Sunday, December 13, 2015

Car Sharing Increasing in Chinese Cities

Car-sharing has been one of the most attention-grabbing trends in urban transport in recent years, as commercial car-sharing clubs like Autolib' in Paris have taken off. But the habit has yet to catch on in Chinese cities.

Yet that may be set to change, as efforts to control toxic air quality have spawned increasingly-restrictive number plate lotteries, no-driving days, and higher parking fees to tackle gridlock and pollution. The steady increase in such measures could make car-sharing more appealing and commonplace in China.

Greater use of car-sharing could also help to popularise electric vehicles (known as EVs) if car-sharing companies choose them for their vehicle fleets, as has happened in Paris. So far, battery-operated cars have struggled to attract significant numbers of buyers in China, the world’s biggest car market, partly because of lack of charging stations and preferences for cheaper, petrol-fuelled models.

Hangzhou, south of Shanghai, is arguably China's most progressive city in terms of experimenting with car-sharing; it has five competing companies where the cost of car-sharing is US$3.25 per hour, more than a taxi, but giving greater comfort and mobility, as well as cutting down on the waiting time to hail a cab at busy times of day. Hangzhou's city government wants to see 100,000 car-sharing vehicles on its roads by 2018.

Read more @ China Dialogue

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