ekar launches contactless Peer-to-Peer carshare in Saudi Arabia
ekar has launched peer-to-peer carsharing in Saudi Arabia. When their personally owned vehicles are not in use, Saudi 'hosts' can now earn money by renting them out on the ekar platform. Vehicles previously inspected and installed with a telematics unit or 'health tracker' by the company’s operations team can be instantly activated on its app. ekar's 270,000 members can then seamlessly book, unlock, and pay for the rental of personally owned vehicles via the app.
ekar's peer-to-peer is entirely contactless. The company’s digital peer-to-peer solution removes the host and renter's need to meet in person for the 'key handover'.. The car keys are safely locked in an otherwise immobilised vehicle, only accessible via the app's direct integration with the vehicle's onboard computer, enabling the hosted car to be unlocked and driven. Without the app's authentication, cars are locked, totally immobilised, and will not start, thus preventing any unauthorised access or theft. ekar's proprietary AI constantly tracks and analyses a wealth of data, including location, time, driver information, driver behaviour and scoring, and vehicle identification. Cars are also fully insured should damages occur during or between rentals.
Vilhelm Hedberg, Founder of ekar, said, "Ride-hailing companies did an excellent job introducing the gig economy to car owners, allowing them to become chauffeurs and make additional income. ekar, on the other hand, allows car owners to inject their cars into their platform from the comfort of their couch, and we handle the rest. A car owner can now spend their valuable time on other activities, rather than chauffeuring, and enjoy high yielding passive income on assets they already own."
According to industry experts, peer-to-peer carsharing is poised for explosive growth, gaining popularity in both developed and developing countries and bolstered by the rise of smartphone technology and social networks. According to a report by Accenture, the number of peer-to-peer carsharing vehicles globally grew from approximately 200,000 in 2015 to more than 440,000 in 2021. That figure is expected to more than double by 2025, to approximately 990,000 vehicles.
Hedberg added, "In today's environment, with new car production nearing an all-time low and fuel prices nearing an all-time high, peer-to-peer carsharing is an ideal solution that benefits both the entrepreneurially-minded host and the cost-conscious renter.”
ekar's peer-to-peer service targets the more than two million Saudi-owned cars that fall within the peer-to-peer regulation in the Kingdom, namely vehicles that are less than five years old, wholly-owned, and fully insured. This massive addressable market of cars will enrich the breadth of vehicle choice, and ekar carshare members can now access an almost endless fleet of vehicles from economy to luxury.