Car-sharing cuts emissions, but not all services are equal

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In a bid to reduce urban traffic congestion and rising air pollution, numerous companies have proposed car-sharing as a solution. However, the irony is that cars have immediately become more accessible, and questions are being asked of car-sharing’s supposedly green credentials.

Fleets of shared cars have popped up across cities, either with dedicated collection and pick-up spots, or ‘free-floating’ with flexibility over where the vehicle can be left. These cars can be accessed by anyone with a driver’s license, at any time of the day, and with just a smartphone. Prospective customers include those who may not wish to drive their car into the city, or who may not own a car at all.

Car-share companies argue that fewer private vehicles will be required, with one car serving the needs of various travellers. However, shared…

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