In recent years there has been significant worldwide activity in shared-use vehicle systems (i.e., carsharing and station cars). Much of this activity is taking place in Europe and North America; however, there has also been significant activity in Asia, primarily in Japan and Singapore with some planned activity in Malaysia. This paper examines the latest shared-use vehicle system activities in Japan and Singapore, beginning with an historical review followed by an evaluation of their current systems. Overall, there are several well-established systems in both Japan (18 systems with approximately 150 vehicles and 3000 members) and Singapore (4 systems with approximately 432 vehicles and 12,200 members).
In Spring 2006, a new program is planned to launch in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with 10 vehicles. In contrast to most European and North American cities, Japan and Singapore already have a wide range of viable public transportation modes. Interestingly, the primary carsharing focus in Japan is on business use and on neighborhood residential in Singapore. This is likely due to limited vehicle licensing and high car ownership costs in Singapore. Further, systems in Japan and Singapore have a high degree of advanced technology in their systems, making the systems both easy to use and manage. The member-vehicle ratios in Asia appear to be approximately the same as Europe and Canada and less than the U.S. It is expected that Asian shared-use vehicle systems will continue to have steady growth in terms of number of organizations, vehicles, and users.