I'm thrilled to announce that I have joined Moovendo as the CTO. We have a great team and an excellent vision to bring environmentally-responsible, electric car-sharing services to the UK.
The World Is Changing
The explosion of car-ownership over the last few decades has brought about a new world of mobility and options, but the difficulties with such a rapid increase have been showing for many years already.
The Cost of Ownership
When it comes to driving, the first thing to acknowledge is that owning a car isn't cheap. The 2018 report "Londoners’ attitudes towards car-ownership and Mobility-as-a-Service: Impact assessment and opportunities that lie ahead", explains:
The average cost of the first vehicle ownership has been estimated to £233.50 per month (excluding maintenance and MOT costs) and 56% of car-owning participants stated that owning a car is a big expenditure for their household.
Given the UK average salary of £25,000, this figure of £233.50 per month equates to somewhere between 15-25% of spendable monthly income, depending on factors like student loan fees, pension contributions and other salary deductions.
However, most cars are only used around 5% of the time. For example, RAC research suggests cars are parked 96% of the time.
As far as I can tell, this seems to be a high price to pay for such low overall usage.
Parking and Congestion
In the same report, perhaps an unlikely finding was that Londoners reported owning a car does not make their lives easier or more convenient, but instead comes with a number of pain points that cost both time and money. The primary reasons for this were parking and congestion:
The majority of car-owning participants claimed that driving in London is a nightmare. Congestion and finding a parking spot are the main contributing factors to this feeling. 55% of the car-owning participants stated that congestion is a huge problem when they drive, and 52% stated that it takes them a lot of time to find a parking space when they use their vehicles.
This is, of course, relatable to anyone who has driven into a large, urban area - London or otherwise - where they did not already have a parking space secured.
With an increasing population and more densely populated cities than ever before, parking and congestion are doomed only to get worse.
Personal finances and inconveniences aside, the damage to the environment caused by the manufacture and use of millions of new cars every year is undeniable. Governments have been tackling this in two primary ways, with varying success:
- Incentives to buy lower-emission vehicles
- Additional taxes and charges for higher-emission vehicles
For example, in London, from the 8th April 2019, some of the worst-polluting lorries will have to pay up to £100 per day to travel into London.
However, it's difficult or impossible for most of us to replace our already-expensive vehicles for brand-new, low-emission alternatives.
Our vision is to tackle the environmental, financial, parking and congestion issues that come with owning and using personal vehicles, by providing environmentally-responsible, competitive and convenient alternatives.
More succinctly, we plan to improve access to mobility services while also reducing the impact we all have on the environment.
With our experience in driver scoring to promote safer driving and access to clean vehicles and energy supplies, the technical challenges to bring our services to market will be significant, but achievable.
Find out more at moovendo.com and subscribe for occasional updates surrounding the technology we are using.