Carsharing: a challenging opportunity for urban mobility

Brussels, 29 September 2014 – Carsharing represents an important opportunity for urban mobility in Europe and the world. But its spread and evolution is not without challenges, as a new report out this month outlines.

A new report, published as part of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association’s (ACEA) periodic research series the Scientific Advisory Group (SAG) Reports, highlights the trends, opportunities and challenges facing the carsharing industry in Europe and globally.

The worldwide carsharing market today encompasses several million customers and the fleet consists of some tens of thousands of vehicles. Though carsharing activity today is heavily concentrated in industrialised countries, there are a growing number of examples of operations in developing economies.

The report shows that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to carsharing services across the world, and that they vary in provision and technical sophistication from region to region. It also highlights that carsharing customers tend to be young urbanites for whom flexible mobility is highly important. It further demonstrates that players in the industry are diverse, ranging from OEMs rolling out specialised versions of their own cars, to independent operations that provide a range of vehicles.

However, there are challenges identified facing the nascent carsharing industry. These vary from the limits of services which cannot always cope with the demands of users on the vehicles, to problems caused by varying legislation and approaches in different regions. Some carsharing firms have had difficulty coping with ensuring that their vehicles can be adequately distributed in cities with rules that vary between inner-city administrative sectors.

ACEA Secretary General Erik Jonnaert said of the report, “Carsharing has the potential to become part of an integrated package of urban mobility solutions; carsharing could become an option for certain citizens who do not yet have a car and live in cities, providing them both convenience as well as a mobility solution  in urban areas. However, there are a number of practical, commercial and regulatory problems that still need to be overcome.”

The Carsharing: Evolution, Challenges and Opportunities SAG Report is now available on the ACEA website.

About ACEA

  • The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) represents the 15 major Europe-based car, van, truck and bus makers: BMW Group, CNH Industrial, DAF Trucks, Daimler, Ferrari, Ford of Europe, Honda Motor Europe, Hyundai Motor Europe, Jaguar Land Rover, Renault Group, Stellantis, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen Group, Volvo Cars, and Volvo Group.
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  • Contact: Cara McLaughlin, Communications Director,, +32 485 88 66 47.

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About the EU automobile industry

  • 14.6 million Europeans work in the auto industry (directly and indirectly), accounting for 6.7% of all EU jobs.
  • 11.5% of EU manufacturing jobs – some 3.7 million – are in the automotive sector.
  • Motor vehicles are responsible for €398.4 billion of tax revenue for governments across key European markets.
  • The automobile industry generates a trade surplus of €74 billion for the EU.
  • The turnover generated by the auto industry represents more than 8% of the EU’s GDP.
  • Investing €62 billion in R&D annually, the automotive sector is Europe’s largest private contributor to innovation, accounting for 33% of total EU spending.
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