A new branding message, plans for further expansion in the U.S. and abroad and a month-to-month vehicle subscription plan are among the latest developments for Free2Move, a mobility company launched by Peugeot in 2016 and now part of Stellantis.
Whether someone needs a car for minutes, hours, days or months, Free2Move, based in Paris, is developing a unique ecosystem for private and professional customers around the world.
To date, Free2Move has 2 million customers, 450,000 rental vehicles and 500,000 parking spaces available to its users. In Europe, its network includes 250,000 electric-vehicle charging points.
Besides Paris, Free2Move’s Mobility Hubs are in Madrid,; Lisbon, Washington, Los Angeles and Portland, OR. Just last month, Denver joined the network, with 160 Jeep Renegades available for booking on the Free2Move mobility app.
“The young generation is switching from car ownership to usage,” says Free2Move CEO Brigitte Courtehoux, who will speak at 12:10 p.m. Wednesday during Informa’s Automotive Tech Week in Novi, MI.
“We need to be open to change and to put ourselves in the seat of the customer. Younger generations have new behaviors,” Courtehoux says. “A lot of cars will be more connected with one app and one click to have one solution at the right time. We want to be able to step into this new world.”
On the app, users in those areas can create an account on their smartphones and reserve a vehicle among those nearby. The customer has up to 30 minutes to retrieve the vehicle and unlock it with one click of the app.
Parking at metered spots is covered as part of the loan agreement. A user keeps the vehicle as long as necessary and pays based on length of the loan. On weekends, Free2Move typically charges about $45 per day for a car, Courtehoux says.
When done with the vehicle, the user leaves it in an approved parking spot and locks it with the app. Field agents then find the vehicle, clean and maintain it before moving it to certain popular neighborhoods, ready for another customer.
The first U.S. market for Free2Move was Washington in 2018, and today the service has 600 vehicles there.
Courtehoux (pictured below, left) says most Free2Move customers are between the ages of 35 and 40, and these younger customers don’t mind paying for a loan of a month or more. “Flexibility is key for our customers,” she says.
In 2020, Free2Move generated $40.3 million (€35 million) in revenue, with 85% of that in Europe and the remainder in the U.S. About half of the revenues come from private individuals, and the other half from business-to-business customers such as fleet managers, as well as connected data from the cars, Courtehoux says.
On the fleet side, Free2Move has 20,000 customers, and those fleet sizes range from five to 100,000 cars. Enterprise and Avis are among the car-rental fleets that use the Free2Move hub.
“We’re proposing a mobility solution that can move through our brand,” she says, noting the importance that European automotive dealers play in the company’s business model there. “We have 25,000 cars from franchisees, and 95% of those are Stellantis dealers in Europe.”
This week, Free2Move reveals its new branding tagline: “Move with your time,” which comes after five years of continuous growth and is meant to embrace the growing importance of sustainable mobility and the transition to electric cars.