deutsch

Carsharing 90|10

■ Introduction
▼ Innovative Fleet Logistics
▼ Demand scenario
▼ Division of labour with public transport
▼ Use Cases & Pricing
▼ User Journey & Target Groups
▼ Ecological & Social Benefits
▼ Implementation Prospects

Introduction

Carsharing 90|10 is a concept how Carsharing could become a viable alternative to car ownership outside urban areas too:

  • 90% of the population have a rental station in walkable distance*

  • With a market share of at least 10% efficient operation is possible even in a rural environment*

  • Maximum flexibility: spontaneous one-way use (borrowing and returning at different stations)

  • High reliability: Unavailability of vehicles or other service disruptions do not more often lead to delayed arrival of users than common for existing means of transport
*: under Austrian geographic conditions (see
demand scenario for details)
▲ Introduction
■ Innovative Fleet Logistics
▼ Demand scenario
▼ Division of labour with public transport
▼ Use Cases & Pricing
▼ User Journey & Target Groups
▼ Ecological & Social Benefits
▼ Implementation Prospects

Innovative Fleet Logistics

The biggest challenge for flexible vehicle sharing systems outside urban areas is not insufficient demand, but ensuring sufficiently even distribution of vehicles to guarantee availability at any time and at any part of the served area. Without further measures, peripheral rental stations would run out of vehicles during the day and more centrally located rental stations during the night as there is a certain concentration of workplaces in urban areas. Furthermore, in rural and suburban areas there is a need for more reliability as compared to urban areas there is less public transport available as a backup option.
According to the Carsharing 90|10 concept, these challenges are addressed by four steps:

  1. The fleet of Carsharing 90|10 is a mix of battery electric cars of usual size (5-seaters) and of 2-seater light electric vehicles. As most car trips are done by the driver alone and the average occupancy of a car is 1,2 - 1,4 persons, a 2-seater light electric vehicle is sufficient for most trips. These smaller vehicles are cheaper to purchase and to maintain and they need less electricity and battery resources. For trips with more luggage or with two or more children, there are also 5-seaters available.

  2. The big advantage of light electric vehicles for the rental systems is the possibility to relocate them from a (nearly) full to a (nearly) empty rental station much easier than conventional 5-seater cars. For a quick and handy transportation roll-off containers are used: The hook-lift loading system is the same as for roll-off containers used in the waste management and construction industries, enabling a truck to drop off and pick up a container anywhere to resp. from the street surface without any stationary equipment. It is not necessary to employ truck drivers and hook-lift trucks exclusively for operation of Carsharing 90|10, relocation of vehicles can also be carried out by local companies that use hook-lift trucks for other purposes too, e.g. for waste management.

    The only stationary parts of a rental station are a sufficient number of charging poles for charging the vehicles between the trips. For light-electric vehicles, a 3-pin 240V household-plug is appropriate, the larger electric cars need common electric-car charging sockets. The container itself is a tailor-made construction for the transportation of light electric vehicles with lateral flaps making it easier to drive onto the container and serving for load securing. The container is symmetrical to its longitudinal axis so it can be dropped from both sides without consideration of "right" and "left" containers in fleet management.

    The example light electric vehicle for this concept is the Renault Mobilize Duo. This light electric vehicle, the successor of the Renault Twizy, is extraordinarily compact, compared to other vehicles of at least 80 km/h top speed: On a roll-off container of 7,5m length it is possible to park five of them transversely. Using trucks with trailers, it is possible to relocate two containers, in total 10 vehicles at once but with a trailer, dropping of and picking up roll-off containers is much more complicated and containers as well as the trailer must be parked in the street space during the unloading and loading procedure.

  3. Disparities concerning the distribution of 5-seater cars are balanced by users who deliberately take a 5-seater car although a light electric vehicle would be enough if they are going from a rental station with rather to many 5-seater cars to a rental station with rather too few of them.

