Banking giant ING publishes results of huge survey that suggests car club market is poised for rapid growth
Car sharing services have become an increasingly common sight in cities around the world, but according to a new report released late last week the nascent market is poised for further rapid expansion.
Dutch banking giant ING last week published a new report – entitled Car-sharing Unlocked – which predicts the total European shared car fleet is set to grow from 380,000 cars currently to 7.5 million by 2035.
It adds that the surge in demand for shared cars could trigger a “peak car moment”, which would see the total number of passenger cars on the roads decline.
A raft of companies are investing in developing a wide variety of different car sharing services, ranging from established car club and hire-based business models to proposed autonomous fleets and on-demand services. ING said the emergence of smart platforms and new technologies will help unlock pent up demand for such services.
The report draws on a survey of around 13,000 people in 13 European countries, which found 30 per cent of Europeans with a driving license show interest in using car sharing services, and more than 60 per cent are prepared to share their car for money.
However, the results showed that interest in car sharing varied considerably between countries. For example, over half of those in Turkey said they were already engaged in car sharing or were interested in doing so in the next year, compared to 38 per cent in Italy, 20 per cent in the UK, and just 13 per cent in Belgium.
The report acknowledged the fledgling market had barriers to overcome if it is to break into the mainstream.
“Although the car sharing market is growing, it is still a niche compared to car ownership – only 0.1 per cent of the European car fleet is currently shared,” it noted. “45 per cent of respondents to ING’s International Survey cited user experience (ease of use, convenience and reliability of service) as the main area of improvement, while 20 per cent said cost is the main barrier to entry for them. Comparisons show car sharing is now mainly cost competitive for low mileage drivers, but over a third of respondents do not consider using car sharing at all, now or in the future.”
However, with a number of leading auto firms investing in new mobility services the report argues that the increased connectivity of cars, which will enable remote access and monitoring of driving behaviour, as well as emerging autonomous driving technologies could combine to help drive down costs and increase the appeal of car-sharing for motorists.
Green campaigners have long argued car-sharing could deliver a raft of environmental benefits, reducing congestion and air pollution, limiting resource demands from the auto industry, and accelerating the roll out of zero emission vehicles.