Carsharing has been around for quite some time now, where mobility actors constantly tamper with new service functions and business models to reach a utility level equal to (or better than) owning your car.
Studies show that private cars stand idle around 95% of their lifetime, but until there are alternatives that offer the same degree of convenience and freedom, private ownership will most likely continue being the most attractive choice for many.
Volvo Car Mobility has 20 years of experience in this field and analyses of European and US markets have shown that station-based carsharing concepts tend to oust 5-13 cars per shared vehicle. However, there is still a wish for better user experience amongst consumers in order to see this as the preferred option. Reliability, ease of use and convenience are recurring arguments which the M service was designed to address when it first launched in Stockholm and Uppsala, Sweden, a couple of weeks ago.
Similar to Volvo Car Mobility’s existing service, Sunfleet, this new service will offer different subscription price plans depending on your monthly travel patterns. However, as Sunfleet customers have to search for available vehicles in their surroundings, M will instead let the customer request when and where they need the vehicle. M will then present an option accordingly.
User experience is undoubtedly an important parameter to consider in order to make carsharing more attractive. However, price levels will also be crucial, and it seems like M will be more expensive than its precursor Sunfleet as the user experience is more prioritized. Other service providers are looking to expand their network, like Danish company Green Mobility that exclusively deploy electric vehicles and recently announced expectations to establish operations in Sweden before the end of 2019. Move About is another carsharing actor in Sweden that also focus on EVs. Question is which service that will offer the best of both worlds – sufficient user experience and good accessibility combined with low costs that will eventually spur people to give up their private vehicles.
Written by Hampus Alfredsson, RISE Viktoria.
1. 2019-09-24. Launching a smarter way to access cars in cities.