Car-sharing schemes give new impetus for the breakthrough of electric vehicles (EVs), according to a new paper released by Daimler-owned business car2go.
The automotive landscape is changing thanks in part to the diesel crisis and the rise of both electrification and autonomous technologies. Car sharing offers a route to mobility without the need to own a vehicle, something that manufacturers are looking into, setting up their own schemes to ensure they don’t lose revenue from falling sales.
In addition, to meet demanding CO2 targets, especially since the drop in diesel sales across Europe, EV development is more critical than ever. Therefore, combining the two areas gives manufacturers with car-share schemes another area of development in EV tech.
‘Fully electric car-sharing is an optimal test environment for electric cars. The technology is subjected to maximum strain and proves its suitability for everyday use under real conditions,’ said car2go CEO Olivier Reppert at the Future Mobility Summit in Berlin. The valuable knowledge gained on a day-to-day basis is of benefit not only to vehicle manufacturers, but also for the ‘overall system of electric mobility’ including electricity providers, network operators, battery manufacturers, research institutions, cities and, of course, the users.
‘We are convinced that the future of car-sharing is electric – which is why we are promoting its systematic development. Fully electric car-sharing fleets further strengthen the already positive effects of car-sharing, for example, the improved air quality in metropolitan areas. Additionally, we help cities solve the chicken-and-egg problem incurred with the charging infrastructure. Hence, we make a significant contribution towards the further promotion of electric mobility as a whole,’ explains Reppert.
‘Electric mobility and car-sharing both follow the same strategic goal: to make cities a cleaner and better place to live. But there is more to it,’ states the car2go White Paper. ‘We understand purely electric driving to be an interaction of a variety of components – from the battery to the electricity network, to the charging infrastructure and then the undeniably positive customer experience.’ It is about promoting the overall system of electric mobility.
car2go already operates purely electric car-sharing fleets in three locations (Stuttgart, Amsterdam and Madrid) with a total of 1,400 vehicles which are used by 365,000 customers. Daimler took full control of the service earlier in 2018 and recently announced that the scheme would join with BMW car-sharing program DriveNow.
Subject to examination and approval by the responsible competition authorities, the BMW Group and Daimler AG plan to combine and strategically expand their existing on-demand mobility offering in the areas of car-sharing, ride-hailing, parking, charging and multimodality. Each company will hold a 50% stake in a joint-venture model comprising both companies’ mobility services.