Expert Session: car sharing
Is car sharing a fit for your company? One Athlon Expert. One topic. Five answers. This article brings you insights in car sharing for business mobility by our specialist Ronald Van Slooten.
Why is car sharing interesting in Business Mobility?
Shared vehicles can increase overall efficiency because they handle more trips, do more mileage, and serve more drivers per day than assigned vehicles. These shared vehicles save costs because a customer only pays for the vehicle when it’s used and a company has less need for parking on their premises. It’s reliable and convenient. Employees have a car at their disposal whenever the need is there. It’s mobility on demand. Car sharing not only saves costs, you also reduce your company’s environmental impact. That’s a win-win situation.
What is your advice to customers who are thinking about introducing car sharing to (of for) their employees?
Always start by defining your overall fleet & mobility strategy. This includes profiling your employees (What are their mobility needs? How and when do they move?) and setting general goals for your fleet based on your company’s unique situation. If car sharing matches your company’s mobility needs then focus on the practicalities. Decide on the type of vehicles that suit your employees best and on the number of vehicles you require to cover the need. Shared vehicles are best placed on a fixed parking space so they are easy to find and identify.
If people need convincing, an extra reward and motivation in creating new habits can be considered. To persuade people to use the shared vehicles instead of their own, you need to gain their trust and make them act. The behavior must become a habit. It’s psychology. The message is: ‘Car sharing is in tune with your lifestyle. It’s easy, reliable and always available when you need it.’ Change comes one step at a time. Once you gained the trust and you convinced the first adopters, you can start experimenting with different sorts of vehicles like electric vehicles for instance.
Which type of customer or fleet will benefit from car sharing in their fleet & mobility policy?
That’s an easy one: every customer and fleet can benefit from car sharing. Athlon Share is a multi-brand solution. Which means we offer all makes and types of vehicles. Passenger cars, minibuses or vans. Athlon consults and the customer decides. When an employee needs a vehicle, they can reserve it using an app. No administrative hassle for the fleet manager because the app can also be used to open the vehicle and for damage control.
How will COVID-19 impact the car sharing trend?
I’m not sure at this stage which way it will go. Personally, I am still a strong believer and advocate of the car sharing model. One reason is that individual mobility has multiple benefits when compared to public transportation in these days of social distancing. On the other hand, the car sharing solutions in a free floating set-up, as you find in cities, are heavily impacted by COVID-19. Users can book those vehicles for any duration but expect that all safety precautions are taken and that the car is cleaned to high standards to avoid contamination. The handling of these precautions is an extra workload and cost for the car sharing provider, but most of them are coming up with innovative and effective solutions to ensure their customer’s safety.
"Athlon’s car sharing solution is based on a close community set-up. This means that the community is limited to employees of one company and the vehicle starts and returns within one booking at the same point."
In this context it’s important to mention that Athlon’s car sharing solution, is based on a close community set-up. This means that the community is limited to employees of one company and the vehicle starts and returns within one booking at the same point. As it is a solution for business trips, the duration of bookings is most of the times longer. This way the safety precautions are easier to handle, the car can be thoroughly cleaned after each use, and employees can be provided with clear guidelines on how they can best protect themselves and their colleagues.
Why should customers choose Athlon as partner for a car sharing solution?
Our car sharing solution is multi-brand, can be applied to vehicles in your current fleet and is an enabler to more sustainable mobility. It’s an easy journey from start to finish. We have been gaining experience with the formula for more than 7 years now. Combined with our other fleet & mobility solutions, Athlon offers a flexible solution for all types of employees. Athlon Share is currently available in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and Spain.