Emergence of Carsharing Business Models and Sustainability Impacts in Swedish Cities

Nancy Bocken, Alexandra Jonca, Karolina Södergren, Jenny Palm
2020 Sustainability  
The sharing economy has become prominent in the policy, business and academic discourse as a way to achieve greater levels of resource efficiency in sustainability transitions. An example is carsharing, which is regarded as a potential lever for change in sustainable mobility transitions. In this article we, apply the "ecologies of business models" perspective to investigate how carsharing initiatives have coevolved in Sweden. We focus on the city context as a useful unit of analysis to
more » ... analysis to investigate carsharing in four Swedish cities: Gothenburg, Malmö, Stockholm and Umeå. Through qualitative case research, we investigate the following: How did carsharing business models coevolve in the studied cities? It was found that early notions of carsharing date back to the 1970s, but the concept has changed significantly over time, particularly with the emergence of (Internet) technology-based platforms. The findings suggest that carsharing is complementary to existing private car usage in cities, rather than a replacement. Based on this, we suggest pathways for local policymakers to consider when implementing sustainable carsharing solutions. The contributions are threefold: providing an empirical study on the theoretical ecologies of business models concept; understanding how carsharing coevolved in Swedish cities and in relation to wider sustainability and mobility trends; and giving novel insight into the role of local governments.
doi:10.3390/su12041594 fatcat:ukt2mdvsc5fgln2cficbhzo67q