Modern society makes very bold steps in the direction of sustainability and green environmental practices. So, it shouldn't be that big a surprise that cars, which are one of the worst offenders in this regard producing approximately one-third of the USA air pollution, would come under close observation.
The cars convey a sense of freedom and give people a chance to travel on their own terms. At the same time, cars spend most of their lifetime taking precious parking space which, in turn, makes the traffic even more taxing and unsustainable. A growing number of vehicles also entails more fuel, more waste, and more maintenance materials.
As of recently, the exit of this maze started presenting itself in the form of car-sharing services. Let us see how they make this burning problem less taxing.
Reducing the overall carbon footprint
This may be one of the greatest disambiguates related to vehicle-sharing services. Namely, people would rent their cars to perform daily chores anyway. How does that reduce the overall carbon footprint? Well, let us not forget that transportation, distribution, and refueling also produce considerable impact. These wastes are usually referred to as “Well-to-Wheel” footprint. With fewer vehicles to maintain and refuel, this carbon footprint will be reduced as well. This issue becomes even more important if we take into consideration that aside from refueling, all these vehicles need to be serviced, maintained, etc.
Using the vehicles more deliberately
In most cases, people are trying to buy vehicles that allow them to tackle as many different chores as possible. That covers everything from doing groceries to taking an entire family on a road trip. While this sounds good on paper, this approach usually leaves us with vehicles that are, in a vast majority of cases, way too oversized and consume too much fuel for the tasks we want to handle. Using vehicle-sharing services allows you to rent the vehicle that is appropriate for the task you need to perform at that very moment and drastically reduce fuel wastes and the carbon footprint you produce along the way.
A cost-effective and practical way to travel
To get a real understanding of this situation we need to take into account the total cost of ownership (TCO) which puts a really big question mark over the entire idea of owning a vehicle. Then how about renting? Well, renting is usually performed on a 24-hour basis which leaves you with a lot of ide time and you usually need to make reservations well in advance. On the other hand, the professional care share services will in most cases charge you per mile and get you the vehicle you need in the shortest possible notice even without a reservation. Such a proposition sounds incredibly sustainable and cost-effective.
Eliminating the problem of idling vehicles
In the introduction, we have briefly mentioned that despite being such a critical asset in our lives, cars spend most of their lives idling and taking parking space. This may sound like a very minor nuisance. But recent research says that the average driver spends as much as 17 hours looking for a free parking spot on an annual basis. In the case of large cities like, for instance, New York, this wandering produces costs approximating $4.6 billion. This problem is horrifying and while vehicle sharing doesn't eliminate it altogether it goes a long way in optimizing car usage and setting the foundations for a more eco-friendly future.
The inherent sustainability of the share economy
Human beings as a species are very used to hoarding. This is natural since our first response for dealing with any challenge is stockpiling as many things that can prove to be helpful as possible. The outbreak of COVID-19, however, thought us that most of these situations can be solved with solidarity, optimization, and sharing. People used to run errands for their neighbors, do the groceries together, and so on. This so-called 'share economy' is inherently sustainable and presents a very welcome alternative for solving the problems we have today. Using vehicle-sharing services helps in giving these ideas more mainstream exposure.
The vehicle ownership model for the future
Last but not least, we would like to point out that vehicle sharing might present the only sustainable car ownership model for the future. Granted, this sector, at present, still has a lot of small quirks to iron out. But the tech is advancing at lightning speed and this market grows at a satisfying speed, we may, in the very near future, have a world where you will be able to order a vehicle with an app, have it in front of your house in a matter of minutes, and don’t have to worry about any sort of maintenance as soon as you finish the ride. This future is certain. The only question is how fast the vehicle share industry will grow.
We hope these few considerations gave you a general idea about the current state of the car-sharing industry, its inherent benefits, and how this neat idea may present a solution for the commuting issues of the future. Be that as it may, the costs of owning a vehicle are growing with each passing day and traffic slowly but steadily devolves into a nightmare. Even in its inception, the vehicle-sharing industry does seem like a welcome light at the end of this tunnel.