We should bring this to Europe!

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carsharer on June 24, 2007  · 

About the Car-sharing Movement
The founders of City CarShare got the idea from Germany. For years, many of us in the environmental movement had been reading articles about Stattauto, in Berlin. It wasn’t the only car-sharing organization in Europe, but it was the one that we heard about the most. Stattauto, meaning “instead of cars,” was started by two brothers and some friends who began sharing cars to save money in 1988.

so.. nothing to import from europe….

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David on June 24, 2007  · 


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David on June 24, 2007  · 

They have Green Wheels here in Holland.

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DutchClick on June 24, 2007  · 

So sorry Martin, but we have had this for years in The Netherlands. According to the Society for Shared Use of Cars (www.autodate.nl) there are still 4 clubs that do this in The Netherlands.
In every city you will find the signs and the cars…

For sure they will they will have the same initiatives in Germany, because they are quite green too.

But great that you saw this, because I expect you to have quite an audience! Green is GOOD!!

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Henrik Ahlen on June 24, 2007  · 

Martin: you have an amazing ability to find upcoming trends, products and services with great potential!

I think the driving factor that will expand the car pooling systems is the environment. If the operators are smart and quickly adopt to using the latest “environmental-friendly” cars such as Toyota Prius hybrids etc and make their reservation systems dead easy I think this can grow to a very big market.

Just think of it: most of us urbanites are really not that interested in OWNING a car, that is; shelling out EUR 30.000, taking care of it, finding parking spaces, service it etc. We just want the freedom it gives us to travel when we want and transport our stuff sometimes.

In Stockholm there are incredible advantages offered to cars classified as “environmental-friendly”, low-emission, hybrids, ethanol etc. They can park for free anywhere in public parking spaces and they do not have to pay the upcoming car tolls at all.

To me it is clear that these systems need to be very flexible. I want to be able to reserve a car using my mobile phone or on the web, and be able to change my booking anytime.

Ideal would be if all cars had GPS-tracking, so that I could see where the closes car is located and reserve it, and then be able to leave it anywhere withing the city limits.
GPS-tracking would also increase security and open up for additional services to be offered. Does anyone use something like this now?

I found these:

1. Zipcar has been around in the US and Canada since 1999: http://www.zipcar.com/
2. StattAuto in Berlin operates since 1990 and has some interesting information: http://www.eaue.de/winuwd/86.htm
3. Mobility in Switzerland is also one of the pioneers: http://www.mobility.ch/pages/index.cfm?dom=6
4. City Car Share, the one Martin mentions in San Francisco: http://www.citycarshare.org/

Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carsharing

I am very interested in this, since it combines two of my biggest interests: business development from a user perspective and doing something for the environment. Who else wants to discuss this?

Regards, Henrik Ahlen, Stockholm, Sweden 🙂

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Antoin O Lachtnain on June 24, 2007  · 

There are a few companies doing this in London – for example:


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Robert Stonehouse on June 24, 2007  · 

There are at least two schemes like this in the UK. See streetcar and citycarclub. Great idea
There are also car pooling sites such as liftshare but then you require finding someone making the same journey.

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clive darr on June 24, 2007  · 

we already have something similar called “streetcar” in london !

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Henrik Ahlen on June 24, 2007  · 

Great to hear that there are many companies operating also in Europe. But it is interesting to see all the comments here where it seems that you are all positive to the idea but not using it yourselves?

So I wonder why? Please tell us what is refraining you from using these services!

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Carlos Sanchez on June 25, 2007  · 

Tambien lo hay en Los Angeles desde hace años

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Henri on June 25, 2007  · 

And to add to the list, in Switzerland, we have (for several years now) a car sharing called mobility (www.mobility.ch). Of course, this not being America, we do not (yet?) have multiple car sharing providers and thus no competition etc.

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masolae on June 25, 2007  · 

In Italy government supports municipalities for carsharing projects.
Excerpt from the site

In Italy, after some pilot trials and a brief running-in period, Car Sharing is by now a tried and tested reality, fully operational in 6 cities and in expansion all over the country; 5 of these cities are within the National Circuit ICS, while the Milan operator is not yet part of the circuit. The first cities of the ICS circuit to offer a service were Venice and Bologna, followed by Turin, Rimini, Genoa and Modena. Car Sharing will also be soon active in Parma, Florence and Palermo. Meanwhile, in the Province of Milan, in Rome, Brescia and Reggio Emilia the system is in its planning stage.

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Lance Knobel on June 26, 2007  · 

Here in the Bay Area, those favoring car shares have three choices: CityCarShare, which Martin highlighted, Zipcar and and Flexcar. Flexcar and Zipcar are for-profit companies; CityCarShare is a non-profit. I’m a huge fan and user of CityCarShare, which enables our family to survive here with only one car rather than the two that most professional-class families have. The Bay Area is also unusual in the American context in having decent (but not great) public transport, so car share schemes can work very well.

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Henrik Ahlen on June 27, 2007  · 

It is obvious from these comments that car sharing is a popular idea with many people, but the actual market is still very small. Just the fact that Martin has never heard of it in Europe says something about how small it still is.

I think there is a huge obstacle in people’s wish to be in total control and claim there own personal “sphere” in their cars. So a lot of evangelism about safe, convenient car sharing is needed.

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maurice on June 27, 2007  · 

as some people allready mentioned: car sharing is allready a very VERY big thing in switzerland. at almost EVERY trainstation you have the possibility to pick up a car (mobility). the federal train operator is pushing it heavily… hey and if someone is interesting in investing: its a cooperative company. anybody can.. 😉
they have also sport cars in ther fleet, etc. etc.
i know a lot of people who use it. its very easy to use and why buy a car when you use it only 1 time per month?

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