After bike sharing, power bank sharing, and sleep sharing (previously known as “hotels”), car sharing might be another area which is nearing bankruptcy. News broke out that car sharing company Ezzy has been disbanded and stopped service. The worst part is that users are currently unable to withdraw their RMB 2000 deposit, according to user accounts posted on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like social platform. The company has yet to address the public.
Built on electric vehicles, Ezzy was known as the Mobike of cars. Last year, the company ventured into the higher end of the ride-share market by purchasing a fleet of BMW i3s and Audi A3s. The company allowed users to try its services before purchase through the Ezzy app in order to tap into younger costumers. Users could pay a monthly fee of RMB 1,200 or become VIP members by paying an RMB 2,000 deposit.
With the growth of China’s sharing economy, car rental and time-sharing companies have jumped on the new trend. But for this industry, winning the market while remaining profitable has remained a challenge. In March this year, car rental service Youyou announced that it will have to stop operations due to losses amounting to RMB 2 million.
Car sharing has higher thresholds compared with bike rentals. Companies not only have to make significant investments in vehicles, they have to cover fuel, electricity, and insurance, and ensure parking spots—a difficult task in China’s crowded cities. Cars are also more complicated to rent: users must ensure cars are in good condition and return them to designated areas.
China’s largest shared car service is currently GoFun Chuxing, an electric vehicle sharing platform under state-owned car-rental and taxi firm Beijing Shouqi Group.