Monthly review - April - In a MaaS world, leasing is still going strong
Another day, another MaaS start-up, offering e-scooters, shared cars, ridehailing or a combination thereof. But are these new businesses really sustainable? And how will they affect the future for fleet and mobility managers? Here’s an overview of some of the articles Fleet Europe published about MaaS in the past month.
“I don’t think car subscription services are sustainable. They’re about manufacturers making marketing expenses to promote their brands.” Harsh words from Philippe Bismut, the recently retired CEO of Arval, in a joint interview with Pascal Serres, formerly CEO at ALD. Mr Serres agreed, adding: “Most models I’ve seen had only one profitable component: leasing.”
A prime example of manufacturers investing in what amounts to renting, is Jaguar’s The Out, a premium car rental service for drives in London.
Nevertheless, the numbers are clear. In London, for instance, 41% of all households did not own a car in 2017. After the introduction of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone on 8 April, 30% of London commuters won’t be able to afford driving into the city. 46% of all people asked whether the ULEZ would affect their usual mode of transport said they thought about it and 37% said they had already changed. If ever there was a strong business case for MaaS, it was surely in London.
In ever more cities, electric scooters are taking over the streets – and in most cases, the pavements. They offer a cheap, fun, fast way of getting around in cities. Moreover, they are available to buy outright, but they can also be rented from a wide variety of scooter rental firms. It’s a highly competitive market, as is demonstrated by the Madrid example, where no fewer than 16 companies offer around 110,000 e-scooters.
Scooters alone won’t get you far and most people will require a varied choice of mobility modes. That’s why daily rental and leasing company Sixt has launched a pilot project with between 20 and 30 major fleets. Each fleet will enrol 10 to 20 employees in the programme and ask them to turn in their car keys and use a mobility budget instead over a three-month period.
Taxation is an important aspect of mobility budget. With new rules introduced in Belgium, the federal government hopes the mobility budget will reduce the high number of company cars. Comments are mostly positive but Ronny Van Den Driesch, Audit & Vehicle Manager at Carglass commented: “Fix public transport first.”
If scooters aren’t your thing and figuring out what mobility mode you prefer sounds like too much of a kerfuffle, you can go for chauffeur-driven cars. CarASAP is a service that offers ridehailing with a twist: they only use the services of professional chauffeurs driving premium vehicles. CarASAP has now been taken over by Lab Box, the Belgian startup incubator of Belgian VW Group importer D’Ieteren.
AV testing standards
Once technology is ready for fully self-driving vehicles (level 5 autonomous vehicles) the mobility industry will be revolutionised beyond recognition. Before we get there, though, much more work is needed. That’s why SAE International, the China Automotive Technology and Research Centre, TÜV SÜD Group and Shanghai SH Intelligent Automotive and International Transportation Innovation Centre (ITIC) are joining hands to establish the International Alliance for Mobility Testing and Standardisation (IAMTS). Their goal: coming up with a system for reliable, predictable, and replicable testing across geographies and regulatory boundaries.
Image: e-scooters in Madrid