Abstract for: The Future of Carsharing Services and its Role in Sustainable Transportation

This paper develops a computational model to simulate the diffusion of carsharing within the passenger car market. The model comprises private ownership/shared use for non-electric and electric fueling technologies, as well as consumer consideration, and endogenous attractiveness indicators, including price and convenience. Tested adoption instruments include marketing campaigns, training programs, and general promotion of sustainable transport modes. Calibrating the model to the city of Turin, Italy—one of the most polluted European cities and actively promoting carsharing—results show that a comprehensive policy mix combining all mentioned instruments and maintaining this for several decades is necessary to achieve a self-sustaining carsharing market. Only in this scenario does carsharing yield generally hoped-for impacts, in terms of lower car ownership, reduced kilometers traveled, and reduction of CO2 emissions and local pollution. Even then, regarding the latter, a major contribution derives from support for electric vehicle adoption—shared and private—and consideration of full lifecycle impacts. Further improving these metrics requires the aggressive phasing out of conventional vehicles. Results highlight the challenge of lifestyle-changing sustainability transformations. We discuss the implications and extensions of our research, including the use of the model as support for researchers and practitioners within the sustainable urban transportation field.