Car Sharing: Driving the Way to a Greener Future

The increasingly urgent need to address consequent issues, and especially the pressing need to mitigate climate change, have fueled interest in alternative transportation modes. One of the most innovative and promising of these is car sharing, a personal transportation solution based on shared, self-service, on-demand, pay-as-you-use, short-term vehicle usage.

This form of car rental slashes the fixed costs of vehicle ownership, curbs fuel costs, reduces vehicle congestion and emissions, and, importantly, provides a solid platform for the growth and acceptance of electric vehicles (EVs).

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Sustainable and Innovative Personal Transport Solutions – Strategic Analysis of Car sharing Market in Europe, finds that the market earned revenues of 217.00 million Euros in 2009 and estimates this to reach 7.00 billion Euros by 2020 mainly due to the emergence of new initiatives such as integrated mobility solutions, cars-on-demand, peer-to-peer car sharing, and the consumer trend towards low carbon mobility.

"The introduction of these innovative services and increasing commercialisation, car sharing is expected to garner more than 5.5 million members sharing around 77,000 vehicles in Europe by 2016," predicts Aswin Kumar, Senior Research Analyst at Frost & Sullivan’s Automotive & Transportation Group.

With its support of the Paris Autolib’ scheme, the French Government is spearheading crucial federal-level support for car sharing schemes and is one of the major proposals integrating EVs in car sharing. Frost & Sullivan estimates that from 2012, one in three new vehicle additions in car sharing in Europe will be a battery operated EV, while by 2016, one in five car sharing vehicles will be a battery operated EV.

Vehicle Manufacturers (VMs) are bracing themselves for the inevitable threat presented by car sharing schemes by transforming themselves into service providers offering integrated mobility solutions. Major VMs like Peugeot and Daimler are unveiling integrated mobility on-demand solutions and using car sharing both as a branding exercise and also to determine consumer perceptions and attitudes towards their vehicles.

Car sharing has an estimated revenue potential of more than euro 2.6 billion by 2016 and the potential to replace more than 1 million vehicles by 2016 in Europe alone. "With the integration of EVs and carpooling services into the market, the market is expected to transform as a key sustainable mobility solution for European consumers," argues Kumar. France and the United Kingdom will likely be the high growth markets thanks to efficient mobility management solutions and strong federal support in mainstreaming car sharing services. "New services, new target groups, integration with other operators and solutions, innovative marketing strategies using Web2.0 and geographic diversity are likely to provide major competitive edge and are necessary to ensure that car sharing does not remain only as an urban niche phenomenon," concludes Kumar.

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Sustainable and Innovative Personal Transport Solutions – Strategic Analysis of Car sharing Market in Europe is part of the Automotive & Transportation Growth Partnership Service programme, which also includes research in the following markets: 360 Degree Analysis of the European Electric Scooters and Motorcycles Market, Sustainable and Innovative Personal Transport Solutions – Strategic Analysis of Car sharing Market in North America, Strategic Market and Technology Assessment of Telematics Applications for Electric Vehicles, and Global Passenger Vehicle Transmission Technologies – How ‘Green’ are they getting?. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.

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