  4. All passenger flows bundled concerning time and direction are covered by performant public transport. This concerns in particular commuter flows during peak hours between rural or suburban villages (of a certain minimum size) and a workplace in the regional or supra-regional centre. Thanks to the flexible sharing system is it possible to use public transport in one direction and Carsharing 90|10 in the other direction. This solves the problem that people often don't want to commute by public transport because the timetable is optimized for commuter peak hours but they want the flexibility to stay at the town of their workplace longer than until the last departure towards their home village.

About incentives for users to take the option that is most favourable for fleet logistics (light electric vehicle, 5-seater car or public transport) see below in the paragraph about pricing.

A further optimisation of the fleet logistics could be achieved by targeted ridesharing: When two users have trips (nearly) the same time and direction they could ride together if it is favourable for fleet logistics, or separately, if there are more vehicles needed at the destination than at the origin station. Anyway, such an integration of carsharing and ridesharing is not a core element of Carsharing 90|10 because Carsharing 90|10 shall not be dependent on the social acceptance of ridesharing.
▲ Introduction
▲ Innovative Fleet Logistics
■ Demand scenario
▼ Division of labour with public transport
▼ Use Cases & Pricing
▼ User Journey & Target Groups
▼ Ecological & Social Benefits
▼ Implementation Prospects

Demand scenario

According to grid data of Statistik Austria, 90% of the Austrian population live in areas with a population density of at least 100 inhabitants per square kilometre (referred to 1x1 km grid cells). If there is a rental station implemented in the middle of each 1x1 km grid cell with at least 100 inhabitants, 90% of Austria's population have a rental station within a distance of less than 700m beeline. Real access distance is for the vast majority of the users significantly shorter: first because the population of most grid cells is more than 100 inhabitants and second because under consideration of the real distribution of the population rental stations can be placed much better than just in the middle of random grid cells.
In the map below, grid cells that shall be served by at least one rental station as they have more than 100 inhabitants are shown in dark purple, those with more than 500 inhabitants in orange colour:

The second objective is that a market share of 10% shall be enough to operate the rental system efficiently. Starting again from the catchment area of the smallest reasonable rental station with 100 inhabitants, we assume a realistic, heterogeneous subgroup of 10 users with an exemplary daily mobility pattern. The group is completed by two incoming users who live outside the grid cell, but carry out certain activities there:


If a rental station has space for 12 vehicles and there shall never be less than 2 vehicles available, the arrival and departure times according to the assumed daily routine of the users lead to the result that there are never more than 7 vehicles at the rental station and there are always at least 5 empty parking pitches. In this example, the minimum of two available vehicles would be touched only for 20 minutes per day, most of the time four or more vehicles are available.
At such an exemplary smallest possible rental station (100 inhabitants in the catchment area, 10% market share), on average there are 4,47 vehicles present at the station. Under the assumption of an average trip duration of 20 minutes, of which 10 minutes can be counted for the origin station and 10 minutes for the destination station, the number of vehicles calculatively related to the exemplary rental station is 4,63. Per 10 (participating) inhabitants this value is significantly lower than the car ownership rates of 550 up to more than 700 cars per 1000 inhabitants in the rural and suburban regions of Austria. Furthermore, in contrary to car ownership, a significant share of the vehicles used for Carsharing 90|10 is light electric vehicles, leading to lower consumption of resources per vehicle.
In case of this exemplary smallest possible rental station only 2,63 out of 4,63 average vehicles are used during the exemplary day, over 40% of the vehicles represent spare vehicles for unexpected temporal distribution of demand. Nevertheless, if every rental station would have not more demand than this one, every vehicle would be used on average 2,4 times per day. The bigger the rental stations and the more demand within their catchment area, the lower the need for spare vehicles: First because individual deviations from daily routine have less relative effect and second because in case of more population density there is often another rental station in walkable distance as a backup in case of the next station being completely empty or completely full. A population density of 100 inhabitants per km² at a market share (modal split) of 10% means a good lower threshold for Carsharing 90|10 to be still clearly more efficient than individual car ownership. Considering the fact, that it is the lower limit and most of the rental stations have more population within their catchment area, real fleet utilisation will be significantly better.

