Climate changes this summer have warned us as never before. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transportation account for about 29 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions alone, making it the largest contributor of U.S. GHG emissions. It is not easy to refuse the comfort that car ownership provides. However, nowadays you have the option of sharing cars and only using them when necessary.
At first glance, owning a car looks convenient, and indeed it is in terms of driving. But it also means constant costs and the loss of value of your property - your vehicle. Experts say that a car loses between 15% and 20% of its value each year.
Car owning vs car sharing
What else do car owners pay for? Constant investments have to be made in repairs and maintenance, for example, when washing the car or changing the oil and filling it with gas, or charging in the case of an electric vehicle. In addition, adjustments to the weather conditions are mandatory, for example, changing tires before the winter and summer seasons. The car should have insurance while in traffic and you should also cover parking costs not to mention the fact that you have to have places to park your car that could be easily reached from home, as well as from the office.
You can avoid all those troubles when choosing a ride-sharing option - your car will always be full of gas or charged, clean, and with the equipment that is adjusted to the season. No additional costs - just pay for your ride and leave the car where it is convenient for you. Moreover, if you need a bigger car for the ride with the whole family, you can have it! Just choose a SUV closer to you with the car-sharing option. And pay less for a small car if you are riding alone.
Car sharing is also more convenient than renting a car. Renting invariably means planning, scheduling, and getting to the parking lot for rented cars. Renting sometimes also involves hidden costs. Car-sharing is easier - if the car is not available at the moment at the closest to your location, look around in the app and you will definitely find a spot, where a car is available near you.
Nearly 90% of Americans own cars. Unfortunately, this means not only a convenience for car owners but also traffic jams and pollution. And according to The Guardian, this quantity of cars costs the economy $124bn. So car-sharing has been seen as a real game-changer. According to a Berkeley study, one car for sharing can replace 7 to 11 privately owned vehicles. Thus cities can become greener not only in the context of reduced levels of air pollution, but also significantly reduced parking lots. Moreover, this means less wear on roads as fewer cars drives around the streets.
Fine, but what is the real advantage, when there are still a lot of cars on the street? How does this actually help to save the planet? Well, with car-sharing there still will be fewer cars on streets and in traffic. Car-sharing providers are thinking of their business so they will always choose the most fuel-efficient cars. Whenever possible, electric cars are going to be included in their fleet. Electric cars have zero emissions. Also, more small cars are going to be available as people who are driving alone don't need big cars or ones that consume a lot of fuel. This means less air pollution. And the air is also less polluted during the manufacturing process because 1/5 of emissions released in a car’s lifetime come from its production. This amount is even smaller with electric cars as they are smaller themselves so they cause less greenhouse gas emissions in production.
Of course, there are also some downsides to switching to car sharing. For example, manufacturers cannot be happy with smaller demand. A lot of factory workers and their families depend on the demand and income from car production. In addition, fewer public transport users mean less income for public transport companies.
Struggles for car-sharing businesses
There are still quite a lot of struggles for car-sharing business owners. For example, experts emphasize that car sharing is beneficial only in areas with the appropriate population density. In other words, there should be a demand for the service. The biggest challenge of the car-sharing business is to survive in small villages where people usually travel large distances to work and it is more convenient and probably even cheaper for them to have their own cars.
The other issue worth mentioning, which is a challenge faced by big cities is parking lots. There should be enough free spaces in the city to park cars. Especially in high-density areas. If this possibility is not available and users have to travel long distances from the parking lot to the office or house, users will soon lose interest in the service.
What other obstacles should car-sharing business owners consider? Demand for cars via sharing is not constant. There are peak hours that are hard to manage due to the limited amount of vehicles, while users easily get upset if a car is not available when they need it. In addition, people want to use car-sharing across as wide a geographical area as possible. This creates challenges for car-sharing business owners, as there should be enough users all around, who are willing to use the service.
Best car-sharing apps according to Google Play and App Store
● Share Now (car2go & DriveNow)
App Store Rating: 4.8/5
Google Play Rating: 4.4/5
There is no monthly or membership fee - users pay while using the service. Rates depend on vehicle and location and gas is included in the price so there is no need to refuel. There is a 24-hour limit on rental time or the option to select the trip package while indicating the length of the trip. No reservations are required - pick up and drop off the vehicle anywhere within the area of operation.
App Store Rating: 4.5/5
Google Play Rating: 3.8/5
Zipcar charges $7 per month or a $70 per year membership fee. There is also a one-time $25 application fee. Car sharing service costs $10 per hour or $82 a day. It is possible to rent a car for hours or days however there are a few plans available. Prices vary depending on location. Gas, insurance, and 180 miles are included in the price.
