Today, owning a car is less and less desirable for young people, especially in urban areas. They prefer to combine various mobility services for an optimal individual mobility. Therefore, vehicle sharing is on the rise. Vehicle sharing enables a potential for sustainable mobility. But vehicle sharing, both bike and car sharing, is not automatically sustainable.
Why is vehicle sharing relevant for the discussion about sustainable consumption?
Mobility is an important part of everyones life and, therefore, sustainable mobility is an essential element of sustainable consumption. While vehicle sharing bears the potential to reduce ownership of cars, especially in cities, and related emissions, noise, congestion and the health problems associated with this effects. But at the same time, studies have shown that there can be rebound effects that decrease the positive impact of vehicle sharing. In this context, rebound effect means that some people use car sharing offers instead of using public transport or the bike and, therefore, increase the use of cars instread of reducing it (Deutsche Welle, 2015; WDR 2017).
And also bike sharing is not without problems. Two examples: As the Chinese market opened for bike sharing offers, the market was overflown with competitions and this caused an enormous oversupply which ended in large bike graveyards (e.g. The Atlantic, 2018). Another problem appeared in München as the Singaporean start-up obike provided its bikes for sharing without having fixed stations for their bikes across the city. So many people left they bike where they stopped using it: in a park, on walkways and even in the streets, which resulted in huge chaos and anger from residents. (The same happened also in other cities like Vienna and Zurich where obike operated.) There also was another critical issue in context of that particular provider because they heavily collect the movement data of users without being transparent about the usage of those data (Abendzeitung München, 2017).
How can vehicle sharing be sustainable?
- Bike sharing in general is very sustainable and flexible instead of owning a car, but they need to have fix docking stations to not fill the streets with bikes
- Car sharing can only be sustainable if it is accessible for everyone and uses sustainable vehicles (electric, hydrogen, biogas or e-fuel cars all based on renewable energies).
- The positive effects of vehicle sharing are increased, if public transport, bike and pedestrian transport is supported. (WDR, 2017)
- In general, the use of customer data should be transparent and the data should be adequately protected.
Who is offering bike sharing and where?
- Next Bike in Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Germany, India, Latvia, Lebanon, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States
- Mobike in 200 cities on all continents
- very critical!: oBike in Switzerland, Belgium, Austria, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Italy, Poland, Hungary, Spain, Portugal, France, Czech Republic, Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan
- citiy initiatives e.g. velib' in Paris (France), StadtRAD in Hamburg (Germany), Serco in London (United Kingdom), Bicing in Barcelona (Spain), Ecobici in Buenos Aires (Argentina) Bixi in Montreal (Canada), Citi Bikes in Ney York (United States) or governmental providers in major Chinese cities
... and many more.
Who is offering car sharing and where?
- car2go by Daimler in Canada, China, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the USA, Austria and the Netherlands
- drive now by BMW in Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Italy, UK and Portugal
- Zipcar in United States, Belgium, Canada, Costa Rica, France, Iceland, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey, United Kingdom
- sharoo and mobility (owned by SBB) in Switzerland
... and many more.
Please tell us about other vehicle sharing services and service providers that are available in your city.
#EcoMap #SustainableConsumption #Change #SustainableMobility #VehicleSharing #CarSharing #BikeSharing
Abendzeitung München (2017). Die Radl-Invasion: Was es mit den gelb-grauen Fahrrädern auf sich hat. Article from 20.11.2017 by Linda Jessen. Retrieved from https://www.abendzeitung-muenchen.de/inhalt.auf-einmal-ueberall-in-der-stadt-die-radl-invasion-was-es-mit-den-gelb-grauen-fahrraedern-auf-sich-hat.9a7e412d-68e2-4771-87df-753ac5aa669d.html.
Deutsche Welle (2015). Mehr Nachhaltigkeit durch "Sharing Economy"?. Retrieved from https://www.dw.com/de/mehr-nachhaltigkeit-durch-sharing-economy/a-18678705.
The Atlantic (2018). The Bike-Share Oversupply in China: Huge Piles of Abandoned and Broken Bicycles. Article from 22.03.2018 by Alan Taylor. Retrieved from: https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2018/03/bike-share-oversupply-in-china-huge-piles-of-abandoned-and-broken-bicycles/556268/
WDR (2017). Wie nachhaltig ist Carsharing?. Retrieved from https://www1.wdr.de/wissen/technik/carsharing-nachhaltigkeit-100.html.