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Mitsui Launches Car Sharing Business in Japan

Mitsui & Co., Ltd., has launched Car Sharing Japan Co., Ltd. (CSJ) to enter the car-sharing market. CSJ plans to begin service in January 2009 in the Tokyo Metropolitan District, and to use its Tokyo operations as a basis for the future expansion of the business.

In Japan, with the number of new car sales declining and an increase in environmental awareness, the future trend in car usage has been moving towards car use and away from car ownership, Mitsui said in its announcement. The company expects rapid growth for car-sharing services in Japan.

CSJ says it will be developing its business in a way that considers its impact upon the environment by using hybrid vehicles and vehicles with low fuel consumption. The company plans to deploy 100 cars in the first year and 1,000 cars in five years

Comments

Henry Gibson

Car sharing is the fastest way to implement lower cost transportation. It will also reduce fuel consumption because people will be perfectly willing to use a very small efficient car in a sharing situation. A person who owns a HUMMER is not very likely to rent one for a business trip from the airport to down town. I would use light rail more often at home if a car were right available to share to get to and from the station. I use light rail almost every time I am in foreign cities.

Such cars would be the perfect use for cheap limited range plug-in-hybrid vehicles that use the cheapest low range batteries probably made from lead. The local electronics shop was selling Lithium cell phone replacement batteries for about $50 for that price a 10 kilo car akku can be bought.

..HG..

JMartin

Henry makes good points. The auto companies might not like car sharing so much because it would reduce the number of vehicles needed, but it solves the last mile problem and as HG points out, the vehicles don't require 300 mile range.

Follow this link http://www.euronews.net/en/article/03/12/2008/the-hands-free-future-for-transport/ for examples of Euro developments along these lines. The vehicles tend to be classified as mass transit rather than cars, so we don't see much on them in GCC. The concept is similar.

DavidJ

It solves the last mile problem, but only on the destination end as the cars are likely to be stored near things like stations.
They would be good candidates for PHEV as they typically have allocated parking bays they return to and are of most benefit financially to those people making short trips.

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