In this era of continuous inflation, people are finding sharing things a better option than buying them. One of the aspects of daily life where this new ideology is the most visible is transportation. Instead of buying a car, scooter, or motorcycle, people around the world are opting for car rental, ride hailing, carsharing, and two-wheeler sharing services. Not only are these services convenient, but also available throughout the day, bookable via mobile apps. The popularity of these sharing services is due to the fact that the fuel, insurance, parking, and maintenance cost doesn’t have to be borne by riders, but the sharing service provider.
And, just like consumers, even sharing service providers are now looking to cut their expenditure, which is continuously rising on account of the increasing gasoline and diesel prices. This is why they are integrating more electric vehicles (EVs) in their fleet, as the cost of using a vehicle charging facility is a lot less than that for diesel and gasoline. As per P&S Intelligence, this is why the global e-mobility services market will grow from $3,189.8 million in 2019 to $78,898.3 million by 2030, at a 40.7% CAGR between 2020 and 2030.
However, the major reason behind the increasing adoption of EVs in shared mobility fleets is still environmental concerns. Conventional vehicles release heavy amounts of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which not only cause breathing problems, such as chronic bronchitis and asthma, but are also leading to climate change and global warming. For this, the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015, wherein countries agreed to take concrete steps to reduce their carbon emissions and create a more-sustainable economy.
Out of all the services mentioned above, two-wheeler sharing services have been the most popular around the world till now. These services are cost-effective and easily available, and they also solve the problem of last-mile commuting to a large extent. For instance, for traveling to their offices or homes from metro stations and vice versa, people are opting for shared two-wheelers, instead of full-fledged cabs. This is consistent with the fact that among the various commuting purposes, viz. occasional, last-mile, and daily, last-mile commuting has been done the most via e-mobility services.
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But, the demand for ride hailing services is also growing rapidly, as related companies, such as Uber and Ola, are taking numerous initiatives and expanding their EV fleet across countries. With an increasing number of college goers and young professionals, who have to travel a significant distance between their home and destination, the demand for cab services is rising. This is because a lot of such people still cannot afford to buy vehicles for themselves. Additionally, many of them are choosing not to purchase automobiles and opting for shared mobility instead, to save money.
Due to the increasing popularity of the e-mobility concept, even automakers are entering the niche, rather than just offering their vehicles to sharing service providers. For instance, at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Toyota Motor Company, one of the largest automakers, by sales volume, announced plans to offer shared mobility services on EVs. By 2020, the company had planned to launch the e-Palette self-driving EV, via which it will offer the Autono shared mobility service.
Asia-Pacific (APAC) has been the largest e-mobility services market till now, because of the wide popularity of these services, especially bike sharing, in China. The country, along with Japan and India, is infamous for its soaring air pollution levels, which is why governments here have implemented stringent emission-control policies and are offering support to EV manufacturers and users and e-mobility service companies. For the same reasons, the demand for these services is expected to rise sharply in Latin American, Middle Eastern, and African countries in the future.
Thus, as air pollution continues to take its toll and fossil fuel reserves dwindle, leading to their increasing prices, shared mobility services offered via EVs would witness widespread adoption around the world.