PSA Emov All-Electric Car-Sharing Service Expands to Lisbon

The service launched in Madrid in December 2016.

byStephen Edelstein|
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PSA Groupe is expanding its Emov all-electric car-sharing service to a second European city. The service launched in Madrid in December 2016, and will soon be available in Portugal as well. Multiple automakers operate their own car-sharing services, but PSA claims to be the first to operate in Lisbon with an all-electric fleet.

Emov will launch in the Portuguese capital with 150 Citroën C-Zero electric cars. These are re-badged versions of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, the tiny electric hatchback Mitsubishi sold in the United States from 2011 to 2017. Citroën sibling Peugeot sells its own version, called the iOn. As with other car-sharing services, Lisbon residents can book cars using a smartphone app. In a press release, PSA said it would emphasize travel to and from the local airport.

The expansion to Lisbon comes after a successful launch in Madrid. PSA claims 160,000 residents of the Spanish capital are using Emov, and it currently has 600 Citroën C-Zero electric cars operating in the city. PSA plans to set up a corporate-accounts version of Emov in Madrid, allowing businesses to use the service to coordinate transportation for employees.

Services like Emov, as well as BMW's ReachNow and Daimler's Car2Go, give automakers a foothold in the expanding mobility-services business. These services may erode new-car sales by lessening the need for urban residents to own cars, but they also give automakers a new potential source of revenue. PSA hopes car sharing will give something else as well.

The French automaker is planning a gradual return to the U.S. market that begins with mobility services. It launched Free2Move, which allows users to select multiple transportation options from a smartphone app, in Seattle last year. That will help reintroduce PSA to Americans ahead of the relaunch of one its brands in the U.S., slated for 2026.

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