Bloomberg New Energy Finance research published this week suggests that “other transportation” will continue to grow as a share of U.S. transportation spending. Today in the U.S., the average monthly costs of owning, leasing, sharing or subscribing to an automobile service are similar.
In a sense, any form of using a car is a service — the service of moving someone around without expending one’s own energy — but subscriptions, which allow drivers to pay a monthly fee to access a selection of vehicles, go furthest in removing the usual encumbrances of buying or leasing by providing insurance, maintenance and roadside assistance. There’s quite a bit of range in price for subscription services. Ford’s Canvas service starts at $329 a month; the Porsche Passport service starts at $2,000 a month for access to many different models. Both services meet the same need but in different style. Owning a car can be a small or large part of one’s identity; so can the way one subscribes and what they subscribe to.
And it’s not just about personal cars. As Meeker notes, people took more than 7 billion on-demand trips in hailed cars and on bicycles in the first quarter of 2018. China’s on-demand transport, which makes up more than two-thirds of the global market, grew 96 percent year-on-year.