10% might seem to be a (unrealistically) high market share at first sight, compared to vital, highly competitive markets with many market players as for example the market of car manufacturers. In this case, 10% is meant as the modal split share of a new means of transportation, not the market share of one manufacturer or provider out of several players, offering similar services. Within the currently still inexistent market of highly flexible rural or suburban carsharing, characteristics of a natural monopoly are given to significant extent. This means, that there won't be so much competition on the market, but rather for the market in the meaning of which company will have the possibility to serve certain regions (regulation or public service contracts - see the section about implementation prospects.)
▲ Introduction
▲ Innovative Fleet Logistics
▲ Demand scenario
■ Division of labour with public transport
▼ Use Cases & Pricing
▼ User Journey & Target Groups
▼ Ecological & Social Benefits
▼ Implementation Prospects

Division of labour with public transport

From users as well as from public perspective, Carsharing 90|10 is superior to scheduled public transport in the following cases:

  • For car-independent accessibility of villages that represent enough demand for operation of Carsharing 90|10 (according to the scenario described above), but not enough for a popular regular interval timetable of public transport during the whole day.

  • For trips which can be done by scheduled public transport only when accepting long indirect routes or waiting times during interchanging. In rural areas, even the principle of integrated clock-face timetabling doesn't help to solve this issue because in regional public transport the grid of integrated timetable hubs is much more wide-mashed than the road network and the distribution of villages. Inappropriately long travel time compared to relatively short distance concern for example the following trip types:
    • Trips from one small village to another, e.g. for leisure activities, visiting friends, personal care services or commuting to a workplace outside a regional or supra-regional centre
    • Trips between a small village and a regional centre, that is not the closest regional centre and therefore not that well accessible by public transport. Such trips can be for work or leisure purposes if the suitable workplace or the chosen leisure facility is not located in the closest regional centre.
    • Trips in counterpeak direction in the meaning of from centre to periphery in the morning and from periphery to centre in the afternoon or evening. Counterpeak commuting takes place in case of night shift work or to and from rurally located workplaces.

  • For trips in the late evening or during the night

  • For transporting items that are too big or too heavy to carry them in public transport and to and from the station

Scheduled public transport fulfils a backbone function as it is popular and efficient either for long distance or whenever many people travel the same route in the same direction at the same time. This concerns interregional connections mainly provided by rail up to high-speed trains, but also trains and buses operating on regional main routes. The latter run in half-hourly to hourly intervals connecting regional centres as well as larger villages between them. During peak hours, smaller villages are also connected by additional bus routes in order to relieve the carsharing system from unbalanced commuter flows.

For people that do not have a driving license or are not allowed to drive a car for health reasons a comprehensive demand-responsive public-transport service is established. Unlike scheduled public transport, getting more efficient with growing demand, high-quality demand-responsive transport with short waiting times doesn't achieve much better occupancy than individual car traffic, so in this market segment, more demand means rather more costs and more emissions. Therefore it is better to offer a high-quality carsharing service (as Carsharing 90|10) to those who don't have a car, but are able to drive a car and serve by demand-responsive public transport only those who really need it.

