Carsharing business models in Germany: characteristics, success and future prospects

Karla Münzel*, Wouter Boon, Koen Frenken, Taneli Vaskelainen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Carsharing provides an alternative to private car ownership by allowing car use temporarily on an on-demand basis. Operators provide carsharing services using different business models and ownership structures. We distinguish between cooperative, business-to-consumer (B2C) roundtrip and one-way, as well as peer-to-peer (P2P) carsharing. This paper characterizes these different types of business models and compares their success in terms of diffusion using a comprehensive database of all 101 German carsharing providers in 2016. The key result holds that fleet size is significantly different across business models ranging from a few cars (cooperatives in small towns), to a few hundred (B2C roundtrip in larger cities), to over a thousand (B2C one-way in largest cities), up to multiple thousands (P2P across the country). By analyzing for each operator the number of cars per capita in the city they operate in, we do not find significant differences across business models indicating the viability of each separate business model type. Hence, we conclude that business models will continue to co-exist for a while, although some of the business models may well converge in the longer run due to Internet-of-Things applications and the introduction of self-driving cars.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-291
Number of pages21
JournalInformation systems and e-business management
Volume16
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Business models
  • Carsharing
  • Future mobility
  • On-demand mobility services
  • Platform economy
  • Sharing economy

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