Sono Motors has announced that it will expand its community car-sharing service beyond its Sion to include all vehicles. Theoretically, this means that all cars can be offered for sharing via Sono’s car-sharing service – within a trusted community.
Community car sharing has so far been a feature of the announced Sion electric car, which can be shared with friends, relatives or neighbours via the Sono app – or should be able to when the Sion is launched in 2023. This is now to be done independently of the Sion: “Our goal is to become the largest car-sharing platform without owning a single vehicle,” says Laurin Hahn, CEO and co-founder of Sono Motors.
The ulterior motive has been known for a while: Vehicles, specifically cars, just sit around most of the day. With the service, Sono wants to “activate the potential of millions of cars that remain unused every day”. Specifically, the statement says that vehicle utilisation could increase by up to 150 per cent through community sharing – proven by its own pilot projects. The limit of 12 people per community is not only intended to minimise scheduling conflicts, but also to ensure that the shared vehicle is handled with care through personal contact in the small group.
The sharing itself is also to be handled for third-party vehicles via the Sono app. According to the company, the app is a specially developed platform that combines all of Sono’s digital services. It is an “important building block of the business model” and is expected to generate platform revenues of 295 million euros by 2025.
Accordingly, all car-sharing functions will be handled via the service, such as payment processing, “uncomplicated marketing protection” and optional telematics integration. The booking process also includes the physical handover of keys, which is currently still necessary. “In the near future”, Sono plans to introduce a “fully digital, hardware-supported solution” to make the process more convenient.
The service is currently still being used in a small circle, but Sono says it is currently expanding community sharing “to selected car owners and their communities throughout Germany” in order to obtain further data and feedback. The Sono app is to be made publicly available in 2022.