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SCCER – Mobility

Can carsharing further increase the acceptance of electric mobility?

Electromobility is considered to play a central role in the decarbonisation of mobility, provided that the electricity is generated from renewable sources. While northern countries such as Norway, Iceland or Sweden already have a market share of more than 10% of the new car sales for electric vehicles (fully battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids) and are thus leading the way, the figure for Switzerland is less than 6%. If only the fully battery-powered electric vehicles (BEV) are considered, this figure drops to below 4%.

In the Swiss Competence Center for Energy Research – Mobility (SCCER – Mobility), which is funded by Innosuisse, the ZHAW INE team has investigated the question of whether people who have experience with carsharing display characteristics that are conducive to the acceptance of e-mobility. To this end, participants in the Swiss Household Energy Demand Survey (SHEDS) were placed in a decision-making situation: either to buy a car if they do not own one, or to replace their own car within one year. This was followed by several sequential-stated-preference questions like preferred car size and car type (gasoline, diesel, hybrid, plug-in-hybrid or fully electric).

Clearly, the above graph suggests that there might be a significant effect of having carsharing experience on the car type choice. However, as many variables could have an effect on this distribution, e.g. carsharing users living in cities with favorable conditions for buying an electric vehicle, variables related to socio-economics, mobility characteristics, attitudes and values were included in a binary logistic regression model to account for these confounding effects.

The regression analysis suggests that there is indeed a significant effect of having carsharing experience on the car type choice decision, with people who have carsharing experience being less likely to prefer a gasoline or diesel car.

This study thus argues that carsharing experience might be a lever for further increasing the diffusion of electric vehicles as carsharing experience could foster a more sustainable mobility lifestyle, including electric vehicles.

The results will be presented at the Forum on Integrated and Sustainable Transport Systems in Delft – Netherlands on 3-5 November 2020.

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