Car Sharing: A New Sustainable Model for Mobility

10/3/2019 Mario HonrubiaSustainabilityTrends

Written by Aitor Echevarría Hernández, Co-Founder Goublue Daily activities deserve the most attention by those who want to get ahead or adapt to change. A good example of it is daily mobility of people in big urban centers. Mobility is particularly important because it has no expiration day. These arguments place mobility at the center of the sociological, economic, scientific, and technological analysis.  According to EU numbers, transportation amounts to almost a quarter of the greenhouse gas emissions and is the main cause for noise and pollution in cities. This information is especially alarming after reading the Horizon 2020 program, drafted by the European Union, because the impact these tiny particles has on our system is still unkown. At least three factors indicate that it will be difficult to reduce or maintain those numbers if we don't act quickly and globally.  
  1. Migration to Big Cities

The first key element is the huge migratory trend to big cities we have witnessed for years now. Despite globalization and technological evolution, some economists already point out at the concentration of people in big cities regardless the country's economic, social, or cultural model as one cause of global inequality.  According to recent studies, 40% of the European Union's population lives in cities. This percentage is higher in Spain (50%), top 3 in the European ranking of countries with most populated cities. There is a great number of towns whose population is below 50000 people and many towns are facing depopulation. In this sense, a proper mobility could slow down depopulation in these regions, boost investment and create jobs. This could offer a future of long-term growth to many families while help with the economic depolarization of Spain. compartir coche Vehicle used to commute to work, smaller cities (Source: Wible, Autofácil y Pons Seguridad Vial, Estudio 2018)
In addition to this, the business activities are moving from the city centers to the suburbs. compartir coche Workers and distance from home to work. Statistics 2016 (Source: Atlas de la movilidad residencia-trabajo en CAM 2017
Even when there is a good public service transportation in a city, this usually cannot compete in time with private cars, which is why more people use the latter.  The situation is not going to change any time soon since, for 2050, it is estimated that 70% of the people will live in medium-sized and big cities, 80% in Europe.  This concentration of people is an important global challenge since it is estimated that 4% of the global GDP is underused because of time losses, opportunity costs or inefficient used of fuels due to traffic. 

2. An Environmental Awareness

The second factor is the new relationship between people an the environment. On average, a relatively new car emits 100 g CO2/km, or 1 kg CO2 every 10 km. According to recent studies, a 20 year-old tree absorbs annually the same amount of CO2 generated by a vehicle that travels from 10000 to 20000 km. If we consider that there are 2,8 million commutes to work in Madrid daily, we get a picture of the seriousness of the issue. The impact of shared mobility is shown in the next image, according to data by Berkeley University and Deloitte Monitor Institute.  compartir coche CARSHARING: Impact (Source: Berkeley University)
It catches our attention the number of cars (9-13) that equals one carsharing vehicle and the money saved by families who do not own vehicles.

3. Collaborative Economy: Car Sharing to Reduce Time and Cost

Crowdfunding, co-living, clothes-sharing, co-working, and, of course, car sharing, are habits that are here to stay. There are 2018 surveys where a change in paradigm can be noticed, one that is carrying Spain towards the kind of sustainable mobility that can be found in France or the US. For instance, the trend of people who claim to share a car to go to work is increasing exponentially, 17% this year, compared to 5% last year. More than 80% drives their private car daily, but it is a decreasing number since last year was 95%. Car sharing seems to move forward steadily in our society.  compartir coche Impact (Source: Caltrans (California Department of Transportation), Berkeley University and Monitor Deloitte for Europe)
To successfuly adapt to this new context, people are increasingly more concerned about the environment and trust in a new collaborative way  of interacting and doing business, and so they need to plan global agile and scalable actions for the implementation of car sharing. Both intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs try to respond to this new context with hyperconnected, global and sustainable mobilty models. Some of these proposals are so aggressive that are already speaking about aerial solutions. However, the complexity of these models does not appear to be the technology itself but, rather, how to fit this solutions in current people's habits through a global regulatory framework.  This is precisely the mindset of Goublue, a Spanish startup whose proposal offers an answer to this new mobility paradigm through a car sharing solution for companies, hospitals, and universities. It basically helps employees share their daily ride to work. Up to 79% of the interviewees claim that the companies they work at do not offer any incentive to change how they commute to work. Most importantly, almost 50% of them shows interest in an alternate way of mobility to get to work.   Employees can save time and money through car sharing while actively fighting against the CO2 footprint. This startup offers companies the opportunity to implement a solution that enables an easy ride to their facilities like, for example, a more efficient management of parking spots or shuttles.  compartir coche Ahorro por modelos y kilometraje (Fuente: BCG press, 2015)


1 Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2018-2020 (European Commision Decision c (2019)4575 of 2 July 2019) 2  La economía del bien común,. Jean Tirole  

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