Carsharing and Station Cars in Asia: An Overview of Japan and Singapore
In recent years there has been significant worldwide activity in shared-use vehicle systems (i.e., carsharing and station cars). Much of this activity is taking place in Europe and North America; however, there has also been significant activity in Asia, primarily in Japan and Singapore. This paper examines the latest shared-use vehicle system activities in both of these countries, beginning with an historical review followed by an evaluation of their current systems. Overall there are several well-established systems in both Japan (approximately 18 systems, 150 vehicles, 3000 members) and Singapore (approximately 4 systems, 300 vehicles, and 8000 members). In contrast to most European and North American cities, both Japan and Singapore already have a wide range of viable public transportation modes. Interestingly, the primary carsharing focus in Japan is on business use and on neighborhood residential in Singapore. This is likely due to limited vehicle licensing and high car ownership costs in Singapore. Further, systems in Japan and Singapore have a high degree of advanced technology in their systems, making the systems both easy to use and manage. The member-vehicle ratios in Asia appear to be approximately the same as Europe and Canada and less than the U.S. It is expected that Asian shared-use vehicle systems will continue to have steady growth in terms of number of organizations, vehicles, and users.