New mobility concepts (part 1)
From car sharings and e-car rental service to intermodal systems
- Series: Ökonomie
From car sharings and e-car rental service to intermodal systems – the mobility of tomorrow can work without having your own car. Yet the users should live in the city.
Climate change, shortage of raw materials, population growth and urbanisation – the global mega trends have long forced urban humans to rethink individual mobility. A private car is already an anachronism with an intense force of habit. Yet the growth rate of alternative mobility concepts shows a change in attitude. The reason behind this new behavioral pattern is the increased ecological and ethical awareness – and simply rising costs which are caused by the limitation in resources.
„In 2020, the monthly cost of a car will amount to 28 per cent of your net income“, Georg A. Teichmann, Senior Manager of PriceWaterhouseCoopers, predicts a gloomy scenario. Studies of the auditors reveal that car purchases among the generation of 18–29-year-olds in urban areas have fallen by 40 per cent since 1999. In Japan, this trend even has its own name: “Kuruma Banare” – demotorisation.
The mobility of tomorrow as digitally interwoven world will combine public traffic with a dense network of rental cars and micro carriers such as bicycles, scooters or segways. The low availability of shared and rentals cars will be the bottleneck when it comes to the quality of the offers. Yet the car sharing market is growing rapidly.
The approximately 120 established German providers with their 200,000 users currently face a wave of new players: Daimler (Car2go and car2gether), BMW and Sixt (DriveNow), Peugeot (Mu) and others have entered the market and cause market researchers to expect a ten- or twelvefold increase of user and turnover rates for German car sharing companies by 2016. To the day, cities such as Paris, London, New York City, Madrid, Barcelona, Amsterdam and Singapore are leading the field of innovative mobility services.
Long way to go for the „leading market for e-mobility“
“Car country” Germany is lagging behind. It was only in May 2011 that Deutsche Bahn introduced BeMobility – a trial system that links the Bahn services Flinkster (rental of electric and hybrid cars) and Call a Bike - in Berlin and Potsdam. The goal is to achieve data on the user patterns of participants as well as an urban feasibility study.
Yet the devil is in the details: „The user“, reports BeMobility project manager Frank Wolter, „wishes to have a maximum of a five-minute-walk to their rental car“. As soon as the Bahn leaves its own terrain to secure space for their own e-cars, they are fored to negoticate with local politics. And that’s where the “goal of the government to become the market leader for electro mobility hasn’t trickled in everywhere”, explains Wolter who has been waiting for months to receive permits in certain districts.
Carsharing-Markt im Ruhrgebiet ungesättigt
The largest private car sharing provider in the Ruhr area is „Stadtmobil“. The group operates eight stations with 20 cars in Essen. “The market in the Ruhr area is not saturated”, says Statdmobil Managing Director Matthias Kall. “That’s largely due to the modest offers so far“. One reason: The Ruhr area is not very compact and its structure de-centralised. Moreover, says Kall, in most of the cities wasn’t enough “parking pressure” and cars were still considered cult objects along the A40.
Apart from that: The classic car sharing clientele - a left-wing liberal, highly-educated group of people that primparily lives in houses that were built during the founding epoch – does hardly reach the critical mass. Only the rising demand from the mainstream makes car sharing worthwhile für providers. After all: VRR is trying to bundle and interlink the car sharing offers with its network.
With stations that are near the main stops of public transit. And permanent ticket holders receive discounts from the car sharing providers. The platform “Nachbarschaftsauto.de” connects cars from private to private. While there are only 19 cars available in the entire Ruhr area, 70 cars are flashing on the Google Maps overview for Berlin. The same here: Despite urbanity without gaps between Duisburg and Dortmund, there’s not much going on with the new ways of mobility yet.
Photo above: Car2go
Photo 1: Peugeot
Foto 2: DB