Business consulting firm AlixPartners has recently announced the results of a car sharing study which finds that, in the United States, approximately 500,000 vehicle purchases have been avoided due to car sharing. The study suggests that as car sharing grows in popularity, it could account for approximately 1.2 million more automobile purchases avoided through 2020. The 10 key car-sharing markets covered in the AlixPartners survey, where car-sharing services have achieved a degree of scale, were Austin, Texas; Boston; Chicago; Miami; New York; Portland, Ore.; San Diego; San Francisco-Oakland; Seattle; and Washington, D.C. AlixPartners suggests that automobile manufacturers need to take the growth of car sharing into account in their business strategies.
As we have previously reported in Gallon Environment Letter, some large leading companies have already implemented programs to encourage car sharing among their employees. Companies located in city centres are more likely to encourage public transit use but for those located in suburban areas, where transit services offer less comprehensive coverage, car sharing can be an environmentally and economically appropriate strategy. Among the elements of a company-sponsored program:
- priority parking for car pooled vehicles
- company implementation of an electronic car pooling bulletin board system
- employee education explaining the benefits of car sharing
- recommendations for fuel, car maintenance and insurance cost sharing
- other incentives, eg gasoline discount cards, for car pool participants
- a small number of vehicles available to employees for use in critical situations such as a sick child being sent home from daycare or school.
Benefits to companies and employees include:
- fewer employees arriving stressed out from driving
- improvements to collegiality among employees
- reduction in congestion on roads leading to the company facility
- reduction in vehicle related air pollution and dust in the area of the facility
- lower costs of commuting = more money in employee pockets with no increase in personal income taxes paid
- a low cost benefit that can help improve employee satisfaction with their workplace
- a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions that can be announced by the company for car sharing rides that are arranged through its bulletin board system.
Announcement of the AlixPartners study is at: http://www.alixpartners.com/en/MediaCenter/PressReleases/tabid/821/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/950/AlixPartners-Study-Indicates-Greater-Negative-Effect-of-Car-Sharing-on-Vehicle-Purchases.aspx\
The above bulleted suggestions are from GallonDaily’s own research and are not part of the AlixPartners announcement.