RISE ICT stories: Electric car sharing user study in Shanghai

China is in need of more sustainable transport solutions. Increasing prosperity brings with it increased transportation requirements and a higher number of cars. Car sharing services with electric vehicles is one of several solutions being experimented with, but has so far met with limited success. To increase knowledge about customer needs and demands, RISE Viktoria has performed a user study for the EVCARD service in Shanghai.

“The main problem EVCARD has is that, while there is a high societal pressure to expand the operation, they have difficulties in getting new customers”, says Anne (Hsiao-Hsuan) Yu, electromobility researcher at RISE Viktoria. “In our study, we tried to find out who the potential customers are, what mobility needs they have and what demands they have on the EVCARD service. We also looked into the strengths and weaknesses of the existing service, and how a service in a central area should differ from that in a suburban area.”

The study started with interviews of a number of local residents in the Shanghai suburb of Jiading, to understand the basic mobility needs and the general perception of car sharing services. Based upon the findings, a survey was designed and launched in two Shanghai areas, one in Jiading and one in Shanghai city centre. After analysis, a report was written and presented to EVCARD representatives at a seminar in Shanghai.

Xue Li, marketing director of EVCARD, says that the company will use the results of the project to reinforce the study on existing members, target customers and how to reach them, improve the service, etc. “As of early January, EVCARD has over 30,000 enrolled members in rural and urban Shanghai,” Ms Li says. “We opened over 400 locations, each location has 3 charging spots and 2 cars on average.”

“Hopefully, the knowledge gained in the study will lead to a more optimized and attractive customer offer, which in turn can help in expanding this and other similar more sustainable mobility services in China,” says Associate Professor Stefan Pettersson, Electromobility Research Manager at RISE Viktoria.

This story was published in our annual report 2015.

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