The large-scale adoption of carsharing is intimately linked to the infrastructure available in cities, but also to local policies. Without real commitment on the part of the State, carsharing and new forms of mobility will not be able to meet the needs of fellow citizens and the ecological emergency. To accelerate the development of these new modes of transport in this new year, we must therefore rely on increased collaboration between the private sector and the public administration.
Across Europe, many car-sharing players are trying to propel new forms of mobility in order to free up space in cities, reduce polluting emissions, change travel habits and, at the same time, make the use of electric vehicles more attractive. In recent years, citizens have thus been able to familiarize themselves with cars and electric two-wheelers – and this, in large part, thanks to the many rental offers available. The ecological emergency, just like the disastrous impact of pollution on public health, are realities to which it is now essential to provide a strong and immediate response. It is up to us to be the engine of change.
The addition of cycle paths as well as the strengthening of public transport and electric mobility are encouraging measures that have been taken by many countries. They clearly demonstrate the willingness of cities to turn to greener alternatives, but – on their own – these initiatives do not make it possible to meet all the needs of users. This is why multimodal mobility is so important.
Carsharing is a recent form of mobility, but one that deserves to be highlighted. The flexibility of this type of service makes it possible to adapt to the needs of users, making vehicles available to citizens where they want them, and when they need them, for daily, weekly or monthly rental. Its expansion would allow users to switch more easily from one mode of transport to another and thus optimize multimodal mobility – which is essential to allow citizens to be able to move easily, regardless of distances and circumstances.
Governments and car-sharing players have a common goal: to make cities more pleasant to live in. And this goal can only be achieved if they work hand in hand. One carsharing vehicle can replace up to 8 personal cars, freeing up space in our currently congested streets and cities. In general, car-sharing users tend to travel fewer kilometers in the city, and help reduce urban congestion, noise and pollution.. By emphasizing sharing, not ownership, carsharing reduces traffic and emissions. This applies to electric cars but also to hybrid vehicles.
Carsharing helps reduce traffic, air pollution and emissions. Governments should consider carsharing in free-floating as a sustainable tool, one of the many types of mobility available to citizens. With specific regulations or designated parking spaces for carsharing vehicles, the State can support suppliers in this market and make a significant contribution to increase the attractiveness of carsharing.
At the same time, it is important that car-sharing providers position themselves as “partners” of cities and communities. Because the adoption of new forms of mobility will not happen without a strong political commitment. To achieve this goal, the level of communication between different authorities, at local, regional, national and global level, must also be improved to facilitate collaboration.
Madrid: an example of commitment to new mobility
Paris is already a good student in terms of ecological transition, in particular with the presence of charging infrastructure for electric mobility. But Madrid is a true European example in terms of the development of sustainable mobility and carsharing. In 2019, the city already had 600,000 car-sharing enthusiasts, all suppliers combined.
The city of Madrid took strong new measures in the fall of 2020. In collaboration with several car-sharing players and the Spanish Association for the Development and Promotion of Electric Mobility (AEDIVE), the government of the Madrid region has set up incentives financial support for the use of an electric car or scooter.
This is not the first time that a government has used incentives to accelerate the ecological transition. Many European countries have implemented a conversion bonus, but these aim to encourage residents to replace their old car by buying a cleaner vehicle (electric, hybrid, etc.). In Madrid, citizens are now encouraged to share, not own, a cleaner car. Thus, each Madrid resident who separates from his or her old car (+10 years) receives a bonus of € 1,250 specially dedicated to the use, over the following 2 years, of car-sharing services. For their part, the players in this market are committed to supplementing this sum with specific and dedicated offers. In addition to recognizing the positive impact of carsharing on the environment, this decision by the government of Madrid sends a strong message: the number of cars in circulation must be reduced to allow city dwellers to live and enjoy their city more calmly. .
Madrid has also set up dedicated car-sharing parking spaces in key locations in the city. free-floating, in order to promote multimodal mobility. Particularly popular with Spaniards living outside Madrid, this measure allows them to arrive by train or other means of transport, then have a car available directly in the car park to continue their journey easily.
In parallel, the national government – via the general direction of traffic ( Dirreción General de Tráfico) – also put into circulation a sticker ” car sharing »Which allows carsharing fleet vehicles to be easily recognized and thus benefit from specific access and parking conditions within various structures, private and public (airports, stations, businesses, etc.). This sticker is allocated according to the model of use (Carsharing) and not the technology of the vehicle.
But changes are still necessary, because despite the city of Madrid’s commitment to sustainable mobility and carsharing, unfortunately the city does not currently have enough charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.
These measures nonetheless illustrate the essential collaboration between States and car-sharing players in order to promote the rapid and large-scale adoption of more sustainable alternatives for mobility. The common objective of making cities more pleasant and sustainable cannot be achieved without political commitment, nor without close collaboration between market professionals and governments. Citizens need means of transport that genuinely meet all their needs. We must now work together, whether at national or European level, to offer citizens better living conditions and respond to the ecological emergency.