In most regions it would be reasonable to adapt the timetables of scheduled public transport after introduction of Carsharing 90|10 and comprehensive on-demand public transport: On one hand, bus services with a few departures spread over the day and confusing roundabout routes should be cancelled, on the other hand intervals on backbone services should be shortened and complementary peak-hour services implemented.
▲ Introduction
▲ Innovative Fleet Logistics
▲ Demand scenario
▲ Division of labour with public transport
■ Use Cases & Pricing
▼ User Journey & Target Groups
▼ Ecological & Social Benefits
▼ Implementation Prospects

Use Cases & Pricing

Division of labour between public transport and Carsharing 90|10 doesn't always concern the trip as a whole, but also different legs of the same trip. All use cases begin with a walk or bike ride to the rental station or public transport stop and end with a similar last mile at the other end of the trip. Who doesn't want to do such daily physical exercise of mostly 10-20 minutes in total could still buy an electric kick-scooter in order to overcome the distance to the rental station.
In detail, there are the following exemplary use-cases:

  1. Carsharing 90|10 for the whole trip: Short and medium distance within rural and suburban areas, in particular in off-peak hours and/or off backbone routes of public transport.

  2. Public transport for the whole trip: Along backbone lines of public regional transport from larger villages to regional or supra-regional centres or between the latter, during peak hours from and to smaller villages too.

  3. Combination of public transport and Carsharing 90|10 at one end of the trip: Medium and longer trips between a small village that is not connected to public transport on one side and a regional or supra-regional centre on the other side. Interchanging to public transport is useful if either so many people commute to the respective centre that to many vehicles would otherwise be accumulating there and missing on the periphery or if the trip is long enough to make it cheaper and more popular for the users to take the train or bus as they can spend the travel time more usefully than steering a car. The longer the travelled distance and the faster the public transport, the more likely it makes sense to interchange between Carsharing 90|10 instead of driving the whole trip by Carsharing 90|10.

  4. Combination of public transport and Carsharing 90|10 at both ends of the trip: If the trip is long enough, it pays off to use public transport, for example long distance trains, even if both ends of the trip are accessible only by a carsharing vehicle.

  5. Door-to-door transport: It is inevitable that for the driver to go by foot, bike or kickscooter to and from the rental station before and after using Carsharing 90|10. Anyway, the driver can stop over at home or at another location in order to pick up or drop off bulky luggage or a person of reduced mobility.

Instead of establishing a new route planning and booking system, Carsharing 90|10 should be integrated in existing trip planners and ticketing systems of public transport, so users always see travel options in public transport to compare. Season tickets should be valid not only for scheduled public transport, but also for Carsharing 90|10 and for on-demand public transport. In order to make the division of labour between public transport and Carsharing 90|10 work as intended and as necessary for efficient fleet logistics, users must be incentivised to make the right decisions between light electric vehicle, 5-seater car or public transport. These incentives can be different according to the framing conditions of the respective region:

As a compromise between spontaneous use on one hand and reliability resp. predictability of vehicle relocation needs, it seems reasonable to allow, but not to oblige users to book vehicles in advance. In case of no-show, a reservation is cancelled after a short time automatically and the number of free cancellations per user and month is limited.
▲ Introduction
▲ Innovative Fleet Logistics
▲ Demand scenario
▲ Division of labour with public transport
▲ Use Cases & Pricing
■ User Journey & Target Groups
▼ Ecological & Social Benefits
▼ Implementation Prospects

User Journey & Target Groups

All target groups of Carsharing 90|10 must be somehow active in rural or suburban areas - living or working there or at least leaving the city from time to time for leisure or business purposes, visiting friends or other activities.
As a further attribute of the target groups, they either don't own a car already now (or only one car in a multi-person household) or might at least consider to live without an own car resp. with fewer cars in their household if there are viable alternatives for personal mobility.
These attribute probably applies for the following, partly overlapping groups:

  • People with too low income resp. insufficient savings or creditworthiness for buying a car

  • Multi-person households with a second or even third car that is used rather infrequently

  • People of generally pragmatic or ecologically motivated mobility behaviour

  • People experiencing the possession of a car and the care for it more as a burden than as a pleasure

  • Urban inhabitants using their car only for occasional trips outside their city

A user journey for a realistic exemplary household is accessible here as a PDF file (opens in new window).
▲ Introduction
▲ Innovative Fleet Logistics
▲ Demand scenario
▲ Division of labour with public transport
▲ Use Cases & Pricing
▲ User Journey & Target Groups
■ Ecological & Social Benefits
▼ Implementation Prospects

Ecological & Social Benefits

As a direct ecological benefit compared to individually owned battery electric cars Carsharing 90|10 means less demand for vehicles in total and a smaller size and range of the average vehicle. These three factors together lead to a significantly lower demand of battery raw materials and energy, for operation as well as for the production of the vehicles.

