People’s lifestyles are changing and consumers are seeking diverse ways of mobility, according to Wang Yanmin, co-founder and CEO of Yiqi Auto, the tri-partite EV rental joint venture established by Chery, Pateo and Yidao Yongche (yongche.com).
“People may want to drive one car on one day and a different car on a different day and vehicle sharing provides that flexibility to offer diverse yet individualized vehicles,” said Wang. “We are entering a ‘smart’ era whether it’s ICT, communications or mobile internet technologies. It is the right time to talk about vehicle sharing.”
Younger consumers have new habits in how they use cars, such as not owning one at all, according to Li Yu, co-founder of uuzuche.com, a P2P vehicle rental platform.
“People who rent cars through our platform are on average only 27 years old,” said Li. “Many of them aren’t able to buy a car because they can’t get the relevant quota through bidding so they end up not buying a car at all.”
Renters on the platform are slightly older, averaging 33 years old, and see their vehicles as fixed assets that can turn into income through P2P rental, according to Li.
“They have a totally different way of looking at their vehicles. They see them as financial products,” said Li. Vehicles on uuzuche.com’s platform currently comes from four sources: vehicle owners themselves, small vehicle rental companies, OEMs that want to market their new cars for test drives and new energy vehicle manufacturers.
Zhou Ping, vice president of Autonavi, a subsidiary of Alibaba and a popular GPS navigation service provider, believes vehicle sharing will become a trend.
“Many young people, especially those born after 1990, want to own something they like immediately instead of waiting to get them,” said Zhou. “They understand that they can access these things without having to own them.”
“There are nearly 100 million licensed drivers in China that do not own cars and we want to solve their mobility needs,” said Gao Junming, vice president of Beijing Yitong Changda Technology Co., Ltd., a vehicle rental by-the-hour service provider.
Gao’s company currently offers 300 EVs for rent in Beijing and charges customers ¥30 ($4.84) per hour, which is cheaper than if they take a taxi for more than 10 km. “Unlike other ride sharing services, the vehicles are rented via self-help and do not need keys. Doors can be opened or locked via mobile phone or personal identification cards,” said Gao, emphasizing thought that security of the vehicle is a priority.
According to Gao, there are almost 10 different companies offering similar services in Beijing.