The entire carsharing market can be categorized into several models. This means that a company that operates in a particular region has one of the carsharing business models.
Today it is common to divide carsharing into such models:
- Station based
- Free floating
Station based carsharing
It is characterized by the presence of stations where you can take or leave your car. A station should be understood as a parking space or a designated area. As a rule, these are separate places in the city limits, which are marked with a sign (often a P sign with the designation of the carsharing company).
Station based carsharing can have its own differences, e.g:
- you can pick up a car at station A and return it at station B, C, or A.
- you can only pick up and return the car at station A.
Station based carsharing is widespread in the countries of Western Europe, as well as in the United States.
Station based carsharing occurs in cities with parking problems, and city authorities cooperate with carsharing operators by providing separate parking lots for carsharing cars.
This type of carsharing competes well with rental cars, personal cars that are used for specific trips and on specific days (e.g. weekends).
Typical station carsharing operators are ZipCar (USA), Book-n-drive (Germany).
According to some studies, market operators indicate that station carsharing is profitable in most cases, unlike, for example, free floating carsharing.
Station based carsharing offers to book cars in advance and also has a very strong relationship with the users. It is more like a club. Often this type of carsharing occurs in individual conglomerations or settlements, college campuses, communities of homeowners, offices and ....
For this type of carsharing to function perfectly, the company needs 2-3 times fewer customers per car in the fleet than a free floating carshare.
Often, in these carshare services, you can find a certain monthly fee for a carshare membership.
Free floating carsharing
Characterized by complete freedom to use and park the car. The car can be used all over the territory (e.g. city or country, if small), while parking places can be limited. For example, only the city center.
The main difference between free parking and stationary parking is that the parking area is not limited, or is allocated to large enough zones. Cars can be used and are mostly used for traveling from point A to point B.
This type of carsharing is in close competition with cabs, public transportation, not only with car rentals and private cars.
Typical operators of free floating carsharing are YandexDrive (Russian Federation), Miles (Germany and Belgium).
As experts say, free carsharing is 90% unprofitable. In this case, the companies have a fairly large turnover, the number of trips, but the unprofitability is caused by a large number of losses (accidents), short trips and large payments for parking, which is assumed by the company.
The number of users per 1 carshare car is 3-5 times more than in stations based carsharing. Subscription fees (subscriptions) are more a rarity than a rule and mainly contribute to the provision of additional discounts to their users.
Technologically, free floating carsharing is more advanced, as they have fewer alternatives for opening a car. Mobile apps are exclusively used here (for the most part), at the same time as in a station based carshare you may also encounter the practice of using membership plastic cards to access the car.
Generally, a car cannot be reserved for any date or time. Minutes elapse between booking and making the trip. The principle of operation: the need arose - looked at the car on the map - booked - drove. At the same time, in the station model: the need arose - found a car on the map - planned and booked - came at the right time and made a trip.
This type is hybrid and includes elements of two systems at once. As a rule, the operator shares cars or works in different cities with this model.
As such operators point out, this model is the most convenient and profitable for them, although they admit that the greatest profit is generated for them by station carsharing. Free carsharing allows to attract more customers who can be converted into users of the station model.
A vivid representative of this type can be called: Stadtmobil (Germany), but the operator DB (Deutschebahn - German railroads), which owns the station operator Book-n-drive, just created a second operator of free carsharing, called City Flitzer, both operators work in Frankfurt on Main.
That's all for now, and in other publications we will talk about the types of carsharing, and they come in B2B, B2C, and P2P. Read more at the link