Last week, in Nantes, France, the transportation society Titi Floris (located in the Nantes suburb of Saint-Herblain) and the start-up Koolicar launched a carsharing system. The system will use individual citizens’ cars, with additional cars provided by Titi Floris. “Our cars only run four hours a day, five days a week. The rest of the time, they just sit there! We were looking for a complimentary service that could bring our enterprise revenue,” justifies Boris Couilleau, Founder and Director of Titi Floris
This is where Titi Floris got the idea to rent their professional cars to individuals, via Koolicar's website, when their enterprise wasn’t using them. Titi Floris rents out ten cars. Koolicar’s system includes 40 other vehicles, provided by individual users. The service will be available in the coming months in Nantes.
How Does Renting Work?
There is no contract or keys exchanged. The individual renter makes a free account on Koolicar’s website. They then are given a membership card. For each rental one wants to make, one reserves a day and time on the website. The request is then registered in the card. “Ten minutes before the time of the rental, we send an SMS that locates the vehicle the closest to the renter,” explains Stéphane Savouré, president of Koolicar. In presenting his or her card to a card reader installed behind the windshield, a digital console recognizes the renter, the doors of the car open, and an anti-theft mechanism is disarmed, allowing the renter to access the car keys located in the glove compartment.”
After use, one brings the car as close as possible to the original starting point. “In putting the keys back in the lockbox and re-scanning the card, the car locks automatically.”
How to Share your Car
The owner, volunteering to share their car when not using it, submits a request to rent their vehicle on Koolicar’s website. There, he must enter all of the times his vehicle is free to be rented out. When a reservation is validated, the owner receives an SMS specifying the day and hours of the rental. The owner does not have to pay for the installation of a card scanner. During the time a car is being rented out, Koolicar’s insurance substitutes for that of the owner.
Cost to Rent and Earnings for the Owner?
There is no need to subscribe to the service in order to use it. The cost of each ride is payed for by credit or debit card. The tariff, which decreases gradually, depends on the mileage accrued and the length of time of the rental. Fewer than four hours is 2 euros per hour, and between four and eight hours is 1 euro per hour. Distances less than 50 kilometers are 0.40 euro per kilometer. Beyond 50 kilometers, the cost is 0.28 euros per kilometer. The entire service operates without additional insurance, fuel, or maintenance costs. “It is useless to require a complete refueling when renters return a car. The owner is reimbursed for that,” specifies Stéphane Savouré. The owner gets 70% of the rental profits, the rest goes to Koolicar.
Where are the Vehicles Located?
“We are in the process of deploying the ten (Titi Floris) cars. They will be located in the city center, near the houses of our drivers,” indicates the director of Titi floris. The idea is to spread out over the different neighborhoods of Nantes. Soon, Boris Couilleau will share an electric car (at Auchan Hypermarché's parking lot near Sillon-de-Bretagne) as well as a vehicle adapted for people with reduced mobility.
How has your city involved individual citizens in alternative transportation options? Are there car-sharing opportunities in your city? Would you use a carsharing program? Share your thoughts and stories in the comments below.
Original article, originally published in French, here.
Credits: Images by Jean-Louis Zimmermann (modified to include location symbol) and Llann Wé. Data linked to sources.