Carsharing firm ekar to add a hundred Volkswagen to fleet
Partners with Al Nabooda Automobiles, becoming first car dealer in the region to embrace carshare
Carsharing firm ekar is adding 100 Volkswagen cars to its fleet, thanks to a partnership with distributor Al Nabooda Automobiles.
Al Nabooda Automobiles-Volkswagen, the first automotive retailer in the region to embrace smart mobility solutions will initially insert 100 Volkswagen Passat and Jetta models into the ekar fleet called ekar X.
ekar uses instant reservations and smart access technology, providing a network of vehicles for on-demand rent in the UAE. ekar enables users to discover and book available cars via its mobile app and website, providing a cost-effective alternative to daily and monthly rentals by offering a “pay-by-the-use” pricing scheme.
ekar X offers consumers daily, weekly, and monthly on demand rentals.
According to Navigant Consulting, global carsharing services revenue approached US$1 billion in 2013 and set to grow to US$6.2 billion by 2020, with over 12 million members worldwide. The carshare services, provided by ekar, give UAE consumers all the benefits of car ownership without the high fixed costs including purchase, insurance and maintenance.
Thierry Seys, general manager Volkswagen, Al Nabooda Automobiles said; “We strongly believe in the future of carsharing, consequently we consider the partnership with ekar as a strategic one for Al Nabooda Automobiles and Volkswagen. Carsharing has a very positive effect on mobility, the economy, the end user and the environment by reducing carbon footprint. We are looking forward to seeing the results of the vehicles delivered.”
ekar formally launched in January 2016 with Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi, later with Emirates Airlines, and also in January 2017 with the Road and Transport Authority of Dubai (RTA) with 100 cars spread across the Emirate of Dubai. The agreement with Al Nabooda Automobiles - Volkswagen will see the fleet increase by up to 300 vehicles over the course of this initial phase.
The carsharing phenomenon comes with environmental benefits including reduced levels of air pollution, less parking infrastructure issues, less road expansions and more resources for park development and urban green spaces. For every one carshare car on the road means there are seven owned cars off the road thereby contributing largely to the decrease in air pollution.
“Since our launch at the start of the year we have seen more than 30,000 trips booked which was a strong milestone. The agreement with Volkswagen will not only provide a wider choice of ekars with more luxurious models on offer to the public but further boost Dubai’s transportation infrastructure. We are delighted to have such an innovative and forward-thinking partner in Al Nabooda Automobiles - Volkswagen and look forward to a long and strategic alliance,” Vilhelm Hedberg, CEO ekar Middle East.
Signing up for an ekar requires the user's driving license to be at least six months old. UAE residents who want to register with ekar are required to submit the back and front copies of their Emirates ID and driving license. For visiting tourists, the requirement is a valid passport copy and visa stamp page together with their international driver license.