Car2go offers interesting EV business model
Expensive EVs a bargain to share?
When it comes to plug-in vehicles, batteries are a huge issue. They’re just too damn expensive. Someday this will change, but to create batteries that are as cheap as ICE at $3.50 gallon could take decades according to a considerable amount of research.
Yes, an unexpected breakthrough could rewrite the battery game, but the key to real EV penetration, until much cheaper batteries, might be alternative business models, such as the battery swapping plans of a Better Place. Thus, instead of owning an expensive battery, consumers simply buy a certain amount of energy, or range.
Car sharing is shaping up to be another great EV business model.
Today, Car2go offers car sharing services in several US, Canadian and European cities. Basically, a number of Car2go vehicles are located within certain geozones which these vehicles never leave. Car2go members simply locate a car in their geozone for travel within their geozone, and are charged by the minute. Once the destination is reached, the car is simply left at the destination.
In most major cities, such vehicles could wipe out the need for car ownership for many commuters. Even if several miles from a proper light rail or subway station, Car2go can provide a cost-effective solution. Weekend errands? No problem. And as patterns emerge, one assumes Car2go will adapt to better meet the needs of its subscribers.
Moreover, whenever a subscriber has to venture further outside the Car2go geozone, an occasional car rental would still be vastly cheaper than owning and maintaining even an econobox, let alone a plug-in vehicle.
Add auto-drive and networked driving to this business model — technologies that will be available to the public within the next decade — and car sharing might truly offer a shocking alternative to car ownership that is safer, more convenient, and far cheaper.
This Fall Car2go will add expand to San Diego, CA and offer 300 SmartForTwo Electric vehicles for car sharing services – can’t wait until they head north to LA.