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The Sustainability Impact of Car Sharing 2021

One shared car from Volvo Car Mobility removes up to 9 privately owned cars

In Europe, passenger cars are responsible for around 13% of total CO2 emissions, and a massive 60.7% of road transportation CO2 emissions.* But while transportation of people is a fundamental part of a working society and economy, emissions of CO2 are not. Therefore, enabling sustainable transportation is key to creating a sustainable future. This is emphasized by the United Nations’ 11th Sustainable Development Goal “Sustainable cities and communities,” specifically “Sustainable transportation”.

In 2020, a first analysis on the sustainability impact of Volvo Car Mobility’s car sharing service M, was done by Capgemini Invent. The result showed car-sharing services are enabling customers to travel more sustainably, and that each shared car from Volvo Car Mobility removed up to 8 privately owned cars nationally. Now one year has passed, during which time newcomers have joined M, and experienced customers have matured their relationship with the service. Volvo Car Mobility’s geographical scope has also expanded out from the Stockholm region to regions across Sweden.

In this second co-branded report, by Capgemini Invent and Volvo Car Mobility, we further investigate the sustainability effects of car sharing expanded to a region-by-region analysis. How many privately owned cars are removed from the streets per shared car, and are there any differences between the regions? We have also looked deeper into what behavioral or lifestyle factors influence a customer’s car ownership preferences.

As sustainable development is a continuous journey, the report aims to explore the future impact of car sharing in a final question: How can car sharing play an even greater role in the transition to a sustainable tomorrow?

The study conducted by Capgemini Invent was commissioned by Volvo Car Mobility, a wholly owned, standalone venture of Volvo Car Group. All the data needed for the analysis was provided by Volvo Car Mobility through their extensive database. In this report, we have investigated the development of key perspectives addressed in last year’s report and identified some of the key factors that affect customers’ car ownership preferences.

In 2021, each shared car from Volvo Car Mobility removed up to 9 privately owned cars from the streets, both nationally and within the Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmö regions.

As the usage of M has grown, so have its positive sustainability effects. In the Stockholm region, Volvo Car Mobility’s contribution to reduced CO2 tailpipe emissions improved by 5% compared to 2020. In total, up to 16,000 tons of CO2 from tailpipe emissions were reduced during 2021. In addition, approximately 985 million SEK were potentially saved in construction costs, and about 128,000 m2 of land could be reclaimed for other purposes in the three cities combined.

Volvo Car Mobility’s impact could be accelerated even further. Firstly, by fulfilling the car mobility needs for even more customers, and thereby make them feel comfortable enough to reevaluate their car ownership preferences. Secondly, Volvo Car Mobility can support customers’ transition to EV by removing their most commonly cited obstacles. In that way, Volvo Car Mobility can accelerate the transition towards a more sustainable tomorrow.

*European Parliament, “CO2 emissions from cars: facts and figures (infographics)”, accessed October 2021