New carsharing services keep coming on the heels of one another — there’s a new announcement seemingly every day. The PSA Group is the latest to join the fun, with a press release announcing the start of carsharing operations in the USA.
PSA Group is a major auto company in Europe — #2 with the purchase of Opel from GM — but it is basically nonexistent in the US. With the introduction of carsharing services in Los Angeles from April 3rd, 2017, it is making a way into this market.
The North American entry is part of PSA’s “Push to Pass” plan, and is envisioned at this stage via a 10-year plan.
PSA writes: “The 1st launch of mobility services in North America is through Free2Move, PSA Group’s mobility brand and its partner Travelcar, a start-up founded in 2012. A larger deployment in the United States will follow the April 3rd opening. This offer is designed to optimize cars ensuring they rarely go unused, providing advantageous solutions to car owners (free or advantageous-price parking in addition to the benefit from the rent) and to car users (rental price approx. 50% less expensive than with a traditional car rental offer).”
I agree with CleanTechnica’s earlier story in February about TravelCar’s (and Free2Move’s) unique approach, which allows people to rent their cars to others rather than have them sit at the airport while they are off in another land. “It’s an interesting approach. I could see a lot of people wanting a 50% discount on a rental car, but I wonder how many people are willing to let their cars be used in that way.”
Regarding PSA’s gradual entry into North America, the company writes, “PSA North America with initial task of developing the mobility services with the Group’s partners will start developing these projects. The following step is to develop mobility solutions with PSA Group’s cars, before marketing vehicles directly in North America, identifying regional sourcing opportunities when appropriate; as per the ‘Push to Pass’ plan unveiled on 6 April 2016.”