Montreal, QC. April 8, 2021 – With the arrival of spring and despite the uncertainties related to the pandemic, Communauto, the largest carsharing organization in Canada, is continuing its momentum by adding nearly 500 vehicles to its fleet in 2021. This will increase the total number of vehicles operated by Communauto to about 4,000 by summer, across the 16 cities and regions currently served.
New vehicles are already being entered into service. The cities of Montreal (+260 vehicles) and Toronto (+120 vehicles) will experience the most significant expansion. The other vehicles will be added to the fleet in Halifax (+20), Quebec (+20), Ottawa (+10), Kitchener-Waterloo and Hamilton (+5), Edmonton (+5), Calgary (+10) and Paris, France (+20).
Continuation of electrification
Among the additions to be made in Montreal, 50 vehicles will be the 100% electric Kia Niro, with a range of more than 400 kilometres.
“Communauto is making available to its users the largest fleet of shared electric vehicles in Canada. With this addition, more than one hundred 100% electric vehicles will be available to our users. In total, 50% of our fleet is made up of 100% electric or hybrid vehicles. We would have a lot more if it weren’t for the difficulty manufacturers have in providing them to us,” said Benoît Robert, President and CEO of Communauto.
Dealing with the uncertainty associated with the pandemic
After experiencing an all-time low when the world went on “pause” last April, demand then hit an all-time high during the summer. Since the fall, the continuation of teleworking and engagement in nearby activities and essentials has allowed a certain return to normal, accompanied by sustained growth. But it is difficult to predict the impact of the third wave, especially over a horizon of a few months.
“In the face of this uncertainty, we are striking the best possible balance between the prudence that should guide our decisions, and the need to have a sufficient supply of vehicles to meet the essential needs of our users. Last year the new vehicles arrived very late in the season, which had a negative impact on our ability to meet demand. This year, three quarters of the new vehicles will be in service by the end of June. We will therefore be better able to meet the demand of the summer peak,” said Mr. Robert.
Expansion of the FLEX Zone
In Montreal, the FLEX Zone will be enlarged to include areas of the boroughs of LaSalle and Montreal North. The service area will also be expanded in the Cartierville and Saint-Laurent areas. Coming soon: the opening of a FLEX drop-off point on the south shore.
In Toronto, the FLEX Zone will be expanded north to Eglinton Ave., where residential parking permits exist, and west to Jane St.
Decisions will be made later, depending on the evolution of demand, in the other cities where FLEX service is now available (Edmonton, Calgary and Halifax).
More station-based vehicles, and vehicles offering additional space
The improvement of the offer for station-based vehicles, available by reservation, started in 2018 in all our branches with the introduction of vehicles offering more space (first the Prius V, then Corolla sedans following the Prius V’s exit from the Canadian market), continues again this year. The proportion of these models now exceeds 70% of all station-based fleet.
This decision was made to better position our reservation-based offer for longer journeys in complement to our FLEX offer, which is more suited for local trips.
After Edmonton last summer, it will be Toronto and Calgary’s turn this year to see the emergence of a network of station-based vehicles.
“The close integration of the offer of vehicles available with and without reservation has in a way become the signature of Communauto. We have found, with experience, that this is the best way to meet all the vehicle mobility needs of our users, and studies confirm it is also the most efficient way to optimize the environmental and urban benefits of carsharing. This is why we are working very hard to try to deploy both services wherever we can,” said Mr. Robert.
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Founded in Quebec City in 1994, Communauto is the largest carsharing service in Canada and the oldest in North America. Present on two continents in 16 cities (Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Hamilton, Guelph, London, Kingston, Ottawa, Gatineau, the regions of Montreal and Quebec, Sherbrooke, Halifax, and Paris, France). Communauto’s primary mission is to reduce the impact of vehicles on cities, while improving mobility access within the city’s core.
VP, Strategic Development