Published by The Editorial Committee on 06.27.2018 - 3 min
The swelling popularity of electric mobility and carsharing brings the two trends ever closer, pioneering an entirely new way of getting around. Let's take a closer look at the early stages of this double-pronged revolution.
Why do electric cars and carsharing go together so well? Regardless of country, the results are striking. Whether in Europe or elsewhere, their popularity is growing in unison and their association seems to be a win-win. One thing that is certain is that these innovative solutions are attractive to drivers who care about environmental issues. Whether it’s by sharing one vehicle or more or by switching to all-electric vehicles, these two solutions are both contributing significantly to more sustainable forms of transportation. But the common denominator between these two trends does not, in itself, explain the extent of their success.
In the space of a decade, both carsharing services and the electric car sector have asserted themselves as major economic activities. One only needs to look at the figures: the carsharing market is expected to grow by 80% in the next few years until it reaches 35 million European users by 2021. By the same token, all experts agree that in 2030, one in three cars sold will be electrified. These predictions signal a profound cultural shift in the way we get around.
There are numerous factors driving this boom and highlighting why electric cars and carsharing naturally complement each other. The way we travel provides a preliminary explanation: we drive, most often, over short distances. In London, for example, 90% of car journeys are under 10 km; a self-service car, available on-demand and without prior reservation, is perfectly suited to that need. In such a context, an electric car has many advantages.
The success in France of carsharing operator Renault Mobility is a case in point. Renowned for their user experience—features include connectivity, app-based locking and unlocking, and ease of driving—electric cars guarantee the comfort and safety of each and every one of their new drivers. But above all, users do not need to refuel the car before returning it, since it can recharge before its next use.
Another important point is that the vast majority of carsharing trips can only be taken in an electric car. In megacities concerned with air quality, like London, Tokyo, or even Berlin, electric carsharing services are in full swing. As further proof of this sector’s dynamism, Bologna will soon implement a carsharing service using Renault ZOEs, which are already available for carsharing in cities like Milan, Padua, Palermo, and Naples, to name just the ones in Italy.
The potential of carsharing for pooling vehicles and optimising resources increasingly drives companies to offer such services to their employees. Some even see it as a way of providing their customers with an additional service. That’s the case with Renault MOBILITY, which provides IKEA France with a carsharing service.
This mobilisation of different actors to meet the many challenges of transportation today has the added effect of speeding up the spread of public infrastructure. The density of charging stations and carsharing services is increasing. And this momentum won’t stop anytime soon. With 70% of the world’s population set to live in cities by 2050, electric carsharing is already making its mark on the future.