Friday, January 27, 2012

Carsharing: ongoing growth and innovation

Dave Brook's Carsharing.US blog has two recent posts that take stock of the continued rise of carsharing.

The first is a review of carsharing in 2011 and the latest looks at predictions for 2012. Both have an international perspective and are good reads for anyone with an interest in the reinvention of urban transport services.

A few highlights from Dave's assessment of carsharing in 2011: 
Are we seeing a demographic tipping point? — This was the year when the mainstream marketers admitted that many in Gen Y ("the Millennials") weren't thinking about cars the same way their parents were - they'd rather have their iPhone than a car.
...
Parking is fundamental - Parking is a fundamental but often under appreciated aspect of car use. It wasn't until Donald Shoup layed the cards on the table in his landmark "The High Cost of Free Parking" that most of us realized just how fundamental parking really is. And carsharing operators also know how fundamental parking is to the success of their business. That's why designated parking on public streets has been such a holy grail - convenient access and great marketing exposure. And, as you'll see in several items below, some carsharing companies are slicing the parking issue in new ways - car2go and Zebramobil, as well as RelayRides in San Francisco are opting for floating parking (among other things).
...
New service models — ... In 2011 on-demand, open-end, one-way carsharing really burst on the scene - in both Europe and North America. I think it's under-appreciated just how completely new on demand, open-end, one-way carsharing services like car2go, Drive Now and Autolib, really are. On-demand overcomes a significant consumer complaint about traditional carsharing - requiring a reservation and especially having to specify the end time of the trip.

His predictions for 2012 include:
P2P Gets Traction
Zipcar's Year to Prove Themselves
"One-way" Carsharing On a Roll
Continued Double Digit Expansion of Carsharing Worldwide ('... Carsharing has really taken off in Japan ... And China is taking its first steps in carsharing, as well. South America, hello?')
There is a lot more to both of these posts. So go take a look

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