According to a report from consulting firm AlixPartners, each and every car in the Zipcar or car2go car-sharing fleets means 32 lost vehicle sales. Based on a survey of 2,000 adults in 10 major cities who use car-sharing services, the report says that Americans would have bought an additional half million new or used cars and light trucks since 2006 if they did not have access to those services. That figure is expected to grow to 1.2 million by the end of the decade.
The report expects that the number of drivers using car-sharing services will grow from less than 1 million today to 4 million by 2020.
For every car in its fleet, the average car-sharing service has about 66 members, a number that will grow to 81/car by 2020. Almost half of regular users end up not buying a car, the report said.
The study looked at car-sharing in: Chicago, Washington D.C., New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Miami, San Diego, Boston, Portland, Ore.; and Austin, Texas. Car-sharing is expanding, but that growth is currently limited to affluent, urban areas near universities. Should the autonomous car become a reality, though, it could spur dramatic growth in car-sharing.