Unbundling cars to daily use and infrequent use vehicles - the potential role of car sharing
Journal article, 2018
Car sharing is seen as an alternative to car ownership; however, for many households, this option may be unthinkable. In this study, we explore the idea of combining car sharing and vehicle ownership in order to change car purchase behavior to improve the environmental performance of the fleet. We consider the personal vehicle as a bundle of attributes. We look at the distinction between “daily use” and “infrequent use” attributes. “Infrequent use” features are those that are only needed occasionally, e.g., a larger trunk, all-wheel drive, seating for 7, and long vehicle range. If the vehicle attributes could be unbundled, the personal vehicle would include only those features needed on a daily basis, with car sharing providing the “infrequent use” features. We qualitatively explore what the car-sharing service would need to look like to cover the “infrequent use” needs and analyze if the existing services can provide these needs. We base our analysis on literature and interviews with experts and representatives from car sharing and rental car companies in California and Sweden. We find that car sharing today does not cover the needs for unbundling the vehicle. There are not enough “infrequent use” vehicles available in these services. However, new business models and the growth of peer-to-peer car sharing are already begun to widen the vehicle models available.