I want to car share, and let it be electric!
In only two years, Madrid has almost half a million subscribers to electric ‘car sharing’ services. The trend is unstoppable. The possibilities are endless. We will tell you all about them.
‘Car sharing,’ an Anglicism for referring to a shared car service, is much more than a passing fad. Many car makers have already stated publicly that the future will be in part about this system, and that the industry needs a change of paradigm that is not centred exclusively on owned vehicles.
In Madrid alone, seven car sharing companies have appeared in the last decade, and the number of subscribers grows every year. In the rest of Spain’s cities, it is also setting in, albeit though more slowly. The advantages of this service, apart from saving money and being unpreoccupied by car maintenance or insurance obligations, are more of a social nature, which even go beyond the user himself. According to a study by Respiro, one of the first firms to establish itself in the capital, the potential of car sharing today may include a reduction of CO2 emissions in a large city by up to almost one half.
But it could be much more, since that report, which was prepared three years ago, did not take into account the rise of electric cars in this new system. The latest companies to arrive, Emov, Car2Go and Zity, do not have even a single combustion engine model in their fleet. And otherwise, all offer the possibility of getting around with an electric vehicle, if the user should so desire.
This opens up a new possibility: those who have not yet decided to take the step, have the possibility of experimenting with electric mobility at a low cost. Getting around the city in an electric car is easier today than ever: in Madrid alone, the number of subscribers to car sharing companies with this type of vehicles has reached 400,000 in just two years, which is 10% of the population.
There are many ways today to ride around in an electric vehicle without the need to own it, whether at the wheel or with a driver. Let us summarise them for you:
Car2Go, the first 100% electric service
For the time being, it operates in Madrid, and its fleet consists of two-seater Smart Fortwo EV that can only be parked within the M-30 inner ring road. A Car2Go costs 0.21 €/min, which goes up to 59 euros if rented for 24 hours. Cars can be reserved 20 minutes in advance. Registering with this service costs 9 euros. You just have to reserve it 30 minutes in advance using the app, which will give you the location of the nearest car. Once you are at the vehicle, you finalise the reservation and it opens. The key to start it is almost next to the dashboard screen. To date they have 500 cars, but they have already announced publicly that they will expand their fleet this year, and they do not rule out including four-seater Smart cars. What the company has confirmed is that its fleet will soon include BMW i3, with space for five riders.
Emov, the four-seater electrical car service
It is the number two electrical car sharing service, and for the time being, within the Iberian peninsula, it operates in Madrid and Lisbon. Its fleet consists of 600 Citroën C-Zero and the novelty, when it was established more than a year ago, is that all have four seats, and they can also be parked in specific areas outside of the M-30. An Emov costs 0.24 euros per minute, which goes up to 69 euros if rented for 24 hours. Cars can be reserved 20 minutes in advance, and registering on the service costs 9 euros. Functioning through the app is similar to Car2Go.
Zity, the third electric car sharing service to arrive
This service began last year and already has a fleet of 500 Renault Zoe with autonomy reaching up to 300 kilometres. The cost of a Zity is 0.21 euros per minute, and 55 euros if you rent it for a whole day. Cars can be reserved 20 minutes in advance and, for the time being, the subscription is free. Another of the points in favour over the other two services, apart from autonomy, is that their cars are bigger, so that their occupants ride in greater comfort, and they have a larger boot. In addition, you will not have to worry about finding the key: it starts up just as it opens: with the mobile app.
WiBLE: about to arrive
It will arrive in Madrid in the second half of 2018, and its fleet will consist of two Kia models: the Niro, a hybrid, and a fully electric variant of the Soul. For the time being, few details are known, but we do know that the name WiBLE is a combination of the words widely accessible which, according to its managers, means “very accessible”. Therefore, we assume that it will have a rental system simplified to the utmost with competitive prices.
Cabify: better take me
This company, which already operates in Barcelona, Madrid, Malaga, Seville and Valencia, offers a hybrid service between a taxi company and car sharing. The cars available are also identified using an app with geolocalisation, but instead of going to look for it, you just wait for a driver to go pick you up at the address you have entered. The prices for the ride, from origin to destination, are given in advance, and vary according to car supply and demand at any given moment. It has a very extensive fleet that includes combustion engine cars but if you wish, you can choose an electric car. In the case of the BMWi3, the price is the same. If you choose the luxurious Tesla Model S, the rate goes up.
Respiro: a car for every occasion
For the time being, it operates in Madrid and is one of the pioneers in the car sharing service. It has an extensive fleet where you can find it all: utilitarian cars, touring cars, sedans and even transport vehicles. It also has hybrids and electrical cars, in this case, the Nissan Leaf. It costs 3.5 euros per hour or 37 if you rent it for the whole day, and you have to pay mileage and a minimum monthly fee of five euros. It works with a member’s card, with which you open the car. Otherwise, the reservation system using an app is very similar to the other services.
Another one of the pioneers, it was established in our country in 2010 and already has a presence in Madrid, Barcelona and Seville. It also has different types of vehicles, including electric ones. It costs 4 euros per hour, and 45 if you rent all day, although in this case you do not pay any mileage. You have the chance to a pay a monthly fee of five euros, in which case you benefit from discounts.