On the Factors Affecting the Potential Development of One-Way Car Sharing Networks in Cities

On the Factors Affecting the Potential Development of One-Way Car Sharing Networks in Cities


Samantha Gordon Harris, Vectos, Richard Mounce, University of Aberdeen, Paul Curtis, Vectos


This paper examines the market requirements for a proposed 'one-way' electric vehicle based car sharing scheme - overcoming many of the drawbacks in existing car sharing operations.


Published research has documented the significant challenges that car sharing operations face to ensure their long-term success. The climate in which a car sharing network can operate successfully and sustainably depends on a range of factors such as the location, governmental and local authority support, the receptiveness of the local population to the idea of car sharing and the geographical extent of the car sharing network. A key challenge in one-way car sharing is how to redistribute the vehicles in an economical manner so that the spatio-temporal patterns of demand can be met.

ESPRIT is developing a new generation electric shuttle vehicle and operational scheme for a one-way car sharing network. In addressing the user requirements for an ESPRIT scheme, this paper reports the findings of research undertaken on four strands - (i) qualitative research with a cross-section of people and those with special mobility needs in the districts of three European cities where demonstrations are planned (L’Hospitalet de Llobregat in Greater Barcelona, Glasgow and Lyon), (ii) a review of key literature (iii) interviews with public transport operators, academics and local authorities and (iv) an appraisal of ten European and two non-European cities for their potential take-up or expansion of car sharing operations. These strands inform our understanding of (i) the key factors that might contribute toward the success or failure of a car sharing network and (ii) how the ESPRIT model might make a ’step-change’ in car sharing operations. This paper considers the above and invites the reader to contemplate key issues on how ESPRIT might develop its network and approach cities with potential for implementing car sharing innovations.


Association for European Transport