Groupe PSA car-sharing plans put on pause

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The coronavirus pandemic has meant that Groupe PSA’s ‘Free2Move’ car-sharing service has been put on hold.

This ‘mobility as a service‘ currently has 500-1,000 electric cars from Citroen and Peugeot in five cities. These include Madrid, Lisbon, Paris, Washington DC and Wuhan. However, questions over how car-share vehicles can be sanitised and used safely has meant that the service had to be paused.

Users can unlock the nearest car using an accompanying smartphone app, before paying the cost of the journey. 260,000 people have used the service so far. According to the French manufacturer, the average use time is 3-5 times a month and “rarely for more than 30 minutes at a time”.

Talking on the Financial Times’ Digital Future of the Car webinar, PSA Group’s UK boss Alison Jones said: “We were trialling car sharing in cities. In a few months, depending what happens with the pandemic, it may come back. At the moment, it’s paused; how do you sanitise a vehicle in car sharing? We will find a way, I’m sure, and we’ll see the demand and address what customers want.”

Self-service car sharing is already becoming a popular method of using a car. It takes away the hassle and risk associated with vehicle finance contracts and owning a car. Some examples of services already making use of this ‘usership’ models include:

  • Zipcar (U.S.)
  • Communauto (Canada)
  • Moov’in (France)
  • DriveNow (Germany)
  • Ubeeqo (UK)
  • Car2Go (Germany, Italy, Austria, France, Netherlands, Spain)

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