Share don't own, carsharing, bikesharing and scootersharing

Mobility in practice

Share. Do Not Own.

"My house, my car, my boat" - who knows the famous advertising slogan of a German bank from the 1990s? Two old school friends meet again after years and now compare who has really achieved something in the meantime. The simple formula: More possessions equal more success. In 2021, this has changed quite a bit. People from the much-cited Generation Y place less value on possessions than on experiences. Lots of work, little free time - no desire. A big car with high fixed costs - no need. A house in the countryside? Rather always something new thanks to Airbnb.

November 23, 2021 | Reading time: 6 Minuten

Today, owning things is no longer considered the ultimate. After all, ownership also entails obligations: If you have a large house, you need time and money to clean and maintain it. If you own a car, you have to take care of inspections, tire changes and repairs. And the annoying search for a parking space. Sharing frees you from all those chores. While the slogan "Sharing is caring" still aims to share one's own things for the benefit of others, today a shared economy has developed in many areas of life. Sharing not for charitable reasons, but sharing to make money. Airbnb is a good example of sharing one's own four walls - the platform is only the intermediary.

There are several models for car sharing. There are platforms that connect car owners with people interested in sharing. But above all, providers who build up their own fleets and rent out vehicles by the minute, hour, day and/or kilometer. A good deal for all sides. The provider earns more money through the short-term rental than he pays for the car, including fuel and maintenance. The users enjoy individual mobility in the same way as car owners, but pay only a fraction of the price. It has been proven that cars spend more than 90 percent of their time just standing around. Conversely, this means that car owners pay for something they only use less than 10 percent of the time. Quite bizarre, really.

Own many cars instead of just one

Sharing is the new ownership. More and more people are choosing to do without their own car, but not without the benefits of individual mobility. Car sharing makes it possible.

Out Into the Green With Car Sharing

Frankfurt, Nordend-Ost district in late summer. It's Saturday morning. Peter Andreasen has used his smartphone to book an e-car with the sharing provider mobileeee. He is planning a short family outing in the countryside. For this, the passionate cyclist exceptionally needs a car - and the S-Bahn. That's because the mobileeee vehicles are parked at the House of Logistics & Mobility near the airport. Peter Andreasen is happy to accept the detour, as it saves him having to own a car in the city. In the center of the Main metropolis, parking spaces are so scarce that some car owners switch to public transportation just so they don't lose their parking space near their apartment. Quite illogical. The people of Frankfurt are much smarter, saving themselves the hassle of looking for a parking space, but still not having to do without individual mobility. In Frankfurt and other large cities, major car manufacturers have also recognized car sharing as a business segment. Some providers have fixed stations, while others operate free-floating carsharing, i.e., cars are parked in public parking lots and can be returned within the business area.

Mobileeee relies on a fixed station. There, the e-cars are reconnected to a charging station directly after the trip. Peter Andreasen has reserved one of the electric cars this Saturday morning. He briefly checks whether it has any major scratches or dents, opens the car via app and gets in. The trip can begin. At the end of the day, he will pay a low double-digit amount for it. A good deal for him - but also for the provider. All you have to do is compare what a car costs in a monthly lease and then extrapolate how much the provider earns per day with it in comparison. Certainly a multiple, plus of course the costs for personnel, maintenance, marketing, etc. The money is automatically debited from Peter Andreasen's credit card.

Living in the Countryside Without Your Own Car

Change of location. Conditions in the flat countryside in the far north are different from those in Frankfurt. Many people have their own car, traffic flows smoothly, and finding a parking space is no problem. And yet more and more people want to do without their own car. It costs a lot, sits around most of the time, permanently loses value and is not good for the environment anyway. Those who don't need a car for their daily commute are starting to think twice about it, even in rural areas. Especially when car sharing offers still make individual mobility possible.

Inka Bestermann has also been pondering. She grew up here on the border to Denmark. Having her own car was simply part of it and was never questioned. Now she works just 20 minutes by bike from her home. On her bike rides in the mornings and evenings, she can reflect and gather strength in peace. Only sometimes, when she wants to visit friends outside her village of Medelby, she does need a ride. That's why she registered with the Dörpsmobil e-car sharing project. All she had to do was sign a framework agreement with the provider, a listed association, and register on the MOQO app. If an excursion is on the agenda, Inka Bestermann reserves the Renault Zoe well in advance - and off she goes. The conditions are favorable. The exact amount she pays for a trip depends on the kilometers covered and the duration.

Shared Mobility on the Growth Track

Car sharing at fixed stations dates back to the time when there were no smartphones with GPS and you had to get the car keys from a type of safe with an access card and pin. Today, cars can usually be opened and closed via smartphone app. So providers don't necessarily have to rent private parking spaces and set up stations. But it has the advantage that the cars are in a central location and are easier to maintain and clean.

There are currently car sharing services in 855 cities across Germany, covering a fleet of 26,000 vehicles. The vast majority of vehicles are waiting at the 6,200 fixed stations. Since the beginning of January 2021, the total of 228 providers in Germany have recorded around 2.9 million customers, which is 25.5% more registered authorized drivers than in the previous year. The number of carsharing vehicles has also grown compared to the previous year, albeit moderately. The German Carsharing Association (bcs) sets a target of having a carsharing station positioned every 400 meters in city centers and areas near city centers. According to the association, one car sharing vehicle replaces 20 cars.

outdoor with carsharing

Several million households in Germany already use their private cars so infrequently that car sharing is cheaper for them than buying a new car, says Gunnar Nehrke, managing director of the association. This figure will continue to rise as a result of necessary climate protection measures. According to the mobility study "Mobility in Germany," a vehicle is parked 95 percent of the time today; expressed in hours, a private vehicle stands around unused for 23 hours a day. This is inefficient in two ways: for car owners, who pay for something they rarely use. And for the cities and communities whose parking spaces are occupied by just one car for 23 hours a day.

Use Car Sharing - and Save Money

This is why the German Federal Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt, UBA) is promoting car sharing on its website. This benefits the environment, and consumers can save money. "If you drive less than 10,000 kilometers a year, car sharing is financially worthwhile," says the UBA. But despite the upward trend, car sharing is still a mobility solution that plays out in a small niche - the fewer than 3 million cars available for sharing opposed a total stock of 47.7 million passenger cars at the beginning of the year. But it doesn't have to stay that way; MOQO is working on that. "Our goal is to make mobility as easy to consume as Spotify or Netflix," says co-founder Michael Minis.

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