Vehicles Must Be Designed For Urban Car-Sharing, Says Citroën

Car-sharing of many different types of vehicles will be part of future ambitions to reduce city center congestion, according to French carmaker Citroën.

That drive towards exploring the sort of options that could be part of this new mobility ecosystem saw the unveiling of Citroën’s AMIOne two-seater BEV concept at the Geneva Motor Show 2019. It was here that TU-Automotive caught up with its product manager Sebastien Grandmougin to find out more about the carmaker’s urban vision.

Grandmougin said the concept’s development started with mobility in the forefront of the designers’ minds. He said: “From the beginning of the project it was to work on a two-seater mobility object because we want to propose a solution for two people in a position of comfort side-by-side. We think this is the best answer to the needs and usages of mobility in the city centers.”

Citroën’s own studies showed that urban traffic is dominated by vehicles carrying very few people and this also holds true for car-sharing. Grandmougin explained: “Our research shows that more than 70% of the trips are with one or two people and we have also seen the same kind of usage in the car-sharing models. So we have focused on providing a solution with agility and being a compact vehicle to fit into coping with traffic and the urban environment.”

Grandmougin did stress that the mobility vision is only likely to interest consumers inside urban environments. He said: “At the moment we do not see compact cars dominating mobility but we do expect that with traffic regulation and limited access to city centers the movement to small vehicles will increase in the centers more for car-share usage than for ownership. While this will not happen so much outside of cities, in the centers this movement is going quickly and will accelerate with electric mobility especially with the streets restricted to zero emission vehicles and whether they be four, three or even two wheeled vehicles.”

Grandmougin does not believe mobility mistakes of the past, such as London’s relaxation of city taxi rules that has increased congestion thanks to the explosion of Uber cabs on the streets, will be repeated by regulators. He explained: “I think there will be more regulation for the different options available such as regulations to limit Uber cars and secondly, it depends on the city authority’s transportation strategy depending on how many buses and how many other public options are on offer.

“We think that the development of car-sharing options with some solution like the AMIOne concept is fully part of this new ecosystem and won’t add to congestion but have the opposite effect by keeping your car in your garage while still having access to a limited number of car-share vehicles with the right localization that will fit with your 5, 10, 15km journey.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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