Shared Vehicle Mobility – 1 Owner, Many Drivers

The motor vehicle environment is changing faster now than in any previous time. They’ve never been safer, cheaper,  more sophisticated, or had as many fuel options. Self-driving car & truck technology is here, as are full electric vehicles. Shared mbility is the next “thing”.  The good old days of a personal prized possession are numbered, the predication is that within just a couple of decades, cars will be a shared commodity – available when you need one, not when you don’t – much like a shopping trolley. Great idea, but will shared vehicle mobility work?

The currency of shared mobility is Reputation. This is what successful companies in the sharing economy have in common, is that they use technology to build trust between strangers. The degree to which a community trusts a company is ‘reputation’.

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Slowly but surely we are moving from a car-centric to a user-centric society. A society in which car-sharing and other shared mobility services still have to find their place. But all experts and consultancy firms are convinced that shared mobility will exponentially increase over the years and put traditional car leasing in a new business model.

A recent global study of McKinsey expects that at least one in ten new cars will be shared by no later than 2030, and by 2050 this may even increase to one in three cars. Shared vehicle mobility is here to stay.

To make car-sharing really attractive and cost-efficient for both the car-sharing provider and the user, more flexibility is needed. First of all flexibility in the user-friendliness of car-sharing. As a customer you want your shared car to be as comfortable and easy to use as an owned car. This includes the ability to digitally select and reserve the shared car 24/7, wherever you are and according to your needs in terms of car model. It doesn’t make any sense to have only access to compact cars if you want to use it with a team of four colleagues.

Secondly, convenience with regard to pick-up and return of the shared car is a must. Ideally, it should be possible to leave the shared vehicle at or at least close to your destination. To enable such an approach, scale is required: the more people that are involved in car-sharing, the bigger the offering will be, the wider the geographic scope will become and the cheaper the car-sharing model will become. And finally, there needs to be convenience with regard to payment. The subscription-based or pay-per-use model should be automatic and digital and have clear distinction between private and business use.

As car sharing is expected to grow in the future with a possible impact on the numbers of cars – recently PwC announced that in Europe there could be 80 million cars less by 2030 due to the increased and expected success of car sharing – the supplier industry is reshuffling its business cards. Most car manufacturers, rental car specialists and lease companies already have car-sharing initiatives operating in Europe and confirm they are focusing more and more on additional services with regard to alternative mobility solutions, and connected fleet and mobility management via mobile applications.

Furthermore, the suppliers have understood that with the mobility boom there will be a convergence in customer groups : B2B, B2E and B2C will come together in the mobility environment, with the end-user, the individual as the most important decision maker and point of contact. The recent emergence of private lease – offered via car manufacturers, dealer networks and lease companies – in countries such as the Netherlands, Belgium, UK and France is just one example. These privately leased cars can also be ideal to be part of car-sharing and ride-hailing schemes. And so while new and shared mobility might have an impact on the number of cars, it most certainly has an impact on the business model of the main industry suppliers, but the impact doesn’t need to be negative, quite the contrary.

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The lines between public transport and private car ownership are blurring already as new mobility providers deliver hybrid travel solutions, according to a new report of Frost & Sullivan.

Following the initiative deployed by Athlon in the Netherlands, the Belgian Athlon-branch will now also offer Athlon’s Car2Use-platform to its clients and employees, prolonging the test-phase initiated in the Netherlands.

Car2Use is a car sharing platform that is developed by Athlon itself. It lets Athlon’s customers and own employees make use of shared cars whenever they need them, so the employer only pays the real use of the cars, and not the idle time cars normally spend on parking lots and in garages.

Shared vehicle mobility also makes it unnecessary for the fleet managers to have their own pool car that mostly stands on parking lots without being used.

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One of the biggest concerns in the shared vehicle mobility argument is damage liability and insurance.  Drover, a UK-based ride sharing and mid-term car rental company has partnered with reinsurance giant MunichRe to offer a bespoke insurance product for gig-economy drivers.

Insurance used to be available to drivers through traditional fleet cover policies but it was expensive and insufficient for Drover’s business model.

MunichRE is offering a tailor-made product for fleet owners and ride share drivers. They can buy, maintain and renew policies via the Drover platform. Drover CEO Felix Leuschner says the insurance is a game-changer that will deliver cost savings and a whole new level of customer service

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None of this is science fiction, shared vehicle mobility is happening now, and it’s happening in New Zealand. There are a couple of operators here experimenting with the idea from passenger cars to camper vans. See their websites for more info:

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