The Uber ridesharing market is saturated

Growth in the car sharing market: sharing is more and more popular

The shared car market continues to grow, the strong growth is slowing. Now the industry association sees politics as an obligation.

More and more people only use cars now and then. Photo: dpa

BERLINtaz | The car sharing market in Germany continued to grow over the past year. 1.26 million users were registered as of January 1, 2016, as the Federal CarSharing Association (BCS) announced yesterday in Berlin. That is 220,000 users more than in the previous year. The actual number is likely to be lower, however, since some of the customers are registered with several providers.

Overall, the new customer numbers correspond to an increase of 21.2 percent. Compared to the previous year, growth was therefore a good 16 percentage points lower. "The growth is a little more subdued," said BCS Managing Director Willi Loose. Nevertheless, they are satisfied with the development.

Among other things, providers withdrawals from the market are responsible for the weaker growth. At the same time, there were significant differences in growth between the different car sharing variants. While the number of customers for station-independent offers such as DriveNow or Car2Go rose by almost 26 percent, the number of users of station-based services only rose by a good 13 percent.

The vehicle fleets increased by 4.5 percent to a total of 16,100 cars in the same period. In addition, the number of cities and municipalities in which car sharing is available increased by 47 locations and is now 537. Here, too, there is a clear difference between the car sharing variants. While the four station-independent services operated by car companies are only available in 12 major cities, the station-based offers are spread across the whole of the country and theoretically reach up to 37 million inhabitants, according to BCS.

Association hopes for car sharing law

Loose denied whether the car sharing boom could soon come to an end due to declining growth: “The market is not yet saturated. If we can remove further obstacles, there is still significant potential for growth. ”For him, these include, among other things, the current car sharing law.

In the future, for example, municipalities could designate parking spaces specifically for car sharing services much more easily. "This means that car sharing is more present and moves closer to the customers," says Loose. This is particularly important. "We have to give people the feeling that they are just as mobile without their own car."

Oliver Wolff, VDV managing director

"We have to use the street space intelligently"

He received support from Oliver Wolff, General Manager of the Association of German Transport Companies (VDV): “The car sharing model has a future. The street space cannot be expanded at will, so we have to use it intelligently. ”For him, this includes further expansion of public transport and car sharing offers. In these areas, not least from an ecological perspective, politics is called for even more than before. “The federal government has a duty to work out a holistic transport concept. Funding for electric cars is not enough. "

Electromobility is slowly gaining a foothold in the car sharing market. Currently, 10 percent of vehicles are electric cars. According to Loose, obstacles to expansion are the high acquisition costs - and the preferences of the users. If the fleets are mixed, customers prefer cars with internal combustion engines.