Carsharing’s life-cycle impacts on energy use and greenhouse gas emissions

This paper examines the life-cycle inventory impacts on energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as a result of candidate travelers adopting carsharing in US settings. Here, households residing in relatively dense urban neighborhoods with good access to transit and traveling relatively few miles in private vehicles (roughly 10% of the U.S. population) are considered candidates for carsharing. This analysis recognizes cradle-to-grave impacts of carsharing on vehicle ownership levels, travel distances, fleet fuel economy (partly due to faster turnover), parking demand (and associated infrastructure), and alternative modes. Results suggest that current carsharing members reduce their average individual transportation energy use and GHG emissions by approximately 51% upon joining a carsharing organization. Collectively, these individual-level effects translate to roughly 5% savings in all household transport-related energy use and GHG emissions in the U.S. These energy and emissions savings can be primarily attributed to mode shifts and avoided travel, followed by savings in parking infrastructure demands and fuel consumption. When indirect rebound effects are accounted for (assuming travel-cost savings is then spent on other goods and services), net savings are expected to be 3% across all U.S. households.


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  • Accession Number: 01608742
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 29 2016 1:58PM