Some thoughts about cars for sharingAugust 3, 2008
Small cars – compact and economical, for singles, couples, small families (1 to 2 kids) etc… these types of cars which are already in use for car sharing like the Honda Jazz are a low cost option for car sharing companies and offer a more profitable return. A lot of these cars don’t need fancy gadgets to satisfy its user. These small cars provide good mileage and are reasonably priced compared with Hybrids.
The Toyota Prius costs $37,400 & $46,900 and gives you 4.4L/100km, but the Hyundai i30 SX CDi goes 100km on 4.7L and costs $21,400 & $27,990. Most people can’t afford to be the greenie in the Prius which you have to drive for about 20 years to make up the cost.
A lot of diesels can match Hybrids for economy but they produce more CO2 and that’s the problem. By reducing the amount of cars in means of car sharing these cars can become more affordable.
Mid-size cars – sedans, small AWD’s etc… share audience as small cars with families (2 to 3 kids). This is a large market in Australia with cars like the Toyota Corrola (sedan) doing very well and European cars like the VW Jetta (sedan).
Large cars – large sedans, people carriers, 4WD’s, compact SUV’s attracts larger families (3 to 4+ kids), business men etc… has larger towing options and much more space for people and/or storage.
I put myself in this category, I’m married with four kids and drive a Holden SS Station Wagon (sorry I have a thing for V8’s) with a third row seat and has plenty of room for bags and things. This large car market is dying slowly and I don’t want to see a Tombstone with the V8 engine engraved on it.
Performance cars are amongst all of these categories, small sporty hatches, mid-size WRX nd EVO’s to the exotic supercars form around the world, but the area I want to look at is local performance cars like HSV and FPV. True Aussie muscle cars (as are their origins from the early 70’s) which can perform as good as those from Europe (sports sedans) which cost double the amount.
I’m not saying that the Prius is a bad thing far from it, it’s just not for me, and the thousands of other V8 drivers in this country. Making a fuel efficient muscle car is a different story, or is it? Designing a performance sedan for car sharing doesn’t have to be a V8 (would be nice) and if its not needs to have more sex appeal (cars like the Dodge ZEO concept, very cool) to its target audience. When needed also can perform to match current sports cars, while being fuel efficient. This is the challenge.
Holden’s Coupe 60 a 5.7L V8 with cylinder shutdown and biofuel E85 could be a starting point, but we need to take it a bit further, while keeping the cost down. Otherwise it just becomes another concept car.