What car sharing literally means is simple, less corny is to understand why this model has come in the spotlight in recent years, given that the concept of ‘sharing’ is not new, the idea dates back even to the second post-war period.
The first shared car organization is Sefage (Selbstfahrergemeinschaft), a cooperative based in Zurich. A second wave of projects for shared car has occurred since the early 1970s: Procotip, a system based in France using cars activated by a coin-operated system, or Witkar, a very ambitious system developed in Amsterdam, based on small electric vehicles and pursued until 1988. These programs were short-lived mainly because of the lack of funding and support from local authorities: a massive use of the car have to occur to understand the value of sharing. Between the 1980s and the first half of the 1990s, there was a further growth of the situation in countries such as Switzerland and Germany, but also on a smaller scale in Canada, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United States.
The turning point comes thanks to technological development, with online platforms introducing private – peer-to-peer – car sharing, (such as Blablacar), which led to the “carsharing” as a mass event. “Sharing” becomes easier and offers a solution to a stronger need for sustainability, as well as money saving.
Today, the car sharing consists of station-based services (based on fixed vehicle pickup and drop-off stations), peer-to-peer services (sharing of private vehicles) and free floating services (where cars are booked through apps and parked freely within the operating area). The case of the group car is different, many people travel together in the same car owned by one of the travelers, dividing travel and maintenance costs (the most famous case is BlaBlaCar).
Citizens like the shared vehicle and in Italy, the inhabitants Lombardia stand out among the top cities in terms of number of vehicles and registered users for the various services. Milan boasts the widest choice and the most extensive fleets at national level and one of the most competitive at European level, both for cars and for what concerns even the lightest vehicles such as motorcycles and bicycles. Among the latest trends in the shared mobility sector, the green choice of electricity is gaining ground, allowing to move with less environmental impact. Below is a complete list of all the services available in the city of Milan.
To date, car sharing in Italy has exceeded 1 million subscribers, with 7679 vehicles and 35 cities involved. In 2016, an overall of about 8 million rentals were made for a total distance of 62 million km. These are the current numbers of car sharing (source: Sharing Mobility Osservatorio). The number of vehicles shared globally in Italy between 2013 and 2017 has increased fivefold, while the number of members and rentals has grown respectively eighteen and thirty-seven times. Milan is the “queen” of car sharing, with the largest offer and variety of services at the national level. In addition to traditional vehicles with petrol engines, there are also electric vehicles and mopeds. Here are the details of all the operators in Milan.
Free floating services
The brand of Eni Smart Consumer S.p.A. (company of the Eni group), starts its service in Milan in 2013 following Car2Go. The Fiat 500 fleet consists of vehicles powered by petrol, with a rate of 0.25 euro/min. Some of these cars have entered a testing project, “Natural Energy” to assess the possibility of an alternative power supply with a special gasoline that contains 15% of methanol to reduce CO2 emissions. In addition to city cars, from March 2018 a cargo service was added with vehicles that can only be rented by private individuals and not companies. The service does not involve interactions with the staff and all operations are carried out through the use of a special app and an on-board computer. During 2015 Enjoy activated a scooter sharing service interrupted at the end of June 2017. Operating for a short period in the city of Rimini, today Enjoy operates in Milan, Rome, Florence, Turin, Catania and Bologna.
Car2Go is a car sharing service managed by Moovel GmbH, operating in over 30 cities worldwide divided between Europe and North America, 6 are Italian. The company tested the service for the first time since October 2008, in Ulma, Germany (where the service is no longer active) and in Italy started in 2013 first in Milan and the following year in Rome. The Car2Go fleet consists of Smartfortwo and Smartforfour powered by gasoline with a low presence of electric vehicles in a few cities. The rate depends on the type of vehicle and the mileage, between 0.19 euro/min and 0.29 euro/min; there are business agreements and offering to go to the airports. To use the vehicles, simply download the relevant app and a registration fee of 9 euros is required. Since 2015, Car2Go has officially been the world’s largest car sharing company and in March 2018 announced its joint venture with DriveNow (BMW).
DriveNow is the result of a joint venture between the car manufacturer BMW and the car rental company Sixt. Unlike many other businesses, DriveNow is part of a premium carsharing segment, with a standard membership fee of 29 euros and a wide range of choice between 8 different types of Mini and BMW vehicles in petrol and electric versions. Access to the service is via app and the cost varies between 0.31 euro/min and 0.34 euro/min, with the possibility of purchasing different solutions for extended rentals. DriveNow starts operating in Munich in June 2011: to date its service covers 11 cities at eueropean level; Milan is the only Italian one.
Share’ngo is the first electric car sharing system created by an Italian project. Although the service has been operating since 2015, the idea of creating a shared vehicle with zero-impact in terms of environment was born in 2007 by Alfredo Bacci, an engineer with over +30 years’ experience in Fiat and Ettore Chimenti, former marketing manager of Piaggio, thanks to an investment of Bao Wenguang, Asian entrepreneur founder and shareholder of Xindayang. After having conquered Milan, Rome, Florence and Modena with the proposal of a green mobility, ZD is also trying to reach foreign countries, such as Spain and Holland. Easy to access thanks to the dedicated app, Share’ngo offers a rate of 0.28 euro/min without additional registration costs, with several facilities and possibilities to create specific offering for companies and individuals. The small electric car boasts several partnerships, offers discounts on the birthday, reduced rates for night rental for women and incentives for regular customers (“oxygen points”).
