World Carshare Timeline: 1948 – 2014

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The following draft listing is part of a report in progress of by EcoPlan, being carried out for and with CROW/KpVV, the Dutch Knowledge Platform for Transport and Mobility. The goal of this particular section of the report is to prepare and comment briefly a synoptic timeline identifying major events shaping and reshaping the carshare sector over the last half century plus.  Here are some of the milestones we would hope to get on that timeline. Your corrections, comments, additions will be most welcome.

The final report is scheduled to appear in October.  If you are interested to receive an advanced peer review copy, get in touch with the principal author, Eric Britton via or +36 5088 0787

World Carshare Timeline: 1948 – 2014 (V. 2.)

  1. 1948 – Zurich Selbstfahrergenossenschaft. Original Swiss carshare project  ? Cooperative. If not Zurich Selbstfahrergemeinschaft
  2. 1971 – France. Procotip, Montpelier (closed 1973)
  3. 1974 – Netherlands 1986 Witkar (year of starting and last year).
  4. 1974 – USA UrbanPara-Transit: Neglected Options for Urban Mobility
  5. 1975 – USA/France. EcoPlan International/US DOT. Paratransit: Survey of International Experience & Prospects
  6. 1987 – Switzerland. ATG•AutoTeilet and ShareCom Genossenschaft (Cooperaives)
  7. 1988 – Germany. StattAuto in Berlin
  8. 1991 – European Car Sharing Association (ECS)
  9. 1994 – StattAuto Hamburger CarSharing
  10. 1994 – Canada. Communauto
  11. 1995 – Netherlands. Greenwheels start-up
  12. 1997 – Switzerland. Mobility AG merger and startup
  13. 1997 – France. World Carshare Consortium (EcoPlan)
  14. 1997 – Singapore. NTUC INCOME car co-operative Limited
  15. 1998 – World Carshare Café (EcoPlan)
  16. 1999 – USA. Transportation Sustainability Research Center University of California/Berkeley
  17. 1999 – France. La Rochelle Liselec EV one-way carsharing (today Yélomobile)
  18. 1999 – EcoPlan International/OECD. Car sharing 2000: A hammer for sustainable development
  19. 2000 – USA Zipcar
  20. 2000 – UK. Community Car Share Network (National program. today Carplus.)
  21. 2005 – France. Lyon Vélov’ (flooding the market)
  22. 2004 – EU. moses carsharing: European demonstration project. (2008) Momo car-sharing
  23. 2005 – UITP International Car-Sharing Platform (Today: Combined Mobility Platform)
  24. 2006 – France. Paris introduces Label Autopartage
  25. 2007 – USA Zipcar buys Flexcar, goes national
  26. 2007 – Zipcar opens London office
  27. 2008 – Germany. Car2go. Ulm (one way)
  28. 2009 – USA/France. Hertz Acquires Eileo. Connect by Hertz
  29. 2009 – Netherlands – Kiezen voor autodelen, trends, tips & uitdagingen
  30. 2010 – Zipcar acquires London-based car-sharing club Streetcar
  31. 2010 – USA. California Legistlature passes P2P Car-sharing Law
  32. 2009 – Peer2Peer carsharing. Getaround (2009). RelayRides (2010). Buzzcar (2011), etc.
  33. – Time magazine honors sharing economy (Airbnb, couch-sharing, SnapGoods, P2P, etc.)
  34. 2011 – France. Autolib’ launch (one way)
  35. 2012 – France. OuiShare launched – Collaborative Economy/global network
  36. 2012 – USA. Uber, Lyft, Sidecar, launch real-time ridesharing limousine services
  37. 2013 – USA. Avis/Budget Buys Zipcar
  38. 2014 – USA. GM OnStar division partners with RelayRides
  39. 2014 – KpVV/Ecoplan International. Toward a New Mobility Agenda
  40. 2014 – USA California Public Utilities Commission rules against Uber, Lyft, Sidecar
  41. 2014 – Netherlands. 94% coverage of national territory.

