Local Transport Today is the authoritative, independent journal for transport decision makers. Analysis, Comment & News on Transport Policy, Planning, Finance and Delivery since 1989.

Blow for shared mobility as DriveNow exits London market

Andrew Forster
20 December 2019
DriveNow has failed to attract enough members
DriveNow has failed to attract enough members

 

The shared mobility agenda suffered a setback this week with reports that two of London’s car clubs are to close down.   

DriveNow, the point-to-point car club owned by Daimler and BMW, has confirmed it is withdrawing from the capital as part of a global retrenchment that will also see it quit the North American market, Florence and Brussels. The company, which is rebranding to Share Now, will continue operating in other European cities, though not in the UK. 

As LTT closed for press, we received reports that Blue City, the all-electric car club set up in London by French firm Bolleré Group, will close in January. 

DriveNow said low adoption rates and the need to negotiate operating agreements with individual boroughs had contributed to its decision to quit London.   

“We started in London in December 2014 with the vision to change urban mobility and offer a flexible and attractive mobility solution, which is in combination with public transport and is an alternative to the private car,” it said. “Although more and more Londoners integrated our service in their daily mobility behaviour we had to face the hard reality that we could still not convince enough people to do so. The number of customers in London and their demand for our car sharing service was below our expectations and lower than in other Share Now cities. 

“Furthermore, we had to face local factors, like the high costs of operation and the different circumstances in the individual boroughs.” The service will close on 29 February. 

Reacting to the news, Richard Dilks, chief executive of shared mobility charity CoMoUK, said: “London does have a relatively complicated structure for car clubs, yet it remains very much open for business for shared mobility – with now nearly half a million car club members in the city.” 

DriveNow originally launched in four boroughs in northeast London but struggled to gain permission to expand elsewhere in the capital. By November 2018 it had agreements to operate in nine boroughs (LTT 23 Nov 18). 

Daimler and BMW merged their respective Car2Go and DriveNow one-way car club operations in 2018. 

Daimler launched Car2Go in London in 2012 and in Birmingham in 2013 but quit both in 2014 citing the UK’s “strong culture and tradition of private vehicle ownership” as a contributory factor (LTT 30 May 14).  

 
 
Transport Operations Manager
Buckinghamshire Council
Aylesbury, England
£48894 - £51402 per annum
Transport Operations Manager
Buckinghamshire Council
Aylesbury, England
£48894 - £51402 per annum
Strategic Transport Lead
Oxfordshire County Council
Oxford
£41,675 - £44,632 per annum
View all Vacancies
 
Search
 

TransportXtra is part of Landor LINKS

© 2020 TransportXtra | Landor LINKS Ltd | All Rights Reserved

Subscriptions, Magazines & Online Access Enquires
[Frequently Asked Questions]
Email: subs.ltt@landor.co.uk | Tel: +44 (0) 20 7091 7959

Shop & Accounts Enquires
Email: accounts@landor.co.uk | Tel: +44 (0) 20 7091 7855

Advertising Sales & Recruitment Enquires
Email: daniel@landor.co.uk | Tel: +44 (0) 20 7091 7861

Events & Conference Enquires
Email: conferences@landor.co.uk | Tel: +44 (0) 20 7091 7865

Press Releases & Editorial Enquires
Email: info@transportxtra.com | Tel: +44 (0) 20 7091 7875

Privacy Policy | Terms and Conditions | Advertise

Website design by Brainiac Media 2020