Pay-as-you-go car rental app launches in Dubai

ekar launches fleet of 100 carshare vehicles in partnership with Roads and Transport Authority (RTA)

For every carshare in operation, 17 privately owned cars are off the road and out of the car park.
For every carshare in operation, 17 privately owned cars are off the road and out of the car park.

ekar, the hourly car rental concept, has launched a fleet of 100 carshare vehicles across Dubai, in partnership with the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), with the vehicles being based at Dubai Metro stations and within a number of Dubai communities.

The company was previously running as a B2B service for the 2,000 full-time staff at Etihad and the 75,000 full-time staff at Emirates with a fleet consisting of two models: the Nissan Juke 1.6LTR AT 5STR 2016 and Nissan Sentra 1.6LTR Saloon 2016.

It was selected as a carsharing partner by Dubai’s RTA at the GITEX exhibition in October 2016.

“The freedom of driving a car without the hassle of ownership gives our customers the freedom of driving a car when they want,” said Vilhelm Hedberg, co-founder and CEO of ekar.

About half of the ekar fleet is operationally based around the Dubai Metro stations, while the other half within popular areas of the city, including JLT, Dubai Silicon Oasis, the Greens and Academic City.

Ekars can be booked through a mobile app and website and for amounts of time ranging from a minimum of 10 minutes to a maximum of six hours a day, providing a cost-effective alternative to daily and monthly rentals.

The concept also delivers mobility while leaving a smaller environmental footprint, as for every carshare in operation, 17 privately owned cars are off the road and out of the car park.

Once the journey is complete, the vehicle can be dropped off either to the same spot or another designated ekar station in the city for only an additional cost of AED6.

Hedberg has predicted that by 2025 carshare members will outnumber car owners in the Emirates, and according to Navigant Consulting, the revenue from global carsharing will grow to $6.2bn by 2020, with over 12 million members worldwide.

In the UAE, Ekar is the exclusive licensee of a German technology that currently accounts for 40% of the global carsharing market share.

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