As an indirect ecological benefit Carsharing 90|10 makes it easier to decommission combustion-driven cars because inhabitants of rural and suburban regions can switch to carbon-free mobility without purchasing a battery electric car that is much more expensive than the petrol or gasoline driven car used before.

The avoidance of purchase costs for cars represents a social benefit too, allowing full social participation also for people who can't afford an own (electric) car. Furthermore the reduced demand for battery capacity means less exploitation of workers in mining of battery raw materials and less dependence on countries exporting them.

As an advantage over autonomous robotaxis there is no doubt that comprehensive application of Carsharing 90|10 in a rural environment is technically feasible and despite costs are unknown in the current concept state they are much more predictable than those of autonomous robotaxis. Despite the fact that self-driving robotaxis are already in use in some cities, conditions on roads out of town are much more complicated and the effort for digitalisation of the extensive rural road network is much higher than in an urban environment. It is still possible that in rural and suburban areas, autonomous robotaxis will even in a long-term perspective remain technically unfeasible or just significantly more expensive than Carsharing 90|10. Carsharing 90|10 doesn't require big long-term investments, so it can be smoothly replaced by robotaxis after some years if they become feasible outside urban areas too.

As a benefit compared to the sole improvement of scheduled and on-demand public transport Carsharing 90|10 offers a better ratio between costs and quality of the mobility services:

  • For efficient utilisation, vehicles and rental stations of Carsharing 90|10 need some minimum demand over the whole day, but it is not crucial how this demand spreads over the hours of the day and over various origin-destination routes. In contrary to that, in scheduled public transport every single bus or train should achieve some minimum reasonable load factor.

  • Carsharing 90|10 can be used for the whole variety of origin-destination pairs in rural and suburban regions without long roundabout routes and waiting times (neither for the next departure nor for interchanging).

  • Reducing the disadvantages of long roundabout routes and waiting times in scheduled public transport would require radical increase of service frequency, establishing an integrated clock-face timetable also on a small-scale level. This would require a lot of bus drivers at very low average occupancy of the buses. In contrary to that, Carsharing 90|10 requires drivers only for relocation of vehicles in case of uneven distribution of the fleet.

  • High quality on-demand public transport with relatively short time between booking and ride also means much personnel costs and under consideration of empty runs roughly the same poor occupancy as in individual car traffic. Because of this, on-demand public transport shall be provided for social reasons as guaranteed mobility for people without a driving licence but for people able and allowed to drive a car, Carsharing 90|10 is economically and financially more efficient.

As a benefit for electricity grids and renewable energy charging of rental vehicles can better be aligned with the condition of the power grid and the current yield of renewable energy than individual cars, including bidirectional charging. This is possible because idle vehicles are continuously connected to a charging station and in case of several vehicles standing at a rental station, not each of them must be completely charged as soon as possible. In contrary to individual cars, users can solve range issues by changing a car with low charge level to a charged car at any rental station. This side-benefit compensates the disadvantage of a high number of charging poles per number of vehicles. Furthermore, it must be considered that light electric vehicles require less power output for charging than 5-seater cars and that not every car connected to the charging station needs full charging power at the same time.

