Can carsharing services be profitable?

Context

The development of the sharing economy and of IT solutions is progressively changing city dwellers’ vision of automobile mobility: previously symbolically associated with private property and solo use, cars have progressively emerged as an on-demand, shared service. As an alternative to private ownership, adapted to non-daily uses within an integrated transport network, carsharing may be a key lever to reinvent urban mobility.

Nevertheless, carsharing has yet to find a financially sustainable business model. Even when a high subscription and usage rate is achieved, the profitability threshold may remain out of reach; this has been demonstrated by Paris’s former carsharing service, Autolib’, that shut down in July 2018 due to increasing deficit. Business model innovation is thus key to ensuring the continuing operation of carsharing services in time and make them a core component of urban transport.

Methodology

Based on a thorough literature review, on 6t’s extensive research on carsharing in Paris and on fieldwork and interviews conducted with carsharing service providers and local authorities in Copenhagen, Lisbon and Madrid in 2017, 6t’s latest article, published in Transport Policy, analyses carsharing from a supply-side angle. It presents a highly detailed overview of existing value propositions, maps traditional and new stakeholders involved, and provides a critical review of current innovations in the field.

 

Open access

The article is freely avaiable until May 3rd using the following link:

https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1YjPb,L-HRUJUO

 


Image source : Wikicommons

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