Car rental platforms have had more trouble than carpooling in posing solutions to traffic congestion and public transportation deficiencies.
By launching the foundations of mobilities in September, the minister in charge of transport Elisabeth Borne had announced what would be her priority: the transport of everyday life. And among the new mobility solutions offered by French start-ups, short-distance carpooling is seen as the best tool by the government. Still not very widespread and deficit, this service could, if massively adopted for commuting, help reduce congestion by increasing the occupancy rate of vehicles, currently around 1.1 people per car. As a result, carpooling companies were given their own working group at the conference, focusing on their issues. Carsharing companies, they had more difficulty to stand out, lost in a working group on the own mobilities with other actors. They were only entitled to a meeting dedicated to carsharing.
It must be said that a number of parameters make car-sharing more difficult to sell as a solution to urban transportation problems. “I’m not surprised that carsharing is less considered than car-sharing, it’s not environmentally friendly and it does not really help to solve congestion problems,” says an industry leader who prefers to remain anonymous. Carsharing does not call into question the practice of self-driving since nothing prevents a user from renting a vehicle to travel alone.
Not the same mission
Another aspect is that carsharing is a one-off practice, rather concentrated on the weekend, while short-distance carpooling focuses on the government’s priority, the daily journeys, which have the greatest impact on congestion and pollution. “We are not a transport of everyday life,” confirms Paulin Dementhon, founder of Drive. “Our market is to help out of cities”.
Carsharing also has a harder time promoting its collaborative character, says Serge Ricardo, product and innovation manager at Koolicar. “In carpooling, the philosophy of cost-sharing is better perceived, probably because the owner of the vehicle is in. The passenger gives him enough money to pay the toll and the fuel, which is accepted by everyone. Carsharing is like making money, and in fact, you’re pretty much-replacing someone else’s vehicle with someone else’s, but that will be of interest to you. “There will be a scaled deployment and we will see the impact of car sharing on parking.”
Bridges with carpooling
While it can not boast of helping to reduce congestion like carpooling, car sharing helps to question the possession of the vehicle and therefore to reduce parking needs. According to ADEME, a car-sharing vehicle replaces 5 private cars and vacates 4 parking spaces. Advantages put forward by the sector during its meetings with the authorities during the mobilities’ meeting, which hopes that they will accede to its requests, notably in the field of parking.
These claims, along with other benefits for drivers, such as a vehicle purchase bonus or tax credits are shared by the carpool industry. His lobbying could, therefore, benefit carsharing. After the meeting, which was completed at the end of December, a mobility law planned for the first quarter of 2018 will tell us which of these requests were heard.
Carsharing is waiting for the car connected to pass the second
Enclosures and connected vehicles facilitate access to car-sharing services by eliminating key collection. But without a technological standard, this opportunity may not be enough for the sector.