The Contribution of Car Sharing to the Sustainable Mobility Transition

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  • 1 Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE)
  • | 2 Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE)
  • | 3 University of Lisbon
  • | 4 University of Lisbon
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The popularity of car sharing as part of the urban mobility repertoire has barely increased from a niche contribution in recent decades. Although holding potential to address local issues such as congestion and air quality, but even more crucially to meet the urgent need to mitigate carbon dioxide emissions from traffic, car sharing often meets barriers stemming from local contexts, regulatory environments, and/or lack of political support or consumer awareness. In this article, we discuss the interdependencies of these barriers and provide some key elements to consider in the future when planning practical implementation, research initiatives, and policy support for car sharing in order to overcome the complex and interrelated barriers.

Contributor Notes

Emma Terämä is director of the Sustainable Urbanisation Programme at the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE). Before that she worked at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Austria; University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands; and most recently University College London’s Institute for Sustainable Resources. She is an experienced researcher of urban sustainability and global population-environment interactions including climate change. She holds a PhD in physics (2007). E-mail:

Juha Peltomaa is senior researcher in the Sustainable Urbanisation Programme at the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE). As an environmental policy scholar (PhD in administrative sciences, 2015), his research interests focus on citizen engagement in urban development, complex adaptive systems, ontologies of societal paradigms, and climate change adaptation and mitigation. He is currently working on a project focusing on car sharing and works in close collaboration with Finnish car sharing operators codeveloping their operational environment. E-mail:

Catarina Rolim has a BSc in psychology (2004) from the Institute of Applied Psychology in Lisbon, and a PhD in sustainable energy systems (2016) from Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), University of Lisbon, Portugal. She currently works at the IN+ Center for Innovation, Technology, and Policy Research at IST. Her research interests focus on citizens’ behavior and its role on sustainable urbanization, the impacts of feedback and ICT (information and communications technology) in home energy consumption and driving behavior, and the impacts of alternative vehicle technologies and innovative transportations solutions. E-mail:

Patrícia Baptista received her degree in chemistry in 2006 and a PhD in Sustainable Energy Systems within the MIT Portugal Program in 2011 from Instituto Superior Técnico. She is currently an assistant researcher at IN+ Center for Innovation, Technology, and Policy Research at Instituto Superior Técnico (IST). Her main research topics concern energy and environmental impacts of alternative energy technologies, life-cycle assessment, driver behavior, vehicle monitoring, electric mobility, urban logistics, and policy analysis. She has also engaged with a wide range of stakeholders. E-mail: