2EM.ch: a Story of Social Car Sharing in Switzerland
If the car stays in the garage during the whole week and is not used that much, there should be a way to make the engine work and even earn money. In 2012, an entrepreneur from Fribourg Youness Felouati founded 2EM.ch the first social car-sharing platform in Switzerland. Hence, he gave the chance to people to rent their own cars according to their geo-position.
SUISSEPIC was curious, how to rent a car to a neighbour and what would be the pans of the company for the near future.
SUISSEPIC: How did the idea to launch 2em.ch appear?
Youness: Thanks to the situation with a neighbor, the idea came to me. At that time, he had a small city car and wanted to go shopping at Ikea. Unfortunately, his car was too small for a ride of this kind. He asked me to rent my break car, which had enough space. After that, I started to think if this social exchange could be useful for people who does not have a car but need it at a moment.
SUISSEPIC: How the platform works?
Youness: At the 2EM.ch website a user can indicate where he/she wants to pick up a car. The list of the cars available close to the address will appear. The user can choose the type of a car that he/she likes the most and reserve it through 2EM.ch. A car owner receives an SMS to confirm or decline the booking.
An owner places his car, fixing its availability, a price and a location. Once the car is in catalogue, the owner receives some questions to answer by SMS and email. He also have a choice to confirm or decline the reservation.
SUISSEPIC: How did you choose the name of the project as 2em.ch?
Youness: 2EM means 2EcoMobility (To economic and ecological mobility).
SUISSEPIC: What were the goals of the project?
Youness: We would like to optimize the use of current resources while keeping the same freedom to have a private car.
SUISSEPIC: How do you attract clients? These are private owners or small companies?
Youness: There are several channels, but the majority of the customers come through the word-of-mouth. They actually choose among the most satisfied customers’ reviews. Usually, these people are very satisfied about our innovative concept. Yes, we have both private owners and small rental companies.
SUISSEPIC: Do you have insurance partners?
Youness: The insurance was our first concern. We have developed a solution with our partner AXA. This insurance (full insurance) is adapted to this kind of mobility and covers the car during the rental period.
SUISSEPIC: Do you have plans about native application?
Youness: Yes, we are working on it. It will be our important goal for 2019
SUISSEPIC: Do you want to spread abroad?
Youness: For the moment, we are focusing on our development in Switzerland. Our goal is to give a user a possibility to find 3 cars in each neighborhood. After reaching this goal, we will consider spreading 2EM abroad.
SUISSEPIC: What if someday some giants like Turo come to Switzerland and make you an offer to buy your tool. What could be your reaction?
Youness: Well, it is a hard question. Actually, I am not sure to say yes or not at the moment. For sure, now we are all engaged in shaping the mobility of tomorrow. It will change the way we use cars today. I see tomorrow’s car as a service-tool rather than as an object to possess.
SUISSEPIC: Do you personally rent a car or using your own?
Youness: I personally own a car. I am a person who believes in this concept and I share my car with the users of 2EM.ch.