Fleet Car-Sharing – The B2B Market

Business, or corporate, carsharing can reduce the impact of private vehicle fleets provided for business purposes. The popularity of carsharing has increased dramatically over the past years, and it is becoming known how many journeys could be saved through the use of carsharing schemes, particularly for work-related trips.

• Vehicles can either be shared only among employees or a particular department, or leased as part of a wider carsharing scheme.

• However, there are still barriers towards carsharing such as trust, flexibility, availability and reliability.

• There are many advantages to a business carsharing scheme – for both the employees and for the employer.

• Business, or corporate, carsharing can reduce the impact of private vehicle fleets provided for business purposes.

Business carsharing, or corporate carsharing, can be defined as “a form of carsharing that enables commercial businesses to reduce or eliminate private vehicle fleets typically maintained for business purposes” (Shaheen and Stocker, 2015).

Several variants are possible (Shaheen and Stocker, 2015):

  • The provision of exclusive-use vehicles to clients that are shared among employees and departments.
  • The provision of shared vehicles where the client accesses the vehicles as part of a larger carsharing fleet (i.e. employees use the same vehicles that are shared by individuals and/or other business members).

The market has grown worldwide, and in a 2010 survey “the business market was reported to be the second most profitable, behind the neighbourhood roundtrip market, at 54.5%” (Shaheen and Stocker, 2015).

Benefits of corporate carsharing
Some motivations for implementing business carsharing include (Shaheen and Stocker, 2015; Clark et al., 2015; Le Vine et al., 2014):

  • Operational advantages over previous fleet-based models.
  • For carsharing operators, an important advantage is that B2B carsharing smooths the temporal profile of overall carsharing utilisation during periods when the demand for personal use of carsharing services is low, and thus leads to higher fleet utilisation rates.
  • Additional flexibility through increased mobility options.
  • Effectiveness as a transportation demand management and parking management tool.
  • Eliminates the high overhead and maintenance costs of a company vehicle fleet.
  • Reduces the need for staff to bring a car to work.
  • Employees have other mobility options for professional travel than their personal vehicle, which eliminates the need for complicated reimbursement and insurance arrangements. Therefore, corporate carsharing eliminates a perverse incentive of car ownership, as an employee “may wish to drive their personal car for work-related travel, as in most instances they are compensated for their distance driven on an average-cost basis – meaning that each marginal mile driven helps to defray their fixed costs of personal car ownership”.
  • Employers may be motivated by notions of corporate social responsibility, or by external pressures such as the need to acquire permissions from a public body (e. g. planning permission).

Shaheen and Stocker (2015) report that “(a)bout one fifth of corporate users surveyed claimed to have sold a vehicle and another fifth claimed to have postponed purchasing a vehicle due to joining Zipcar.” However, the modal impacts are ambiguous; “members reported biking and taking public transit slightly less often and walking slightly more often”. All in all, Shaheen and Stocker estimate that “there is a 13% induced demand effect (trips taken that would not have occurred, if Zipcar was not present)”.

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