Car-sharing, a growing global trend in the automotive industry, is changing the way people feel about car ownership. Ljubljana is the next in line to offer a fleet of electric cars to be rented on an as-needed basis by simply using a mobile phone app.
There are various car-sharing models – you've probably already heard of Uber, Daimler's Car2Go, BMW's Drive Now or the recent General Motors' Maven. It is estimated that already today approximately five million people use car-sharing service with over 90, 000 vehicles at their disposal on a global scale. The figures are expected to rise way up to 25 million users driving a million cars from various car-sharing schemes by 2020.
According to recent media reports, Ljubljana, the 2016 European Green Capital, is to become one of the European cities that offer car-sharing by June. The fleet is said to be completely electric, meaning no diesel or gasoline-driven cars will be included. The car-sharing system for Ljubljana is currently being developed by Avantcar and Comtrade, preparing eight 'pick-up' locations and 30 electric cars of various brands.
The first phase of setting up the system is actually a testing period during which the system will evolve and develop with the help of its first users. Chances are, this particular carsharing service will spread to other Slovenian cities in the future and to other nearby capitals as well – Zagreb in Croatia, for example.
How will the system work? You will need to download a smartphone app, become a registered user and check the map for locations with available cars, including information on the energy left in the car's battery. Using the app, you will be able to make a car rental reservation as well as later access the car (it is quite possible you will not only unlock the car with the app, but also start the engine). In short, reservation, pickup, and return is all self-service.
The prices (non-cash payments only), which depend on rental time and the distance driven, are as of yet unknown, however it is safe to speculate they will be highly competitive, as they are to represent a favourable option when it comes to choosing between a classic ownership car, a taxi ride or car-sharing service.