Zipcar launches free-floating car-sharing service in Belgium

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Car-sharing network Zipcar has announced the full launch of its new free-floating car-sharing service in Brussels, Belgium. This marks the seventh major country launch for the brand in Europe, and the introduction of its most flexible car-sharing service to date.

The launch is seen as being a pivotal milestone in Zipcar’s international expansion, which already includes a well-established presence in urban areas and university campuses at over 500 cities and towns across Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Turkey, the UK and USA. The launch represents a significant innovation in Zipcar’s offerings, and demonstrates a strategic decision to offer a range of alternative car-sharing models according to a city’s requirements. The new service gives members the freedom to pick up and drop off a Zipcar at any location within a set geographical area; a first for the global car club network. The service complements car-sharing models operated 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’s free-floating fleet will extend from 100 cars at launch to more than 250 within the first month. The Zipcars, all Peugeot 208s, can be picked up and dropped off in and around the Brussels-Capital Region, within a zone that includes 16 of the city’s 19 communes. The service will also be readily available to Brussel’s Zipcar members traveling to and from Zaventem Airport, the city’s international airport. Members can easily and spontaneously access a Peugeot 208 via the Zipcar app, giving them access to a versatile car that is well suited to life in the city, with easy handling, low emissions and room for up to five people.  

The free-floating service extends Zipcar’s international offering, which currently serves the needs of its members across 500 towns and cities globally with access to a wide range of vehicles. The car-sharing network also recently reached a milestone of 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 5m in 2015 to 23.4m in 2024, according to independent figures from Navigant, as consumers and businesses seek a more sustainable and economic alternative to car ownership, particularly in urban areas to supplement public transport infrastructure.

“This launch in Brussels marks a significant milestone for us. 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,” noted Zipcar International’s president, Nicholas Cole. “Our proven ability in offering convenient access to a car, without the hassle of ownership, meets the needs of our members to help them more easily navigate the city. 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.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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