In 2001, the California Air Resources Board added incentives to its Zero Emission Vehicle Program to include electric vehicles (EVs) within carsharing fleets, prompting many operators and manufacturers to add these vehicles to their systems. Now that the incentives are set to expire in 2018, researchers from the Transportation Sustainability Research Center (TSRC) [at the University of California, Berkeley] recently examined the impact of exposure to zero- and low-emission carsharing on user behavior and opinions.
California’s Zero Emission Vehicle Program has been critical to curbing the number of petroleum-dependent vehicles on California’s roads by setting standards for manufacturers to meet and incentivizing consumers to purchase electric vehicles (EVs). Further, the program has offered incentives for carsharing operators to include EVs and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHVs) in their fleets.
With the program’s expiration on the horizon in 2018, TSRC researchers partnered with carsharing operators and vehicle manufacturers to understand who was using EVs and PHVs in carsharing and how featuring these vehicle types in carsharing fleets affects carsharing user inclinations toward them.