Global car-sharing network, Zipcar, yesterday (14 September) announced the launch of its free-floating car-sharing service in Brussels, Belgium.
Free-floating means Zipcar members can pick up and drop off a Zipcar at any location within a set geographical area— a first for the car club network.
This marks the seventh major European country launch for the company and the introduction of its most flexible car-sharing service to date. Zipcar has called the launch a ‘milestone’ in its international expansion, which already includes a presence in the UK, Spain, France, Austria, Germany and Turkey.
The service complements car-sharing models in other cities around the world, including round-trip and flexible one-way rentals, allowing the company to deliver on its commitment to work with city authorities and provide consumers and businesses with a practical alternative to car ownership in urban areas and congested cities.
Zipcar already works with a number of local authorities in London to provide a car-sharing service to council employees.
Zipcar’s free-floating fleet will extend from 100 cars at launch to more than 250 within the first month.
Members can access a Peugeot 208 via the Zipcar app, giving them access to a car that is well suited to life in the city with low emissions and room for up to five people.
The free-floating service extends Zipcar’s international offering, which currently serves 500 towns and cities. The car-sharing network also recently reached one million members globally, highlighting the adoption of car-sharing services across the world.
Global membership in car-sharing services is projected to grow from less than 5 million in 2015 to 23.4 million in 2024, as consumers and businesses seek a more sustainable and economic alternative to car ownership, particularly in urban areas, according to independent figures from Navigant.
Zipcar international president Nicholas Cole said: “Today’s launch in Brussels marks a significant milestone for Zipcar. Not only are we extending our operations to another world-class city, but we are also excited to be launching our newest service, free-floating car sharing.
“Our proven ability in offering convenient access to a car, without the hassle of ownership, meets the need of our members to help them more easily navigate the city.â€?
He added: “This development in our offering means that we are the first global car-sharing network to offer a variety of different car club models around the world, according to different cities’ requirements. We look forward to welcoming Belgian members to our network.â€?