What are the environmental benefits of carsharing?
In general, the environmental benefits of carsharing for the individual and society include:
- less traffic congestion and reduced need for parking due to fewer vehicles on the road;
- fewer vehicle km travelled (VKT) as members choose carefully when to drive (due to low fixed cost and high variable costs of carsharing), which means fewer Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and air pollutants;
- increased use of transit, walking and cycling to limit vehicle use.
I live car-free, how does my joining a carshare decrease my GHG contribution?
The Impact of Carsharing on Household Vehicle Holdings: Results from North American Shared-Use Vehicle Survey found that: “An aggregate analysis suggests that carsharing has taken between 90,000 and 130,000 vehicles off the road. This equates to 9 to 13 vehicles (including shed vehicles and postponed vehicle purchases) taken off the road for each carsharing vehicle.”
The majority of Peg City members use carsharing in place of owning a car – they were either living car-free or sold their vehicle / it became inoperable when they joined. The remaining members chose to carshare to avoid having to buy/own a second household vehicle. This mix results in an overall reduction of emissions as a group.
Explained in this section from the conclusion in the study Greenhouse Gas Emission Impacts of Carsharing in North America:
“The reduction in emissions brought by carsharing is not the result of all members, or even a majority of members, reducing their emissions. Rather, it is derived from the balance of the distribution of changes across all members that are increasing and decreasing emissions…
Carsharing apparently facilitates members to collectively converge to a shared-vehicle, low-mileage lifestyle. Carless households converge to this lifestyle by increasing emissions, and car holding households converge by decreasing emissions.”
Peg City Car Co-op is truly a community engaged in the action of reducing dependency on cars. Even if you live car-free, by joining a Car Co-op you no longer have to borrow Nana’s Plymouth for even those rarest of occasions. Nana can sell her car and join the carshare too.