EVCARD announces subscriber numbers

By Shi Jing in Shanghai | China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-09-01 11:32

Shanghai-based electric car-sharing service provider EVCARD has announced that its subscribership exceeded 1.2 million people, making it one of the biggest car-sharing companies in the world.

Some of the other major companies in the world include German automotive group Daimler, which rolled out its electric car-sharing business Car2go in 2008. It currently has more than 1.1 million users worldwide. Paris also launched its electric car sharing service Autolib in 2011.

Officially launched by Shanghai-based automotive manufacturer SAIC Motor in 2013, EVCARD has since set up 5,200 branches and 29,000 parking lots in 31 Chinese cities. The company's monthly order has exceeded 600,000, with 30 percent of its registered users using its service every day.

According to EVCARD, it has a fleet of more than 6,000 cars in Shanghai and each vehicle is used an average of seven times a day.

It costs 15 yuan ($2.2) to use a car for 30 minutes and each extra minute costs 0.6 yuan in town areas and 0.5 yuan when outside of the city center. The daily rental cap is 219 yuan for cars such as the Roewe E50 or Chery eQ. The BMW i3 costs more - 21 yuan for every 10 minutes, with a daily rental cap of 759 yuan.

According to EVCARD's chief executive Cao Guangyu, university students and teachers, as well as self-employed people, make up the majority of their current customer base. Most of the users are aged between 21 and 35 and 70 percent of them are men. Mid- to high-level income earners are the company's main target audience.

The rapid development of EVCARD comes at a time when Beijing is backing the proliferation of green cars. On Aug 8, the Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development released a guideline to promote the rental business of light vans.

With the central government's support, a number of EVCARD's competitors have sprouted across the country. Gofun Chuxing, launched by State-owned Beijing Shouqi Group, said it would expand its presence to 20 cities with more than 15,000 electric cars by the end of this year. Shenzhen-based Ponycar said it plans to launch up to 10,000 electric cars in first-tier cities within a year.

Cao also hinted that the company will be turning itself into a platform that can connect various modes of transportation.

"We are looking to connect buses, bike-sharing businesses, taxis, private cars and ride-hailing services. What we will do is to merge the ecosystem of transportation so that we can provide convenience to users and lower their costs," he said.

According to the China Sharing Economy Development Report 2017 released by the Sharing Economy Research Institute of the State Information Center earlier this year, the transaction value of the country's sharing economy totaled 3.45 trillion yuan ($522.45 billion) in 2016. The center estimates that the sharing economy will contribute at least 10 percent to China's GDP by 2020. Within the next decade, there will be up to 10 major sharing economy platforms in China.

Meanwhile, Shanghai-based research institute CBNData has projected that the market value of the sharing transportation businesses will amount to 1.8 trillion yuan by the end of 2018, of which 380 billion yuan will come from the car-sharing sector.

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