After a first edition of the National Survey on Carsharing conducted with 2090 users in 2012, the research consultancy 6t comes back four years later with a brand new edition, made with the support of the ADEME. A relevant way to study the evolutions of the carsharing role in the contemporary urban mobility and its uses in everyday life.
Mainly focused on round-trip carsharing, this edition has been nourished by 4 quantitative surveys conducted with carsharing users and vehicle fleet managers working for companies or local authorities. These surveys were completed by a qualitative survey, consisting of 25 interviews with users and former users of carsharing services, in order to better understand how this kind of mobility intervenes in everyday life’s urban travels.
Carsharing at the center of several mobility paths
By studying the results, 6t has been able to identify 4 different types of paths leading to the use of carsharing:
- Carsharing as a cause of car-free environnement, completed with other alternative modes, gradually remplacing the use of the personal vehicle.
- Carsharing as a consequence of car-free environnements. Carsharing is a choice made to change habits and to learn to get by without a personal vehicle. This category and the previous one represent 54% of the surveyed users.
- Carsharing as a car ownership alternative (21%)
- Carsharing as a means of accessing automobility (22%)
In 2016, one carsharing vehicle replaced 5 personal vehicles and freed 4 parking spaces.
Axes for reflection and action to open carsharing to a new audience and garanty the success of a service
Despite the diversity of paths observed in the uses of carsharing, the profile of the user of this type of service remains consistent, as shown in the infography below realized by 6t as part of its survey.
Rely on a broader communication strategy
Thus, the typical carsharing user is highly qualified, middle-aged and benefits of a good financial situation.
Carsharing has yet to find an efficient communication strategy to claim its place in the mainstream media and, more importantly, to reach out to more diversified and less favored socio-economic profiles. This public, such as young drivers and large families, might indeed be very interested in this alternative to vehicle property which can be a large source of expenses for a household.
Make carsharing services more attractive
To conclude its survey, 6t develops several factors of success for a carsharing service. First of all, the location of the network of stations is primordial, by favouring the proximity of the service. Accessing the service must be simplified to make the user’s path more enjoyable and intuitive. One way to do that is to give the possibility to register and book a vehicle online, from a computer or a smartphone and offer a diversity of vehicles (electrics, hybrids…).
Local authorities have a part to play in this will to make carsharing more accessible, particularly in terms of public space layout. The major concern is indeed the building of a dense network of noticeable stations, acting as real communication mediums towards potential clients and highlighted by a more developed institutional communication.
Thanks to these two surveys conducted 4 years apart, 6t gives us a comprehensive analysis of the evolutions of carsharing uses but also a glimpse of the future for these mobility services. They could, with the support of local authorities, become an important part of a more mastered and sustainable urbanism.