App Store Rating: 4.7/5
Google Play Rating: 3.7/5
This app has a $99 hardware fee. After three months, a $20 per month subscription fee kicks in. Daily rental rates can range from $20 to $80 depending on vehicle quality and insurance is included in the price. A variety of privately-owned cars, vans, and trucks are available. It is possible to rent them by day or hours. Drivers pay for gas and replace what they have used.
App Store Rating: 4.8/5
Google Play Rating: 4.9/5
Cars are available on the app anywhere from $20 to $100 depending on vehicle quality and only daily rentals are possible. It has classic and specialty vehicles. Drivers pay for gas and must replace what they have used. Cars can also be delivered to a location if required.
You can take part in the car-sharing business as a user, as well as a car-sharing business owner. If you want to create your own platform, this is what you have to consider and keep in mind.
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Is it a good time to start a car-sharing business? Absolutely.
The car-sharing market is booming – it's estimated to grow 20% every year and reach a $20 billion market value by 2032. That's nearly a sevenfold increase from 2022's $2.9 billion valuation.
Despite app-based vehicle sharing being a relatively new entrant in the mobility ecosystem, it has exploded in popularity. People have been quick to pick up on its convenience and ease of use, especially in urban centers where maintaining a private vehicle grows increasingly costly and bothersome.
This spells an opportunity for entrepreneurs keen to answer real mobility demand.
But what is car-sharing and how does it work? What does the business model look like? And what are the first steps for getting started?
Find the answers below.
What is car-sharing and how does it work?
Car-sharing is an app-based mobility service that allows individuals to rent vehicles on a short-term basis. With this service, users gain access to a fleet of vehicles which are typically stationed throughout a city, ensuring that there's always a car conveniently nearby.
The user's journey and benefits of car-sharing
Through an app on their smartphone, users can locate, book, and unlock the closest available vehicle, as well as pay for their journey automatically by adding payment details, thus providing a seamless experience and quick access to a car. Other common benefits for users include not having to worry about fuel or insurance, as those are included in the price.
Cities often encourage the use of shared mobility since it helps decongest streets, free up parking, and minimize the environmental impact of private vehicles on the city. Accordingly, public-private partnerships are common, conferring further benefits for users of this type of shared mobility: free parking, free use of bus lanes, and more.
How does car-sharing work: the business perspective
On the business side of things, the operator is responsible for ensuring that maintenance and logistical tasks for their fleet are taken care of.
This includes regular maintenance tasks, such as vehicle check-ups, repairs, fuel fill-ups, and cleaning. Also, if you have a free-floating model (where users can leave their cars anywhere), the operator should regularly relocate cars to optimal locations for continued user convenience and reliability.
Beyond deploying and maintaining their fleet, operators also oversee the smooth functioning of their mobility app, as well as take care of user verification, namely, ensuring that the people signing up are who they say they are and have valid driver licenses. Of course, like any other business, customer support and other responsibilities tied to running the operation are a given.
The car-sharing business model
So far, we have listed a lot of expenses – maintenance, management, insurance, IT. Add to this salaries, operational overheads, and buying or renting the fleet itself. How do businesses recoup all these expenses and turn a profit?
Note: Since car-sharing businesses operate at scale, they should aim to negotiate lower rates with service providers.
Car-sharing businesses make use of several revenue sources. First and foremost, customers are charged for the time/distance use of the car. Additionally, branding and cross-promotion partnerships (e.g. advertising on the car or the app) are often used to secure additional revenue. It may also be sensible to create membership or loyalty programs to ensure recurring revenue, by offering subscribers added benefits, such as access to premium cars or longer reservation times.
The aim is to have your cars on the road as much as possible, so enterprises typically focus on maximizing vehicle usage and revenue per vehicle. Finding success is about finding balance in a constantly changing landscape – having too few cars may lead to overbooking and dissatisfaction with lack of availability, whereas having too many will lead to inefficient use of resources.
How to start a car-sharing business
As with any business, launching a car-sharing project requires research, investment, development, and strategy. Let's take a look at each in turn.
1. Market research
When exploring opportunities for starting a car-sharing business, numerous factors must be considered.
Audience and demand
Understanding the demographics, preferences, and behaviors of your potential users is crucial. As is determining the level of demand. Some questions you should answer include:
- Who is my target audience – urban commuters, occasional travelers?
- What are their demographics? How should you communicate with them?
- What segment offers the most promise – B2C, B2B?
Identifying who's already operating in your area and why (or why not) can help you get a better grasp of what works and what doesn't. Some questions you should answer include:
- Who are my competitors – other car/ride-sharing businesses, public transportation?
- How can I differentiate my business from others?
- Has any previous similar business failed in this area – why?
