a return time.
The operational model presents challenges for carsharing operators such as car fleet rebalancing across operating areas to ensure availability, higher capital investments in car fleets as well as parking management.
Berg Insight also revealed that most carsharing organisations use station-based networks with roundtrip rental which requires users to return a vehicle to the same station where it was accessed.
Martin Svegander internet of things analyst at Berg Insight, said: “Free floating carsharing is now available in about 20 countries and roughly 55 cities worldwide. Europe and North America so far represent the vast majority of free floating carsharing members worldwide. In Europe, free floating services accounted for more than 65 percent of the carsharing membership at year-end 2017."
“Examples of additional markets that have introduced free floating carsharing services include Russia, China, New Zealand and Brazil. Besides free floating carsharing schemes backed by the major carmakers BMW DriveNow and Daimler Car2go, some specialist CarSharing Organisations (CSOs) in Europe and North America have also started to offer this operational model. Examples of CSOs that offer free floating services include Enjoy in Italy, GreenMobility in Denmark and Evo Car Share in Canada. Recently, BMW and Daimler announced the merger of their mobility service businesses that is anticipated to create a leading venture that includes free floating carsharing services and other shared mobility services”, Svegander added.
The report brochure can be downloaded here.