Success made possible. Behind the scenes of MILES Mobility
Updated: May 19
About shared mobility success stories despite of the pandemic
MILES believes in a world in which mobility should be shared, sustainable and accessible to everyone and wants to provide an alternative to private car ownership. The mission is to be part of the personal mobility mix to improve urban life.
We talked to Jan Gebauer, Head of Operations at MILES about all of the above as well as success stories made possible - despite the pandemic, the importance of rebalancing as a key to unlock profitability and their future plans.
How do you find that the unique current circumstances have impacted the shared mobility industry and market?
It’s more than obvious that the impact of the pandemic still continues to be a major one on the entire mobility industry and many other industries alike. When everyone is advised to stay in, mobility is one of the first ones that needs to transform and adapt. I believe it’s doing it, as tailored technology developments gained transition and got implemented.
How’s MILES been adapting to the ‘new normal’? What changed vs. what stayed the same?
As a modern mobility provider, you always need to be aware of your customer’s needs. Why and when do they need a car? As times and circumstances change, so do their needs, and you need to be there to provide the best solution, adapted to the situation.
We went through a process of reprioritizing and exploring different forms of use last year and offered different day packages for special rates to keep everyone mobile. We see that sharing and rental are merging more and more and keep focusing on that.
Is the role of car sharing any different today than it was pre-Covid?
Not so much, the mentioned customer’s needs play an important role - more than ever probably. And what became clearer last year, however, is the importance of car sharing in a balanced mobility mix - in a multimodal ecosystem
Congratulations on your latest successful MILEStone! What are the key points of this milestone?
Thank you! In fact, 2020 was marked by expansion and strategic development for MILES, which makes us extremely grateful, giving the challenging pandemic situation. The vehicle fleet was doubled, business areas were expanded, new offers were launched and partnerships were forged with mobility platforms. MILES has also set up its own repair shop and implemented its own app.
We see ourselves as a holistic company. Externally, this means that we want to cover all situations in which a vehicle is needed. Internally, it translates into us wanting to take care of all processes ourselves as much as possible. And these are our key points that help ensure profitability: flexibility, a holistic view and a use-case driven approach.
What would you say the role of rebalancing is in making a shared fleet profitable?
Rebalancing is a very important tool to meet higher demands at peak times and to ensure that there is no undersupply in our hotspots around the city. The process needs to be highly efficient to increase the number of relocations a team can perform per day, if we think of the impact on costs per transfer. An efficient solution is one that can combine on-demand rebalancing with execution power to enable a high volume of rebalancing moves. And innovative solutions such as Ubiq’s StreetCrowd helps attain cost-efficient operations.
The combination of a highly-efficient inhouse operations team, innovative third party solutions such as Ubiq’s and dynamic pricing help to keep both the fleet intelligently allocated and the operational costs on a reasonable level. Among many other aspects within the company, this directly contributes to profitability.
The shared-mobility business model is often challenged and there’s a lot of focus on what it CAN’T do. Is it justified?
There are usually three accusations that we are facing: car sharing is not profitable, is bad for the environment and puts more cars on the road. To every one of them we can prove the opposite - our main goal is to reduce traffic and private car ownership along with other mobility providers and the public transport sector. Every day, we do our best to make the benefits of car sharing visible to our users, to the politicians, cities and other relevant stakeholders and to convince them from our vision of making every driven mile a shared mile.
What’s next for MILES?
The next steps are already happening, as we recently launched our first electric fleet. It is planned to open new locations as well as to expand existing areas and include suburbs this year. However, the most important project for us continues to be displaying the ecological and economic sustainability of car sharing.
MILES is the largest car sharing provider in Berlin and the largest non-OEM car sharing provider in Germany offering its customers fair and transparent pricing where you pay for the kilometers driven, not the minutes of use. The service includes kilometer-based carsharing, van sharing and packages for flexible long-term rentals - without any stations in a free-floating system.
MILES is already active in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Cologne and Dusseldorf.
Ubiq enables operators to effectively position fleets to serve strategic goals. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org