Legal and logistical considerations
Determining whether there are any legal/practical barriers to launching your operations is a smart thing to do before you invest too much time and money into your project. Consider:
- What are the legal requirements for operating this type of business in your area?
- How will you handle insurance and liability issues for your fleet?
- How and where will you run your day-to-day operations? If you're thinking about going electric – does the area have the necessary infrastructure?
While answering these questions isn't necessarily a prerequisite for launching your business, dealing with them early on can save you a lot of headaches down the road.
How much capital do you need to launch a car-sharing business?
It depends most on whether you're planning to rent or buy vehicles for your fleet. While renting is more accessible in the short term, it will take a sizable bite out of your profit. Owning your vehicles is typically the preferred option, as this offers price stability, long-term cost efficiency, freedom of operations, and other benefits.
To get a ballpark estimate for the starting investment, you should add up the total price of cars (EUR 12,000-20,000 per vehicle), insurance, car-sharing software procurement and maintenance, as well as expected operational overhead for getting started. It may also be wise to put aside some funds for unexpected expenses such as repairs.
3. Development and launch strategy
Securing the vehicles and necessary permits can take a while, and you should account for this. During this time, you should put your plans into practice. Establish maintenance protocols and logistical plans for efficient fleet management. Implement user verification processes and responsive customer support for a secure and positive user experience.
As to the IT infrastructure, you can save a lot of resources by choosing a white-label IT solution to power your app and dramatically accelerate your time-to-market. Platforms like ATOM Mobility can equip your business with the app you need – all you have to do is customize it.
Speaking of customization, don't forget about branding. Create a compelling brand identity and plan for targeted launch and marketing campaigns to generate awareness the moment your business is ready for its first customers.
Your car-sharing business journey starts here
Now you know how to start a business in this industry – entering this thriving market demands a blend of user-centric strategies and astute business decisions. But the key to success is reliable partners that can guide you in the right direction.
Get in touch with ATOM Mobility to discover how you can power your new enterprise the smart way.
The shared mobility industry has experienced significant growth and transformation in 2023, with various segments such as ride-sharing, vehicle rental, and micro-mobility witnessing substantial changes.
From the rise of ride-hailing services to the increasing popularity of shared vehicles, the industry's landscape is evolving rapidly. This article presents 32 key statistics from 2023 that provide valuable insights into the current state and future prospects of the shared mobility sector, offering a comprehensive overview for industry stakeholders and observers.
General – Shared mobility industry
The global shared mobility market is expanding rapidly, projecting a substantial increase in revenues and ridership. By 2030, it is poised to double its share of urban transport journeys from 2023. Additionally, the number of individuals earning from shared mobility services is forecasted to rise notably.
In Europe, shared vehicle services demonstrate considerable growth, with an increase in multi-mobility users. At the same time, European cities are the strictest shared micromobility regulators, limiting the number of operators and implementing various rules.
- The shared mobility market worldwide revenue was projected to reach US$1.43T in 2023. Statista
- Shared mobility is expected to make up 7% of all urban transport journeys globally by 2030, up from 3% in 2023. Shared Mobility's Global Impact
- The global shared mobility market size is expected to grow at a CAGR of 41.65% from 2023 until 2030. Shared Mobility Market Analysis Report
- More than nine million people were estimated to earn an income from shared mobility services in 2023, and the number is forecasted to grow to 16M by 2030. Shared Mobility's Global Impact
- In the shared vehicles market, the number of users is expected to amount to 5.09B users by 2027. Statista
- The average revenue per user (ARPU) was expected to amount to US$180.90 in 2023. Statista
- In global comparison, most revenue from shared mobility is generated in China (US$358B in 2023). Statista
- Africa has the strongest income growth from shared mobility services: jobs are expected to increase by 113% from 2023 to 2030. Shared Mobility's Global Impact
- Ride-hailing drivers typically earn above the minimum wage in Europe (+37% in Berlin and +91% in Tallinn) and above the wages for jobs with comparable skill levels in Africa (up to +130% in South Africa and Nigeria). Shared Mobility's Global Impact
Europe & UK
- There is a significant growth in the use of shared vehicle services, with a 221% increase recorded. Free Now report
- The number of multi-mobility users has also grown by 27%. Free Now report
- Comparing Q3 2022 and Q3 2023, shared mobility ridership is up 1%, and fleets are down 2%, meaning Total Vehicle Distance (TVD) slightly improved across the board. Q3 2023 European Shared Mobility Index
- Out of 32 European authorities that regulate shared micromobility operations, more than two-thirds have implemented rules on geofencing (26), parking (25), removal or repositioning of vehicles (25), fleet size limits (24), and fleet rebalancing and redistribution (22). POLIS report on How European Cities are regulating Shared Micromobility
- Around half of the European authorities limit the number of operators, demand insurance, set speed limits, specify conditions for vehicles and their maintenance, and have instructions for the end of operations. POLIS report on How European Cities are regulating Shared Micromobility
- Juniper Research has ranked Berlin as the leading smart city in Europe in 2023 thanks to its mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) app Jelbi, which incorporates public and private transport. Other cities in the European top five are London, Barcelona, Rome and Madrid. Cities Today
Shared car ridership has increased significantly, with notable upward trends in Q3 2023. The global ride-hailing market is also projected to witness substantial growth, with increased user numbers and an uptick in popularity over taxis in the United States. In Europe, German cities, led by Berlin, continue to dominate in total shared car ridership.
