Carsharing as an innovative collective mobility solution (Norwegian perspectives)

invisible car - 2This 2012 report from the Norwegian Center for Transport Research by  Vibeke Nenseth, Tom Erik Julsrud and May Hald provides a strategic overview of carsharing as a sustainable transport mode, worthy of attention not only in and of itself but also as a vital component that needs to be integrated into each city’s overall transportation plan.

The authors examine these issues  from  both a Norwegian and broader international perspective. The report is available here, both in the form of a five page English-language summary and a full report in Norwegian. The latter contains an extensive bibliography which will be valuable for anybody wishing to dig more deeply into the topic. The summary of the final section on “political support for carsharing” is reproduced below, along with the short introductory section sitting out the aims and outline of the study.


Innovative collective mobility solutions – Carsharing as a case

by  Vibeke Nenseth, Tom Erik Julsrud and May Hald, TØI, Norway, 2012

Aim and outline of study

This project has aimed at discussing what are the premises, and barriers, for a larger break-through for carsharing in the years to come, particularly by use of new mobility services through the user-friendly application on the smart phone.

The study is explorative, as a discussion and knowledge base for policies and further studies. By presenting the updated literature, the state of art, on carsharing, and in addition make use of informant interviews with key carsharing actors in Norway, we have taken a closer look at the Norwegian carsharing schemes and their specific challenges.

We also bring in a theoretical perspective on the presuppositions for carsharing to reach a tipping point from a minor niche product to becoming a significant societal innovation.

Finally, we discuss some policy implications of a larger launching of carsharing in the Norwegian context.

Political support for carsharing (Final section of summary report)

A policy classification often discerns between regulative, economic and communicative instruments – in the same way as behavioural change is the subject of control, allurement or persuasion. The various forms, preferably in combination, might be utilized to support carsharing:

Private car use can be regulated by driving and parking restrictions in city centres. At the same time, carsharing might be stimulated by parking and driving permissions in city zones and priority lines.

Carsharing schemes might be supported directly economically for investments and establishment, and indirectly by access to (valuable) urban area for car share stations and parking spots.

Finally, also communicative measures are crucial for further development, i.e. mediation and dissemination of knowledge and information as well as political and organizational networking and alliances.

However, neither in politics nor administration there has been any noteworthy attention towards the newer presuppositions for any break-through for carsharing as an urban transport solution. There are, however, politically, a stronger requirement than ever to reduce the use of private cars in the big cities.

Technologically, the recent innovative possibilities for convenient mobility services as new smartphone apps for both reserving, paying and tracking of shared cars, at the same time carsharing schemes increasingly make use of the most updated cars technologically, in particular elcars.

Organisationally, various arrangements are in growth, more complementary than competitive, some target the business market and some private users, where both the membership, partnership and business models vary.

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* The full report is available from the Norwegian Center for Transport Research at

The Norwegian Center for Transport Research, TOI is the national institution for transport research and development. It was established in 1958 by the Royal Norwegian Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, and became an independent non-profit research foundation in 1986.

Its sphere of activity includes most current issues in road, rail, sea and air transport. The Institute’s main objectives are to: be a national centre for transport research, co-operate on research projects with other organisations in Norway and at an international level, disseminate research results, contribute to high professional standards in the transport sector. The Institute has normally at least 200 projects in progress at any time.

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about the editor- 23oct13- taupe



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