Earlier this year, The International Center was invited to work closely with France’s Bolloré Group and the City of Indianapolis to help launch BlueIndy, Indianapolis’ electric vehicle (EV) sharing service. BlueIndy is America’s largest electric car sharing program, and we love the mass transportation solution it presents to Indianapolis residents! Car sharing is a safe, efficient, and environmentally-friendly transportation option, and the 100% electric BlueIndy vehicles are poised to decrease pollution and facilitate mass transit in Indianapolis. Vehicle sharing services are a global phenomenon, and BlueIndy has many terrific international peers. We’ve done some research on these services, and today we’re excited to share with you five other great vehicle sharing programs from around the world!
1. Car2Go (Ulm, Germany & Elsewhere)
A subsidiary of German automotive corporation Daimler AG, Car2Go is the world’s largest car sharing service, with more than 1 million members. The program was introduced in Ulm, Germany, in 2008, and now serves 8 countries and 29 cities across the globe. The 8 countries in which Car2Go operates are: Germany (of course!), the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, Austria, Italy, Denmark, and Sweden. Car2Go offers both gas-powered and fully electric vehicles, and charges a per-minute rate, with discounted fixed rates for hourly and daily usage also available. Car2Go members can utilize mobile apps to locate and reserve vehicles. Visit Car2Go’s official website to find out if the program is active in your city!
2. Kandi EV CarShare (Hangzhou, China)
Hangzhou residents can sign up for the Kandi EV CarShare program, which operates with a fleet of Kandi EV all-electric cars – just like BlueIndy! The Kandi EVs are available for customers to pick up from automated garages, which operate similarly to vending machines. Per hour, the Kandi rental price is $3.25 in U.S. dollars. Users can also opt in to a leasing program, which costs $130 to $160 U.S. dollars per month for 1 to 3 year contracts. The Kandi leasing program also covers charging power, maintenance, and insurance costs. You can read more about Kandi EV CarShare in this Forbes article.
3. Communauto (Quebec City, Canada)
Founded in 1994 in Quebec City, Communauto operates car sharing services in four metropolitan areas of the Canadian province of Quebec: Montreal, Quebec City, Gatineau and Sherbrooke. There are approximately 40,000 Communauto users, who share the company’s fleet of approximately 1350 vehicles. The majority of Communauto vehicles are gas-powered, although the company also offers many hybrid and fully electric cars. Learn more about Communauto on its official website.
4. Times Car Plus (Tokyo, Japan)
Japanese parking garage company Park24 Co. launched Times Car Plus in 2009. It is now Japan’s largest car sharing service, with 400,000 members. Park24 charges Times Car Plus members 206 yen ($1.73 U.S. dollars) for every 15 minutes of use, a fee that also covers gas and insurance. It costs 1,550 yen ($13 U.S. dollars) for new users to register for Times Car Plus, and all members must pay a monthly fee of 1,030 yen ($8.66 U.S. dollars) after registering. Times Car Plus offers access to 22 different vehicles, including the hybrid Toyota Prius and the electric Mitsubishi i-MiEV. To learn more about Times Car Plus, visit the official website or read this article about car sharing in the The Japan Times.
5. Autolib’ (Paris, France & Elsewhere)
Created in 2011 by the Bolloré Group as an evolution of the Paris Velib’ bicycle-sharing program, Autolib’ is BlueIndy’s direct ancestor and immediate predecessor. Autolib’ operates on the same principle as BlueIndy: the service employs a fleet of fully electric Bolloré Bluecars for subscriber use, and maintains a network of parking and charging stations throughout the city of Paris. There are approximately 2,500 Bluecars in Paris (with more than 4,000 charging points), and the Autolib’ service has upwards of 155,000 subscribing members. Autolib’ has been expanded to Lyon (as Bluely) and Bordeaux (as Bluecub) in France, London in England (name to be determined), and Indianapolis in the United States (as, of course, BlueIndy).
By Ephraim Rudolph, Marketing & Communications Intern