E-Vai is the only regional Green Mobility service integrated with the railway service in Lombardia. Operating since 2012, it has renewed its fleet and to date is equipped with a range of four Renault models, 100% electric. To take advantage of the service, registration on the website and the use of the E-Vai app is required, where the place of withdrawal will be indicated; to access, the code to unlock the car is notified 20 min before the renting time, by sms. At the end of the rental period, the return takes place at one of the preset points, where it is possible to recharge it. The price for E-Vai is 6 euros/hour, with the possibility of daily rental and various company offering. Among its strengths, E-Vai boasts a widespread presence in the main airports.
Ubeeqo takes over the car sharing service GuidaMi, originally founded by the Municipality of Milan and the transport company Atm. Born in Boulogne-Bilancourt, just outside Paris, Ubeeqo is a startup (acquired by Europcar) that since 2008 has been offering a pioneering service: converting classic company fleets into a fleet of vehicles that can be used by all employees. The first corporate sharing company has conquered London, Paris, Berlin, Hamburg, Brussels, Madrid, Barcelona and since 2015 also Milan. The offer is aimed both at companies (SMEs and large companies) and private individuals with different types of rates and a large fleet of cars ranging from Fiat to Renault, Citroen, Nissan, Ford and Opel. For the private user there are two tariff systems: Easy, with a monthly fee and an hourly cost ranging from 5 to 9 euros and Flexy, with a fee of 5 euros per month and hourly rental between 2.20 and 3 euros plus the cost per kilometer. In both cases it is possible to rent the vehicle from a minimum of one hour up to several days. Booking is made upon registration, through app and the car can be opened even by the ATM card.
ReFeel eMobility, was the result of the joint venture between the ReFeel group and Be Charge (a company of Building Energy group) and in April 2018 won the tender to create a corporate service of electric cars called by the City of Milan. At the moment, there are about thirty electric Renault ZOE with the aim of reaching 500 in three years available to employees of companies, hotels, universities, business centers that will enter into the agreement. To book vehicles, simply use the ReFeel emobility app and return the vehicles to the proper parking points. Rates start from 9 euros/hour with the possibility of evening rental from 19 euro and all day formula for 59 euro.
Scooter Sharing Milan: all the services
Not only four, but also two wheels vehicles: car sharing becomes agile and light. After the failed attempt by Enjoy with the Piaggio Mp3 model, new companies are trying again and since 2017 the trend of light sharing has been definitely on the rise. Here are the operators working in Milan.
MiMoto is the first made in Italy electric scooter sharing free-flow service. The launch officially took place in October 2017, but already in spring the fleet of vehicles available to users has doubled. After Milan, the startup launched by three students from outside the city has decided to expand the service also in Turin. Easy and user-friendly, designed for users made by students and young professionals (currently 60% of subscribers are under 34), the electric scooter allows the rental in a few clicks through the app. Rates start from 0.23 euro/min with the possibility of hourly and daily flat-rate and agreements with universities and companies.
Launched for the first time in Barcelona in 2016, eCooltra quickly conquered Madrid, Lisbon, Rome and Milan. The scooter of the Iberian group Cooltra was developed in partneship with CEIIA, a company specializing in aerospace, automation and mobility and now boasts a fleet of 15000 vehicles. To better adapt to the two cities, recently the Italian fleet has been renewed with new vehicles 100% made in Italy thanks to a partnership with Vicentina Askoll. Together with the vehicles, also the app that allows to use the service has been restyled to make it more attractive and easier to use. Even for eCooltra the smartphone is enough to start the rental, with a rate of 0.24 euro/min.
The latest addition to the scooter sharing services in Milan is Zig Zag. The service is the successor of Enjoy in its scooter version no longer available. Like Enjoy, Zig Zag also uses three-wheeled motorcycles, differing in the choice of the Yamaha Tricity 125 model compared to the previous Piaggio mp3. Also in this case, the rental is smart via app, with a rate of 0.29 euro/min, with the possibility of hourly, daily and corporate subscriptions. Unlike MiMoto and eCooltra, however, Tricity is powered by petrol.
Uptown: the first car sharing community in Europe
Sustainable mobility is of course one of the priority not only at national level. Among the latest innovations introduced during the last edition of the Salone del Mobile, in the INHABITS section, there is the Smart City project by Cascina Merlata that will host the first private car sharing in Europe. The initiative is to be attributed to EuroMilano that, in partnership with Share’ngo, will guarantee the Weshare’ngo service. In the city of the future there will also be cycle paths and bike sharing, electric driverless buses, all supporting green mobility. The first carbon free residential settlement has a fleet of 25-40 cars for shared use with management of booking, rental and subscription through Uptown apps. The price of 0.10 euro/min is less than half of the free flow char sharing and also provides for free registration to Share’ngo. The service will be active with the first admissions to Uptwon from spring – summer 2019; a demo car with its own charging station will be available from mid-May this year for anyone visiting Uptown at Cascina Merlata.All rights reserved