Carsharing: a challenging opportunity for urban mobility

Brussels, 29 September 2014 - Carsharing represents an important opportunity for urban mobility in Europe and the world. But its spread and evolution is not without challenges, as a new report out this month outlines.

A new report, published as part of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association’s (ACEA) periodic research series the Scientific Advisory Group (SAG) Reports, highlights the trends, opportunities and challenges facing the carsharing industry in Europe and globally.

The worldwide carsharing market today encompasses several million customers and the fleet consists of some tens of thousands of vehicles. Though carsharing activity today is heavily concentrated in industrialised countries, there are a growing number of examples of operations in developing economies.

The report shows that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to carsharing services across the world, and that they vary in provision and technical sophistication from region to region. It also highlights that carsharing customers tend to be young urbanites for whom flexible mobility is highly important. It further demonstrates that players in the industry are diverse, ranging from OEMs rolling out specialised versions of their own cars, to independent operations that provide a range of vehicles.

However, there are challenges identified facing the nascent carsharing industry. These vary from the limits of services which cannot always cope with the demands of users on the vehicles, to problems caused by varying legislation and approaches in different regions. Some carsharing firms have had difficulty coping with ensuring that their vehicles can be adequately distributed in cities with rules that vary between inner-city administrative sectors.

ACEA Secretary General Erik Jonnaert said of the report, “Carsharing has the potential to become part of an integrated package of urban mobility solutions; carsharing could become an option for certain citizens who do not yet have a car and live in cities, providing them both convenience as well as a mobility solution  in urban areas. However, there are a number of practical, commercial and regulatory problems that still need to be overcome.”

The Carsharing: Evolution, Challenges and Opportunities SAG Report is now available on the ACEA website.

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Notes for editors

ACEA’s members are BMW Group, DAF Trucks, Daimler, FIAT SpA, Ford of Europe, Opel Group, Hyundai Motor Europe, IVECO SpA, Jaguar Land Rover, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Renault Group, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen Group, Volvo Cars, Volvo Group. More information can be found on www.acea.be or @ACEA_eu.

Facts about the EU automobile industry

  • Some 12.7 million people - or 5% of the EU employed population - work in the sector.
  • The 3 million jobs in automotive manufacturing represent 10.3% of EU's manufacturing employment.
  • Motor vehicles account for €388 billion in tax contribution in the EU15.
  • The sector is also a key driver of knowledge and innovation, representing Europe's largest private contributor to R&D, with €32.3 billion invested annually.
  • The automotive sector contributes significantly to the EU trade balance with a €95 billion surplus.

For more information, please contact Cara McLaughlin, cm@acea.be, +32 2 738 73 45; +32 485 88 66 47