Free floating, one-way car sharing model reduces GHG per household by up to 18 percent

Evaluating the impacts of a car sharing model across 5 cities.

July 2016
San Diego; California; United States; Washington; District of Columbia; United States; Seattle; Washington; United States; Vancouver; British Columbia; Canada; Calgary; Alberta; Canada

Summary Information

This study was designed to better understand how car2go is used; how it changes travel behavior; and its impacts on vehicle ownership, driving, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Car2go is a one-way carsharing service provider with a free-floating operational model.

Car2go is currently the largest carsharing operator in the world, with a presence in nine countries and nearly 30 cities. It operates as a one-way instant access carsharing system within a pre-defined urban zone. The University of California Berkeley’s Transportation Sustainability Research Center (TSRC) conducted a one-way carsharing impact study and found that car2go’s flexible one-way carsharing model can work in tandem with existing mass transit options, reduces the overall number of vehicles on the road (resulting in less air pollution) and ultimately improves mobility in densely-populated areas. The study gathered and analyzed car2go activity data from approximately 9,500 car2go members residing in Calgary, San Diego, Seattle, Vancouver and Washington, DC to determine the impacts on vehicle ownership, modal shift, VMT, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Between 2014 and 2015, an online survey was distributed to car2go members in the cities of San Diego, Seattle, Vancouver, Calgary, and Washington, D.C. Across all cities, the survey was completed by 9,497 car2go members.

Overall, the results of this study suggest that car2go one-way carsharing is substantively impacting travel behavior, miles driven, GHG emissions, and the number of vehicles on urban roads within operating regions.

Across the five study cities, it is estimated that:
  • Car2go members sold between 1 to 3 vehicles per car2go vehicle (on average)
  • Car2go members suppressed the need for between 4 to 9 vehicles per car2go vehicle (on average)
  • Overall, when considering both effects together, each car2go vehicle removed between 7 to 11 vehicles from the road of the five cities studied (on average)
  • On balance car2go reduced VMT by 6 percent to 16 percent, per car2go household
  • GHG emissions were reduced by 4 percent to 18 percent per car2go household

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Impacts of car2go on Vehicle Ownership, Modal Shift, Vehicle Miles Traveled, and Greenhouse Gas Emissions: An Analysis of Five North American Cities

Author: Elliot Martin, Susan Shaheen

Published By: University of California Berkeley's Transportation Sustainability Research Center (TSRC)

Source Date: July 2016



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Typical Deployment Locations

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Benefit ID: 2016-01125