Dedicated corporate carsharing solutions are beginning to become far more prevalent in a company's mobility requirements, as the attractiveness and awareness of such offerings increases. With rising congestion and the relative ease of using public transport in most urban areas, set against the challenges of parking in particular, the need of having a dedicated car for each employee for business requirements in many cases is declining. And as connected cars become more commonplace, the kind of telematics and fleet management software that is used in carsharing fleets is beginning to be offered into several corporate situations. These changing urban dynamics alongside evolving consumer electronics and fleet management technology in particular, have led to a new wave of corporate carsharing solutions across Europe.
A recent analysis from Frost & Sullivan estimates the number of vehicles to stand at ~2,000 vehicles in such fleets in 2013, and forecasts that by 2020 there could be between 75,000 and 100,000 of such vehicles in operation, as providers such as OEMs, leasing arms, rental companies, carsharing organisations (CSOs) and technology providers continually enter the market and expand geographically with competing solutions. With more than half of European automobile sales now accounted for by fleet sales, set against the ever growing demand for carsharing services, the two business models were always likely to converge, given the benefits of shared mobility in reducing costs and improving efficiency, and the relatively higher business travel requirements in terms of utilisation and flexibility.
A comprehensive corporate mobility solution allows employees the use of several travel modes billed to a dedicated cost centre. This will lead to a changing role of the company car in future, and give rise to a growing mobility option on a company wide basis. Accessing desirable corporate carsharing fleets at reasonable or subsidised prices will enable company fleets to become potential profit generators rather than just cost centres through charging employees for personal vehicle use. Those employees that may not have previously qualified for their own company car would also be granted access to the corporate carshare vehicles, which are largely brand new high quality vehicles, and will therefore not only boost staff morale and retention for the companies offering the services, but ensure sufficient vehicle volumes to service providers to underpin the business model longer term, as the requirements for vehicles increases.
With providers looking to offer multi-brand options enabled by standardised technology and interfaces, the range of vehicles available through corporate carsharing schemes is set to increase substantially. Whilst OEMs want to sell their own brands, there is an increasing awareness that corporate mobility requires flexibility and product offerings at all price points, and that customers are used to fleet/leasing/rental providers which offer a range of vehicle brands to their customers.
lphaCity and PSA (Shareyourfleet) have already confirmed they will move to a multi brand service, with several other OEMs likely to follow suit, whether directly or in partnership with technology or service providers.
Keyless access and centralized end-of the-month invoicing are some of the elements that will continue to play a pivotal role in making corporate carsharing programmes scalable and simple to adopt by corporates. The operating model will evolve from (RFID) smartcards and Fobs to use smartphone based virtual keys, and potentially allow multiple companies to share the same fleet, by downloading a generic corporate carsharing app for example, and in turn lowering costs to employers that are located in close proximity, and increasing efficiency/utilisation of the vehicles.
Whilst there are 13 providers of corporate carsharing services in 2013, it is forecast that every major OEM, leasing, and rental firm will have a branded solution or partnership in place to accommodate this market requirement, and as such there could be over 30 corporate carsharing providers in Europe by 2020, with a likely convergence of some schemes and operating models along the way.
Corporate Carsharing a Major Theme at upcoming "Urban Mobility 3.0"
Corporate carsharing and other emerging corporate mobility trends will feature in one of the panels at Frost & Sullivan's annual Urban Mobility 3.0 workshop, to be held in London on 26th June 2014. For more information, visit: urbanmobility.gilcommunity.com/.
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