- Shared car ridership has grown by 22% from Q3 2022 to Q3 2023. Q3 2023 European Shared Mobility Index
- The car-sharing market size was worth USD 2.9B in 2022 and is estimated to showcase around 20% CAGR from 2023 to 2032. Global Market Insights
- The biggest increase of car ridership in Europe in 2023 happened in Riga, thanks to the emergence of Bolt Drive. Antwerp saw the 2nd most growth due to the introduction of Miles Mobility Q3 2023 European Shared Mobility Index
- German cities continue to dominate the rankings for total ridership per city. In Berlin, there are 30% more shared cars on the streets than in 2022. Q3 2023 European Shared Mobility Index
- The ride-hailing market worldwide is projected to grow by 6.97% (2023-2028), resulting in a market volume of US$215.70B in 2028. Statista
- Ride-hailing services were anticipated to hit a record number of users in 2023, with an additional 6.6M users in the US, representing a 10.1% increase and finally recouping its pandemic-era losses. Insider Intelligence
- In the United States, ride-hailing is reported to be used more frequently than taxis, with around a fifth of respondents being occasional users of ride-sharing services. Statista
Electric scooters and mopeds
Electric scooter (e-scooter) ridership has declined, although it remains the predominant shared mobility choice, constituting 42% of total ridership. Moped ridership in Europe has similarly decreased, influenced by exits of key market players.
E-scooters have emerged as an environmentally friendly alternative, with 10% of rides directly replacing car journeys. Citizen referendums in Paris and evolving regulations in Amsterdam reflect the dynamic landscape of the electric scooter and moped market.
- E-scooter ridership has fallen by 14% from Q3 2022 to Q3 2023. That said, scooters are still the most popular shared mobility transport mode, with 42% total ridership. Q3 2023 European Shared Mobility Index
- Moped ridership in Europe has fallen by 28% from Q3 2022 to Q3 2023 due to the departure of some players in key markets. Q3 2023 European Shared Mobility Index
- Electric scooter usage patterns show 10% of rides directly replace car journeys. Shared Mobility's Global Impact
- Thus, e-scooters have contributed to a reduction of up to 120M car-kilometers traveled, helping to reduce car-related emissions by an estimated 30,000 tons of CO2e. Shared Mobility's Global Impact
- On 2 April 2023, Paris held a referendum on shared e-scooters, and 90% of voters gave their vote against renewing the contract of three shared micromobility companies to operate around 5,000 e-scooters each. CNBC
- In Amsterdam, moped ridership has grown by 22% despite new regulations on helmets being brought into effect. Q2 2023 European Shared Mobility Index
The global bike-sharing market shows significant growth. In Europe, station-based bikes have increased in popularity. Dockless bikes experienced an impressive surge as well, following the 2023 scooter ban in Paris. Overall, bike fleets and ridership are expanding across major European cities, contributing to a robust Trips/Vehicle/Day (TVD) ratio.
- The global bike-sharing market is projected to reach US$12.68 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 10.71% from 2023 to 2027. Statista
- Station-based bike ridership in Europe has grown by 11% from Q3 2022 to Q3 2023. Station-based bikes are the second most popular shared mobility transport mode, with 30% total ridership. Q3 2023 European Shared Mobility Index
- After the 2023 scooter ban in Paris, dockless bikes have boomed 144%. Dockless bike ridership more than doubled YoY in September (x2.5) and October 2023 (x2.3). Q3 2023 European Shared Mobility Index
- Fleets and ridership are growing across Europe, especially in cities like Paris, London,Copenhagen and Antwerp. The combined TVD of dockless and station-based bikes is a very healthy 2.9. Q3 2023 European Shared Mobility Index
Rolling into 2024
The shared mobility market continues to expand. With ride-sharing and micro-mobility playing pivotal roles, the future of shared mobility appears promising. The insights gathered from these statistics are crucial for understanding the shared mobility market's trajectory and its implications for the broader transportation ecosystem.
Let's make 2024 a year of shared mobility!