Shared services thrive in the capital. The same is true of so-called carsharing. The number of cars in this segment could almost double in the coming months.
The first foreign player entered the market this past spring. The Anytime multinational service first deployed a hundred cars to Prague’s streets. Now it intends to expand its fleet by another two hundred vehicles.
Next year, the German Volkswagen is considering entering the Prague market with the WeShare service, whose electric car has already proved its worth in Berlin. The Hungarian GreenGo is also planning to expand this year, which will also offer around a hundred electric vehicles in the capital.
According to experts, carsharing services, along with well-functioning public transport and taxis, can make part of society decide not to own a car. “In a large Prague-like agglomeration, one shared car can replace up to ten parked cars in the streets,” explains Kryštof Kruliš, Chairman of the Consumer Forum Board.
Car sharing will soon find a use for small entrepreneurs, as well. At least the director of the Institute of Circular Economy Soňa Jonášová thinks so. “It is important not to try to apply these new concepts in every area and field. We need to analyze the needs of the car,” she adds.
Universities also involved
So far, five companies registered in the Czech Carsharing Association have offered their services in the capital. Among them is Uniqway University, which was established in cooperation with three Prague universities. It celebrated its founding day a few days ago and is now going to launch seven more cars into the streets.
In addition to students, cars and people from partner universities can rent cars as part of carsharing. “One of our main goals is to meet students becoming mobile and learning to take advantage of a shared economy,” says Uniqway manager Dominika Svárovská. Most often, students use cars in Prague. “Or for weekend trips and trips home but sometimes also abroad,” adds Svárovská.
Interest mainly in men
Anytime plans to expand its services by two hundred cars these days. “The inhabitants of Prague and its surroundings enjoy our service. That is why we decided to triple our offer,” says Milan Beutl, the company’s director.
One hundred Volkswagen e-ups will be brought to the capital by the Hungarian company GreenGo, which started its operations in Budapest three years ago. Volkswagen, which wants to enter the Prague car-sharing market next year, has not yet provided details.
Those who care most about car sharing are “the younger age group, and significantly more men than women have the closest approach to it,” Beutl explains.
The advantage of shared cars is that drivers can park in blue zones for free in Prague. Cars are mostly equipped with automatic transmission and parking camera.