Sustainable mobility solutions are not less necessary in rural and suburban regions than in big cities. Traffic in rural areas is less visible than urban traffic as it is spread over a larger area and a more extensive road network and it isn't affected by the same capacity restrictions (congestion, lack of parking space) as urban traffic. But inhabitants of rural areas do longer trips and for missing alternative mobility options they use much more the car than people from urban areas: In Austria's peripheral counties (as defined in the nationwide mobility survey "Österreich unterwegs"), the average inhabitant travels 41 km per working day, in Vienna only 28 km. Inhabitants of the peripheral counties cover 63% of this distance by car (as a driver), Viennese people only 37%. The peripheral counties account for 46% of the Austrian population but 56% of the passenger-kilometres covered as a car driver.


▲ Introduction
▲ Innovative Fleet Logistics
▲ Demand scenario
▲ Division of labour with public transport
▲ Use Cases & Pricing
▲ User Journey & Target Groups
▲ Ecological & Social Benefits
■ Implementation Prospects
Carsharing 90|10 also helps solving urban transport-related problems: In the small villages, where the main target groups of Carsharing 90|10 live, land demand for transportation is not that critical as in urban areas, but towns of regional importance do have issues with congestion and parking space requirements not compatible with town centres that evolved before motorization. For this situation, Carsharing 90|10 has the advantage that a part of the vehicles is smaller than conventional cars and thanks to the sharing principle they may be parked for a shorter time than individually owned cars.
Realizing Carsharing 90|10 in many regions would also help to reduce car ownership in big cities as many urban inhabitants own a car only for the possibility to access rural leisure destinations.

Implementation Prospects

Depending on the transport-related framework conditions of the concerned country or region, Carsharing 90|10 can be implemented either only as a public service contract or as commercial initiative too:

Public Service ContractCommercial Initiative
Framework conditions:
  • Low fare level in public transport
  • Great importance of season tickets
  • Dense route network in scheduled public transport
  • On-demand public transport orchestrated on a national or regional level
  • Low taxes on fuels and/or car ownership
  • No low-emission zones, bans for combustion-driven cars etc.
Framework conditions:
  • High fare level in public transport
  • Minor importance of season tickets
  • High-quality public transport timetables only on backbone services
  • On-demand public transport organised on local level or missing at all
  • High taxes on fuel and/or car ownership
  • Strict emission laws and/or compulsory phasing out of combustion-driven cars
Public authorities adapt service network and timetables of scheduled public transport and procure operation of Carsharing 90|10 as a public service contract (eventually in course of one single tender together with scheduled public transport).A company operates Carsharing 90|10 without any contractual relationship with public authorities.
The costs for the provision of Carsharing 90|10 are borne by the public but at least partly financed from user fees, cost savings in scheduled and on-demand public transport as well as by reduced commuter's tax allowances.The company provides Carsharing 90|10 on its own commercial risk, bears all costs and covers them entirely by user fees.

In my view, in Austria and many other central European countries implementation would be possible only through a public service contract because current framework conditions lead to a low willingness to pay for passenger transportation services. On the other hand, under these conditions public authorities can save money by partly replacing scheduled public transport by Carsharing 90|10 and reduced eligibility for tax allowances granted to commuters who need an own car to get to work. In other countries there might be already today or in future framework conditions for commercial implementation, so there it would not be necessary to convince public authorities, but "only" to find investors.

For pilot applications geographically isolated areas would be particularly suitable, for example islands or areas separated by mountains, rivers or nature reserves. A pilot area well interconnected with the surrounding road network would be unfavourable as Carsharing 90|10 could not be used for many trips just because the origin or the destination is beyond the boundary of the pilot area.
A pilot application in a touristic region would have the advantage of making the concept known amongst a wider audience and of higher demand thanks to tourists. On the other hand, the advantage of the higher demand in a touristic region means the disadvantage of poor significance and transferability of the results to other regions. This disadvantage could be overcome in case of seasonal tourism as skiing or beach vacations making the off-season period representative for non-touristic regions too.

References:

Contact: Harald Buschbacher * * * E-Mail * * * Website