Does car sharing reduce greenhouse gas emissions? Assessing the modal shift and lifetime shift rebound effects from a life cycle perspective

Levon Amatuni*, Juudit Ottelin, Bernhard Steubing, José M. Mogollón

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Car-sharing platforms provide access to a shared rather than a private fleet of automobiles distributed in the region. Participation in such services induces changes in mobility behaviour as well as vehicle ownership patterns that could have positive environmental impacts. This study contributes to the understanding of the total mobility-related greenhouse gas emissions reduction related to business-to-consumer car-sharing participation. A comprehensive model which takes into account distances travelled annually by the major urban transport modes as well as their life-cycle emissions factors is proposed, and the before-and-after analysis is conducted for an average car-sharing member in three geographical cases (Netherlands, San Francisco, Calgary). In addition to non-operational emissions for all the transport modes involved, this approach considers the rebound effects associated with the modal shift effect (substituting driving distances with alternative modes) and the lifetime shift effect for the shared automobiles, phenomena which have been barely analysed in the previous studies. As a result, in contrast to the previous impact assessments in the field, a significantly more modest reduction of the annual total mobility-related life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions caused by car-sharing participation has been estimated, 3–18% for three geographical case studies investigated (versus up to 67% estimated previously). This suggests the significance of the newly considered effects and provides with the practical implications for improved assessments in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number121869
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Volume266
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Car sharing
  • Carbon footprint
  • GHG emissions
  • LCA
  • Lifetime
  • Rebound effects

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