To the top

Page Manager: Webmaster
Last update: 9/11/2012 3:13 PM

Tell a friend about this page
Print version

Mobility cultures and mob… - University of Gothenburg, Sweden Till startsida
To content Read more about how we use cookies on

Mobility cultures and mobility styles

Authors Gunnar Nehrke
Cecilia Jakobsson Bergstad
Érika Martins Silva Ramos
Merritt Polk
Johannes Rodenbach
Jeffrey Matthijs
Stefano Beccaria
Massimiliano Melis
Marko Horvat
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Psychology
School of Global Studies
Language en
Subject categories Environmental psychology, Psychology, Transport Systems and Logistics


The aim of this deliverable is to gather further insight into the underlying social and emotional factors that amplify or mitigate an affinity to car sharing. The present deliverable partly builds on the results of the studies carried out and presented in in D4.1. It is an input for the general account of the underlying sociodemographic and attitudinal factors for car sharing conversion that will be given in D 4.3. Various methods were used in this deliverable. A cluster analysis was employed to identify mobility styles with different mobility habits and different attitudes towards environmental issues in car sharing users and non-users. Qualitative methods such as focus group discussions, a living lab and empathy interviews were used in order to gain more insights into the emotional and attitudinal drivers for private car and car sharing use. The segmentation of current car-sharing users and non-users studied by STARS in D4.1 resulted in five different mobility styles, three styles for car-sharing users and two for non-users. The cluster analysis in D4.2 now shows how these styles differ in respect to travel behaviour, frequency of car use and attitude towards environmental issues. Mobility styles including frequent car use for daily trips are found in two of the three car sharing user groups. Only one mobility style which is centred on public transport shows a more multimodal profile. The fact that the cluster analysis identified a car-focused green mobility style among car sharing users is particularly interesting. This group has the lowest percentage of car free households but also shows a high level of environmental awareness and concern regarding the impact of travels. This discrepancy between actual behaviour and awareness can only be found in car sharing users. This group of car sharing users might be especially open to reducing car use and changing to a more environment friendly mobility behaviour. To better understand attitudes and emotions towards private and shared cars, focus groups were held in Germany and in Flanders, Belgium. Topics discussed in the focus groups included the unbeatable advantage of the private car, the advantages and disadvantages of car sharing and the motivation to use car sharing. The aim was to explore the practical and emotional value both users and non-users see in car sharing and the private car. The participants of the German focus groups where recruited in inner-city urban residential areas with a high density of car sharing offers and excellent access to public transport. Thus these participants have excellent preconditions to adopt a multimodal mobility behaviour. As expected, public transport and bike are the most used options for every day trips among all participants - users as well as non-users of car sharing. Nevertheless, car ownership is still widespread among the German non-users of car sharing. Car use on the other hand is not: two thirds of participants who own a car Mobility cultures and mobility styles GA n°769513 Page 8 of 74 find car traffic nerve wrecking and use their car only on rare and planned occasions. This rare use of the private car also resembles the classic behaviour of roundtrip car sharing customers in Germany. It can be concluded that these non-users would also be targets for a car sharing. However, conversion to car sharing does not happen for two reasons: firstly, the permanent availability of the private car is experienced as a source of emotional security. Secondly, the private car is experienced as the simplest mode of transport since no planning is needed and no bookings need to be done. Present users of car sharing in the German focus groups only rarely discuss poor availability of car sharing cars and the complexity of booking as a problem. It can be concluded, that non-users overestimate the problems they would face with using car sharing. The German focus groups also show that attitude towards environmental issues differ according to the used car sharing variant. Roundtrip car sharing users are much more sustainabilityoriented while free-floating users more often seek convenience. Roundtrip users literally feel proud of doing something good when using car sharing. This same attitude is also very widespread among car sharing users in the Flanders focus groups. In Flanders one focus group with car sharing non-users and four focus groups with car sharing users were held. As in Germany most non-users own a car. They love the flexibility the car provides and are convinced that car sharing has to be cheaper than a private car since planning and booking would add an extra complexity to their mobility. In contrast to the German non-users, non-users in Flanders still have fun when driving a car. In the Flanders car sharing user groups one half of the participants are peer-to-peer users of a special kind: they take part in private car sharing initiatives that share the cars that some of the households own. This makes the Flanders groups a key reference for understanding peer-to-peer car sharing users better. Car sharing users in Flanders have a strong tendency to see cars as a means to an end. The most striking feature is, that more than half of users where introduced to car sharing by relatives and friends. It shows that peer-to-peer marketing is an important factor to trigger conversion to car sharing. In Flanders a living lab was established: households owning a private car were motivated to test-use other modes for very low costs for a month. Almost all participants liked the experiment and one third got motivated to use their private car less afterwards. However, only a few participants incorporated car sharing into their mobility mix during the experiment. This was because households agreed to use the car less during the experiment but still had it available. Thus, when use cases for a car occurred, households reverted to their private car and not to a shared car. This further illustrates an insight from the non-user focus groups in Flanders and Germany: non-users view car sharing as the inferior option compared to the private car. This again raises the question how the value of a car sharing offer can be increased for owners of a private car. Mobility cultures and mobility styles GA n°769513 Page 9 of 74 30 empathy interviews with car sharing customers were carried out in Turin in order to explore the use of free-floating car sharing more deeply. The interviews show that users are on average very satisfied with the car sharing offer. Those living in one-person households are to a great extent carfree. Car sharing for them is a cheaper alternative to buying a car. Larger households and households with kids often substitute a second car they might need with car sharing. Almost all users revert to car sharing as a replacement for public transport rides or as taxi substitute, for example when going to the airport. It is interesting to notice that some suggestions given by the interviewed customers to improve the free-floating service cite features traditionally associated to roundtrip car sharing offers: longer reservation times, better tariff options to leave the town, a higher certainty of car availability near the geographical location of the customer. This again might be a hint that a better integration of services (and their value proposition) is needed to increase customer value. The results of an expert workshop organized by ICLEI showed that in European countries outside Western Europe car sharing is most of the time identified with free-floating car sharing. This is true for the (potential) customers and sometimes also for city authorities. Since the establishment of a free-floating service is a huge investment that is only possible in big cities, the penetration of car sharing throughout these countries is low compared to countries where roundtrip services are more common (like Belgium or Germany).

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

The University of Gothenburg uses cookies to provide you with the best possible user experience. By continuing on this website, you approve of our use of cookies.  What are cookies?