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Car-share Zipcar faces problems in Vienna

The city-supported Car-sharing company Zipcar faces problems in Vienna. Despite the fact that the city provides the parking slots for free, the utilization is still behind schedule.

According to plan, there should already be 80 public parking slots, however Zipcar-Austria CEO Christian Fuchs acknowledges that "until now only 50 could be established".

He added: "We haven't yet reached our goal."

The same applies to the utilization of the available cars, which is at about 20 percent. He added that "the utilization needs to double within one year".

Cars provided by the US-based company have been available at public parking slots throughout the city since September. Zipcars goal for the next year is to "improve the prominence of the product in general" and to develop totally new products.

Also, the availability in certain districts needs improvement. In 5 districts there is no Zipcar at all available. Fuchs explained that "some district leaders don't see the advantages of car-sharing. There's more persuasion to be done".

Unlike their competitor, Car2go, the cars offered by Zipcar have a fixed parking location to which they have to be returned. That obviously makes them easier to locate but also less flexible. Fuchs however adds, that Zipcar allows better planning because a car can be booked a long time in advance.

The main competitor, Car2go, which is owned by car manufacturer Daimler, is "very happy" with the current operations in Vienna.

The company spokesman Andreas Leo said that their "cars are rented  more than 22,000 times per week" and that since the launch one year ago "significantly more than 700,000" rental transactions were registered.

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