Co Cars is operating in a new market. Other companies have evolved into offering onstreet car hire. Shared bike operators are morphing from docked and non-electric to electrified and docked/undocked.
• Co Cars offering placed based shared mobility across multiple modes of transport is a new business model creating increased streams of revenue.
• Confidence that the fundamental trends in peoples’ lifestyles, cities and net zero carbon targets mean that shared mobility must be - and is being - embraced by society at large, cities, councils, developers and other business organisations.
• This shifts private transport patterns and provide a sustainable model which is able to cross-subsidise (historically) lower revenue bike share with (historically) high revenue car share.
• Co Bikes was the first in the UK to deliver on-street ebikes and has unique market knowledge and advantage.
That Co Cars may not be able to convert car users to use shared cars and e-bikes in Exeter at the scale of utilisation required to meet its revenue forecast.
- Co Cars has a strong marketing approach for both attracting and retaining our members. This includes, PR, events, campaigns, stakeholder engagement, social media and print/digital advertising.
- The Society has strong cross-promoting opportunities with its partners.
- It is a Community champion - as a co-operative it has established strong connection with its communities where the e-bikes and cars are. It has people near each site helping to look out for and promote its services.
- Same direction of travel as local government - councils and authorities; who are increasingly looking to tackle congestion, pollution and net zero carbon reduction targets through models such as that offered by Co Cars.
- Co Cars monitors new users and members for how they heard about it. So far, word of mouth and walking past one of its branded cars or bikes have been strong sources of new take up. This is why the Society recently conducted a branding review to consolidate all brands and maximise visibility.
Co Cars is undertaking a significant increase in the scale at which it operates.
- Strong evidence has been used to underpin the assumptions, in the business plan and forecast financial model, around the extension of the car and bike fleets and the revenue growth that will drive.
- Co Cars has learnt from, and is confident it will continue to learn from, other bike share schemes (e.g. nextbike data) and other cities (e.g. Barcelona, Lisbon) where successful bike share schemes have been rolled out at scale (e.g. multiplier effect from additional docking stations, etc.).
Theft and vandalism of its cars and bikes.
- Many of the companies most affected by vandalism were allowing bikes to be parked anywhere. Co Cars' mix of docked and limited geolocated hubs will provide the customer with greater flexibility, while also ensuring that e-bikes located outside recognised parking areas can be monitored and returned.
- Tracking devices will let the business see where a bike is and will update in real time.
- Through customer awareness and background checks Co Cars is notified if a bike is parked in a risky location.
- The Society has community champions for each of our bike hub locations.
- It has engaged fully with the police and have proactive and reactive protocol arrangements
That the business may not be able to recruit staff numbers to successfully operate to deliver the forecast growth it projects.
- The business has had good experience of recruiting locally. There is a growing and strong team of individuals in Exeter and across its wider network who support its values and want to work with the Society.
- Exeter continues to grow as a city and is focusing on sustainability in growth which is likely to attract more likeminded individuals to the area.
That Co Cars’ high quality of service may decline with growth and scale.
- The investment raised will help us to develop the technology and corporate staffing infrastructure to secure quality of service as Co Cars grows.
That when the model is scaled it will rapidly become a target for much larger competitors. In recent years tech giants invest heavily in electric bike schemes that have so far concentrated only on the major urban centres, such as Uber JUMP.
- Co Cars is a known and trusted local brand. Rather than a large and unknown international company flooding a brand-new market with 1,000s of e-bikes, our expansion has been gradual, and we have built up a core following of loyal users who will help to informally police care of the fleet. Shared branding across our e-bikes, cars and delivery vehicles will help to expand the sense of the brand and presence across our locations, so we appear bigger and more visible than a remote technology company.
- The Society has strong South West links through its partnerships and has a unique business model focused on place.
If we prove the case for a mixed mode model it could attract further competitor attention given the anticipated population expansion. In addition, as the market grows and the size of contracts increase, we will expect to see greater competition in procurement.
- Co Cars has an established network and clientele who care about its values, its offering, and that it is a social enterprise.
- Co Cars is a Cooperative society set up for the benefit of its members and the local community; this will increasingly be used in its branding and to differentiate its offer – which comes with a great service at highly competitive prices and proven social impact.
- The business has a professional team with a wide range of experience of running and growing businesses and tender contracts.