# # #

Eric Britton
9, rue Gabillot, 69003 Lyon France

Bio: Educated as an international development economist, Eric Britton is an American political scientist, teacher and sustainability activist who has worked on missions and advisory assignments on all continents. Professor of Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy at the Institut Supérieur de Gestion (Paris), he is also MD of EcoPlan Association, an independent advisory network providing strategic counsel for government and business on policy and decision issues involving complex systems, social-technical change, civil society and sustainable development. Founding editor of World Streets: The Politics of Transport in Cities | See Britton online at and @ericbritton

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4 thoughts on “World Carshare Timeline: 1948 – 2014

  1. Dave Book, USA comments:

    Below may be more detail than you want for the NL report, but I found it interesting to see the development of carsharing in the US. Two milestones for your NL report might include:
    2000 – NL. Rens Meijkamp, Changing consumer behavior through Eco-efficient Services : An empirical study on Car Sharing in the Netherlands. Thèse, Delft University of Technology. Delft.
    201? – NL. VW makes major investment (controlling interest?) in Greenwheels from Pon Holdings
    200? – NL. Establishment of Studentcar, low-cost carshare service

    – Dave

    1997 – Canada. launch of Cooperative Auto Network (Vancouver, BC; coop)
    1998 – USA. launch of CarSharing Portland
    2000 – USA. launch of Flexcar (Seattle, Wash.) and Zipcar (Cambridge, Mass.) [within 2 months of each other!]
    2007 – Flexcar – Zipcar merger announced.
    2008 – Zipcar acquires minority interest in Barcelona-based Avancar (acquisition complete in 2012)
    2008 – USA. Enterprise Holdings (car rental) launches WeCar (later Enterprise Carshare) in St. Louis
    2008 – USA. Hertz launches Hertz Connect carsharing (later 24/7)
    2010 – UK. Zipcar acquires London-based Streetcar
    2010 – USA. launch of Relayrides, first peer to peer carshare in USA
    2010 – USA. launch of one-way/on-demand carsharing, CAR2GO in Austin, Texas
    2011 – USA. launch of Getaround, second P2P carshare in USA
    2011 – Netherlands. launch of CAR2GO (all EV) in Amsterdam [at least according to Wikipedia]
    2013 – USA. Avis buys Zipcar

    Dave Brook

  2. João Pernes, Portugal writes:

    Please add:
    2008 – Mob carsharing – 1st car club In Portugal
    2012 – Citizeen Oporto, Portugal
    2014 – Citydrive, 1st carsharing car club in a share fleet network

  3. Michel Parent, France, writes:

    Bonjour Eric,

    Tu as oublié ces dates importantes:

    1974: vélos en libre service à La Rochelle
    1993: lancement du projet Praxitele
    1997: début du système Praxitele à Saint-Quentin en Yvelines (fin en 1999)
    1999: début de Liselec à La Rochelle (toujours en service sous le nom de Yélo)
    2007: début de Vélib’ à Paris
    2011: début de Autobleue à Nice
    2011: début de Autolib à Paris


    Michel Parent, PhD
    Cybercars and Innovative Urban Transports
    Mob. +33 682 554 024

  4. Kevin McLaughlin, Canada, writes:

    For what they are worth:

    1997 – Co-operative Auto Network (now Modo) – 1st English Language carshare, Vancouver Canada

    1998 – USA – CarShare Portland (part of Flexcar, now part of Zipcar) – resources and information for start-ups launched

    2000 – USA – Flexcar (before Zipcar)

    2004 – AutoShare hosts a gathering of car sharing operators from Canada & the USA to discuss growth & best practices. This group meets on an ad hoc basis for 7 years, develops and adopts a Code of Ethics for the industry and formally incorporates as the CarSharing Association in 2011

    2005 – Enterprise begins their carsharing experiement in St Louis. This grows into corporate & university campus carsharing, which is rebranded WeCar in 2007, and eventually branded Enterprise CarShare around 2011.

    2007 – USA – Zipcar / Flexcar merger

    Hertz begins offering hourly rentals in NYC, and later Boston. In 2008, Hertz rolls this into Connect by Hertz, a retial carsharing effort launched with much ambition in NYC, Paris & London. This program struggled to gain any traction, and by late 2011 was rebranded Hertz on Demand and the focus was more about instant, hourly rentals than a real carsharing. In2013, this was rebranded again as “Hertz 24/7”.

    2011 – CarSharing Association officially launched

    Enterprise CarShare acquires Phillycarshare, the first of many local carsahres across North America.


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