Shared mobility software company Vulog has revealed its findings about the shared mobility movement and its growth in popularity in recent years.
Vulog states that in 2015 the average fleet size for car-sharing schemes was 325 cars. By 2018, the average fleet size was 438 cars, rising further to 546 cars by 2019, 68% bigger than five years earlier.
This trend for larger fleets is likely to accelerate, claims Vulog. In June 2019, for example, Volkswagen’s WeShare scheme launched in Berlin with 1,500 vehicles, and the company has plans to launch soon with similar fleet sizes in both Prague and Hamburg.
Vulog said the shared mobility sector has grown at a rapid rate in recent years. As well as major global brands entering the market, other brands have joined forces, such as Mercedes and BMW with their Share Now venture. These join numerous start-up operations that have introduced shared mobility to cities across the globe, from Vancouver to Copenhagen, and from Antwerp to Auckland. Also, shared mobility has reportedly quickly evolved since 2017 to include millions of electric kick-scooters, mopeds and bicycles in cities around the world.
For every operator, fleet size is one of the most important determinants of success for car-sharing schemes according to Vulog. The density of coverage that an operator offers users in a city impacts on vehicle availability and proximity. Larger fleet sizes also reflect the rapid evolution of the car-sharing business model from reservation-based round-trip schemes to those offering instant-access free-floating flexibility. The latter requires the high on-demand availability of cars.
“Modern consumers are used to instant-access, flexible services in all aspects of their life, and in mobility that means a free-floating scheme with exceptional reliability and availability,” said Gregory Ducongé, CEO of Vulog. “A user won’t give up their personal car unless they are confident that they will always find a shared car nearby when they want one. The only way to maximise the reliability of a scheme – and therefore generate user loyalty – is greater density of coverage.”
“In the early days of shared mobility, we used to see schemes being trialled with small fleets, but they were stifling their own success and not seeing an accurate picture of the potential for their service. Our data shows that over the past five years, operators are avoiding this mistake, are using greater intelligence from previous start-ups’ experiences, and are having the faith to launch with larger fleets,” added Ducongé.
Fleet size is just one of a number of critical factors identified by Vulog, the market-leading shared mobility technology provider, in its latest whitepaper, “Seven key ingredients to car-sharing success”. The paper addresses the most important factors for profitable car sharing schemes.