Why Size Matters: Carsharing with Microcars

Variants of microcars

Why microcars?

Aspects to consider for future microcars

  • Safety — Since microcars are driven on the road besides standard cars, safety is a top concern to protect the drivers. Whether this involves a stronger vehicle frame and adding airbags to protect the driver from collision or building better suspension to keep the driver in control when going over potholes, there are areas of improvement.
  • Regulations — To support improving the maturity and robustness of microcars, it will be necessary to have more regulations to mandate safety requirements. Many of these microcars are considered legal motorized vehicles, but they lack the standardization and regulations that car manufacturers must adhere to. In addition, some microcars do not require a driver’s license. In Beijing, sales of microcars are banned due to a lack of regulation, though they can still be seen driving throughout the streets due to minimal enforcement.
  • Vehicle design — While a rational consumer will choose the vehicle that is most suitable for them based on need, often times, what a vehicle looks like plays a role in attracting consumers. People have to want to ride these microcars, so it must reflect the lifestyle they are trying to achieve. In addition, the vehicle design needs to be considered in the context of vandalism. The vehicles are open concept meaning the interiors can be vandalized, and given their relative lightweight, have been found destroyed in rivers.

Building microcars for sharing

  • Central lock system — One challenge for microcars in the sharing context has been a lack of a central lock, which means a user would not be able to lock and unlock the microcar via the app. In a typical carsharing model, a central lock is critical to ensuring the vehicle is only used for an authorized rental and to prevent theft. This would also reduce vehicle turnover and keep operational costs low.
  • Standardized charging — To be a sustainable mobility solution, microcars must be electric. At the same time, the vehicles should be compatible with existing charging infrastructure and/or have swappable batteries like some e-mopeds on the market. Otherwise, shared microcars are limited to the station-based model. While range likely is not too big of a concern given the slower speed and typical use case with a microcar, these features will ensure that an electric microcar will be known as a suitable mobility option for mid-distanced trips around the city.
  • More CANbus signals — Data is becoming more and more of a critical aspect of successfully scaling shared mobility options. To make this possible, having insight into vehicle data is important for understanding how people are using the service. Most microcars we have analyzed have limited CANbus signals, meaning there is no information on vehicle lock status, battery level, state of charge, etc. Without this data, a fleet manager is virtually blind to the maintenance needs of the vehicles.

Getting prepared for the future




INVERS is the inventor of automated vehicle sharing, and we enable mobility operators to launch, run, and scale with the first and market-leading tech solution

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INVERS — Make Mobility Shareable

INVERS — Make Mobility Shareable

INVERS is the inventor of automated vehicle sharing, and we enable mobility operators to launch, run, and scale with the first and market-leading tech solution

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