Dawn of car sharing emerging in Brazil
Whether free-floating or peer-to-peer, car sharing in Brazil is on the rise, something that could eventually replace the privately owned car for many people.
We are not talking about local ride-hailing services such as Uber, 99, or Cabify, and we are not talking about ride-sharing services which are similar to organized car-pooling. With car sharing, you remain the driver of the vehicle.
Although similar to renting a car, the idea is to eventually have the freedom to pick up and drop off a car at almost any location. Moreover, you do not need to speak with a rental attendant. Car doors are opened via a cell phone app and then keys are retrieved from the glove compartment.
This mobile app concept, despite uncommon for car rental companies in Brazil, was actually kicked off by the country's largest rental agency Localiza this year.
As for car sharing companies, among the services being offered in the country are point-to-point sharing for corporations offered by ALD Sharing and a new service by Urbano LD Sharing which recently launched a free-floating program which allows more freedom in terms of pick-up and drop-off points.
"We have 60 cars now but we plan to have 100 by the end of December." Urbano LD Sharing co-founder and COO Paulo Moura told Global Fleet. Currently, the company uses two models, the BMW i3 hybrid and Daimler AG's Smart automobile.
Finally, organizing peer-to-peer services where vehicle owners share their own car with others is also growing in the country. Among the local players are São Paulo-based companies Pegcar and Moobie. They were established in 2014 and 2016, respectively.
As we move into the world of sharing, one important issue that needs to be dealt with is crime. These types of services will attract wrongful activity if not managed properly so this requires regulation as well as enforcement by local governments and fleet managers.
"Controlling crime is one of the keys to helping services like these flourish. In the end, our goal is to improve the quality of lives as well as urban mobility systems," industry expert Arnd Bätzner said during the Welcome Tomorrow conference in the city of São Paulo on Thursday (Nov. 9).
Bätzner, who is a board member of Swiss-based Mobility Car Sharing, joined Global Fleet journalists and other industry experts at the event. It was put together by fleet management and urban mobility consultancy group Instituto Parar.