THE SUSTAINABILITY IMPACT OF CAR SHARING 2020

Value created for cities, property developers, companies and consumers

As 25% of energy-related global greenhouse gas emissions come from transport, the United Nations has recognized the importance of sustainable transportation in tackling the climate crisis. More specifically, shared mobility and car sharing are essentials in the shift to a low-carbon economy. Therefore, it is an evolving interest in identifying the economic, environmental, and social effects and value derived from car sharing.

In a recent study, Capgemini Invent has analyzed the sustainability impact of Volvo Car Mobility’s service within the geographical scope of Stockholm. Volvo Car Mobility is a wholly-owned, standalone venture of Volvo Car Group. The co-branded report by Capgemini Invent and Volvo Car Mobility looks into two areas:

  1. What are the sustainability effects of car sharing services?
  2. What value does the car sharing service create towards cities, property developers, companies, and individual customers?

To attain an in-depth understanding of the value generated by Volvo Car Mobility compared to private car ownership, we researched the topic using internal, external, and secondary resources. We rely on quantifiable and qualitative analysis to support our argumentation. In addition, we conducted one-by-one interviews with several industry experts and surveyed more than 1,500 active Volvo Car Mobility customers by assessing how their car ownership and driving behavior had changed since they started to use the service.

Each Volvo Car Mobility car replaces up to 8 privately owned cars

Using car sharing services instead of owning your own car is an effective way to reduce your environmental impact and contribute to a more sustainable future. The sustainability effects of car sharing is often referred to the number of private cars that can be removed from the streets by sharing instead of owning. Our results show that up to 8 privately owned cars are removed from the streets for each Volvo Car Mobility car. This number is based on a combination of the replacement effect (number of cars sold due to the membership) and the suppression effect (number of customers that avoid acquiring another car due to their membership).

The value that Volvo Car Mobility’s car sharing service creates for its key stakeholder groups relates to all three pillars of sustainability: economic, ecological/environmental, and social. We argue for lower CO2 emissions, reduced fuel consumption, and water savings. Additionally, the service contributes to less traffic congestion. This is substantiated by the customer survey results, which indicates a shift in driving behavior where customers who sold a car during their membership in Volvo Car Mobility, reduced their total distance traveled with car by 43%. Car sharing further implies economic benefits for customers, property developers, and cities. This relates to reduced costs of car ownership, reduced medical costs from fewer accidents, and lower construction costs with a direct impact on the possibility to build more affordable living places.

The value that Volvo Car Mobility’s car sharing service creates for its key stakeholder groups relates to all three pillars of sustainability: economic, ecological/environmental, and social. We argue for lower CO2 emissions, reduced fuel consumption, and water savings. Additionally, the service contributes to less traffic congestion. This is substantiated by the customer survey results, which indicates a shift in driving behavior where customers who sold a car during their membership in Volvo Car Mobility, reduced their total distance traveled with car by 43%. Car sharing further implies economic benefits for customers, property developers, and cities. This relates to reduced costs of car ownership, reduced medical costs from fewer accidents, and lower construction costs with a direct impact on the possibility to build more affordable living places.

Additionally, our research shows that car sharing opens up a host of opportunities through better use of space. A declining need for parking spaces is expected to free up an area of more than 50,000 m2. The freed up area could be replaced with green infrastructure, resulting in CO2 savings, or housing, implying a possibility to accommodate more people in Stockholm. While Volvo Car Mobility’s service also increases car accessibility for more people, it allows consumers and businesses to be part of a sustainable movement. Lastly, the company increases the electrification of the vehicle fleet in the city, which is considered key to achieving climate neutrality in the transportation sector.