New Research Finds Business Use of Zipcar Reduces Personal Car Ownership
BOSTON, July 27, 2015 – Zipcar, the world’s leading car sharing network, and the University of California, Berkeley’s Transportation Sustainability Research Center (TSRC), today announced that two in five corporate Zipcar members – people who join a car sharing program through an affiliation with an employer – sell or avoid buying a vehicle after joining Zipcar. This was the key finding from TSRC’s case study on the impact of car sharing programs used by businesses, the first and only study to be conducted on this subject in North America.
Twenty percent of all Zipcar for Business members reported that they sold a personally owned car after becoming a member, and another 20 percent avoided buying a car as a result of joining Zipcar through an employer-sponsored account. In total, the Zipcar for Business program has eliminated the need for roughly 33,000 vehicles across North America. The study also found that of those Zipcar members who became zero-car households after joining a car sharing business program, 41 percent take public transit more often, 22 percent bike more often and 41 percent walk more.
This study supports the growing trend toward businesses embracing the sharing economy for transportation and travel. Companies report significant cost savings from the Zipcar for Business program and their employees benefit from quick and easy reservations, locations convenient to work or travel, and the ability to choose from a wide variety of vehicle makes and models. Zipcar for Business is a smart alternative to the high costs of fleet vehicles, fuel and insurance. Customers include companies of all sizes as well as non-profit organizations and government agencies.
“Zipcar’s mission is to enable simple and responsible urban living,” said Zipcar President Kaye Ceille. “Businesses are increasingly conscious of their environmental footprint, and we’re proud that this research supports what we’ve long believed – that Zipcar for Business has many significant environmental benefits for companies, including reducing vehicles on the road.”
The behavioral changes resulting from car sharing among consumer members have been well-documented throughout the years, with consensus that individuals who join car sharing programs sell or avoid buying cars and reduce their overall personal carbon footprint. This is the first time behavioral changes by corporate members have been studied.
“The business and corporate market for car sharing – until now – has not been well researched,” said Susan Shaheen, Ph.D., co-director of the TSRC and adjunct professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. “Applying our team and research expertise to Zipcar’s raw data gives us the first look into how business car sharing members change behavior, and we found that this service yielded reduced car ownership and increased multi-modal behavior, particularly among corporate members that became zero-car households due to business car sharing.”
The findings should be of interest for anyone involved with employee transportation or sustainability initiatives within companies. As employers increasingly look for ways to reduce single-occupancy commutes, either to reduce costs for parking or to comply with commute trip reduction goals set by cities, Zipcar is a key enabler. The Zipcar for Business program gives employees access to a car at the office, without having to drive one to the office. For employers seeking ways to reduce emissions, parking demand or meet sustainability goals, the research shows that offering Zipcar can help. More information about Zipcar for Business is available online at zipcar.com/business.
TSRC independently funded this research study. Zipcar supported the project by sharing data and research instruments with the TSRC/IMR research team. Susan Shaheen, Ph.D. and Adam Stocker led the analysis for UC Berkeley. Elliot Martin, Ph.D. and Isabel Hemerly Viegas de Lima of TSRC/IMR also provided notable support for this research.
Link to “Information Brief: Car sharing for Business - Zipcar Case Study & Impact Analysis:” http://innovativemobility.org/?project=information-brief-carsharing-for-business-zipcar-case-study-impact-analysis
Zipcar, the world’s leading car sharing network, has operations in urban areas and college campuses throughout Austria, Canada, France, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. Zipcar offers more than 50 makes and models of self-service vehicles by the hour or day to residents and businesses looking for smart, simple and convenient solutions to their urban and campus transportation needs. Zipcar is a subsidiary of Avis Budget Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: CAR), a global leader in vehicle rental services. More information is available at www.zipcar.com.
About Transportation Sustainability Research Center
The Transportation Sustainability Research Center (TSRC) was formed in 2006 to combine the research forces of six campus groups at UC Berkeley: the University of California Transportation Center, the University of California Energy Institute, the Institute of Transportation Studies, the Energy and Resources Group, the Center for Global Metropolitan Studies, and the Berkeley Institute of the Environment.
About Innovative Mobility Research
Innovative Mobility Research (IMR) is a group of researchers whose projects explore innovative mobility technologies and services that could improve transportation options, while reducing their negative societal and environmental impacts. IMR contributes critical data and analysis to help mobility providers give consumers optimal solutions to meet their transportation needs. IMR is housed at TSRC and directed by Susan Shaheen.
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Public Relations Specialist, Zipcar