Mobility-as-a-Service: future-proof flexibility and freedom

In an increasingly diverse mobility landscape, the needs of drivers and fleet managers change fast. Our society is transitioning towards more flexible forms of corporate mobility: a user-centric model, tailored to life changes and hybrid work environments.


    In an increasingly complex mobility landscape, the needs of drivers and fleet managers change fast. Our society is transitioning towards more flexible forms of corporate mobility: a user-centric model, tailored to life changes and hybrid work environments. Athlon’s employee-centric mobility solutions respond to that trend. And thanks to a partnership with FREE NOW, our (and their) services now cover additional mobility options as well.

    Slowly but surely, traditional mulit-year car leasing contracts are replaced for more freedom: mobility plans with a high degree of flexibility. Such formulas allow fleet managers to reshape their fleet whenever economic circumstances shift, and they enable employees to reevaluate their mobility needs more regularly.

    A societal move towards Mobility-as-a-Service

    In-depth market research by Athlon showed that 80% of the interviewed companies were interested in testing flexible mobility contracts, so they could change vehicles (and balance fleets) at least once a year. About 60% of the companies was looking to implement a mobility budget to provide employees with access to other and more sustainable modes of transportation.

    Those numbers are characteristic of a bigger societal trend: a shift from Vehicle-as-a-Service to Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS). “Our customers want to move away from traditional leasing,” says Swar. “Their needs evolve, and they are increasingly shaped by changes in lifestyle, technology, and an environmental consciousness. Our MaaS solutions acknowledge those and present a comprehensive, adaptable solution.”

    “Many organizations are looking for comfort,” explains Alexander Buyckx, Strategic Consulting Manager at Athlon. “They would like to offer 3 or 4 targeted mobility packages, so there is an ideal plan for every employee. Do some employees prefer taking the train, because they live close to a railway station? Do others need a guaranteed parking spot at the office? That’s where flexible mobility contracts come in.”

    A user-centric model for a diverse audience

    The market is moving from a car-centric to a user-centric model. “This change can give pioneering fleet and mobility customers a competitive edge,” states Mark-Philipp Wilhelms, Head of International Product Management & Customer Reporting at Athlon International.

    “Flexible mobility options allow organizations to appeal to a new generation of professionals. These individuals are not only tech-savvy, but also deeply conscious of their environmental impact. Offering an array of transportation modes can set employers apart and reduce their carbon footprint – a tangible difference in Athlon’s pursuit of a sustainable future.”

    For Athlon, this new vision of mobility has resulted in a more diverse target audience. “In the past, our services usually focused on employees who were entitled to a company car,” Mark-Philipp continues. “Now, new mobility modes – including more sustainable options – have broadened that eligibility.”

    Subscription, Flex and the Urban Mobility Budget

    Athlon offers individual flexible mobility solutions to meet today’s fluctuating demand. The driver-centric Athlon Subscription model starts in our easy-to-navigate digital showroom – just pick a car, a duration, and a mileage package. After 6 months, you are free to cancel every month.

    With Athlon Flex, on the other hand, users can switch up their car on a monthly basis. Where Subscription is all about flexibility in duration, Flex emphasizes asset flexibility. Users can adapt their ways of traveling every month, according to their unique situation and preferences.

    Additionally, the Athlon MobilityBudget powered by FREENOW for Business presents a sustainable, personalized and allowance-based mobility add-on for employees who live in an urban environment. It enables them to access a multitude of mobility options apart from – or on top of – a company car.

    Athlon and FREE NOW

    As a result of the increased need for flexibility, corporate mobility plans have spawned a whole new spectrum of possibilities. For Athlon, extra competencies were vital to cover all those knowledge gaps.

    “We are experts when it comes to car-based asset management,” adds Swar. “Since customer needs evolve, though, we wanted to extend our services without compromising on quality. To accommodate those changing needs, we partnered up with FREE NOW. While we continue to provide our tried-and-true fleet management solutions, the partnership allows us to offer a wider range of mobility options as well.”

    FREE NOW is a mobility services provider from Germany and already active in ten European countries. “We don’t just move from A to B anymore,” observes José Peres, Global Partnerships Manager at FREE NOW. “We do so in the most flexible and sustainable way possible. FREE NOW caters to that need. And, since Mobility-as-a-Service matures quickly, we closely keep track of each market. That also gives companies with longer decision-making processes more peace of mind.”

    By offering mobility budgets through FREE NOW, Athlon makes sure its customers can explore more sustainable forms of mobility (e.g., bike and scooter sharing) – trip-based and flexible.

    Towards a green(er) horizon

    Both Athlon and FREENOW believe that the future will be – has to be – more sustainable. Each partner approaches the partnership in an agile way to enable a steep learning curve through regular customer tests, screenings and feedback rounds.

    “One thing is certain: mobility in 10 years will have changed compared to now,” concludes José. “With this partnership we jointly provide our clients the maximum flexibility to adapt to these changes in the fastest possible way and most user-centric.”

    José Peres

    Global Partnerships Manager at FREENOW

    Alexander Buyckx

    Strategic Consulting Manager at Athlon

    Swar Joshi

    Product Manager Flexible Mobility at Athlon

    Dr. Mark-Philipp Wilhelms

    Head of International Product Management & Customer Reporting at Athlon

    How can we help you?

    The Athlon MobilityBudget is available in more markets every day

    If you would like to learn more about the Athlon MobilityBudget, our cooperation with FREE NOW and what the possibilities are in your market, please reach out to