Carsharing: a pillar of decarbonization in Low Emission Zones (LEZ)

In a context of pressing climate crisis, Low Emission Zones (LEZs) are proving to be an essential environmental tool.

Carsharing plays a central role in supporting the development of EPZs, which will become mandatory by the end of 2024 in cities with more than 150,000 inhabitants.

This article explains why and how.

What is an EPZ?

A Low Emission Zone (LEZ) is an urban area where specific measures are in place to restrict access by the most polluting vehicles.

The primary aim of EPZs is to reduce air pollution and improve air quality in urban areas by limiting the circulation of vehicles emitting significant quantities of pollutants, such as fine particles, nitrogen oxides (NOx) and other harmful gases.

Some ZFE criteria

EPZs generally operate by banning older or highly polluting diesel vehicles, as well as older gasoline-powered vehicles that don’t meet the latest emissions standards.

To monitor and enforce these restrictions, various control systems, including license plate reading cameras, can be used. Electric vehicles and those powered by clean energy sources are generally exempt from these restrictions.

EPZs are established by local or municipal authorities to reduce air pollution, combat climate change and encourage more environmentally-friendly modes of transport.

How can carsharing technology contribute to EPZs?

The
car-sharing service
plays an essential role in promoting the development of EPZs. By encouraging the use of shared cars and the combination of various modes of transport (public transport, soft mobility),
carsharing contributes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG)
emissions, carbon footprint and improve urban air quality.

The
car-sharing technology
allows a single car to be used by several users according to their needs. This solution optimizes the use of a fleet of company or local authority vehicles, reducing the number of vehicles needed, generating substantial savings and reducing the number of vehicles on the road.

Car-sharing paves the way for short-term rentals

One of the key advantages of the car-sharing solution in the context of the EPZs is that it enables professionals and private individuals to rent a vehicle for short or very short periods.

Short-term vehicle reservations, increasingly offered by rental companies and mobility service providers, enable you to use a car without having to own it.

A a recent study carried out in collaboration with OpinionWay reveals that 64% of drivers impacted by LEZs see occasional vehicle rental as a viable alternative to owning their own car, while 46% of regular drivers see occasional rental as a credible alternative to owning an individual vehicle.

Short-term rental meets the growing demand for flexible mobility. It provides users with a vehicle tailored to their specific needs, whether for business trips, family outings or weekends with friends.

Access to a quality vehicle, without the hassle of ownership and maintenance, becomes a reality thanks to carsharing.

For this solution to be viable, it is essential that the fleet of vehicles, whether purchased or leased by private individuals or professionals, is made up of new or recent vehicles, all complying with the standards for entry into the EPZs.

This fleet enables users to choose the vehicle best suited to their mobility needs, whether for regular or occasional use, thus responding effectively to the demand for mobility.

Short-term rental also contributes to the reduction of “autosolism” in France by reducing the number of vehicles on the road.

According to a study carried out by Mobilians’ member short-term rental companies and Ademe, the average occupancy rate for one-off car rentals is 2.19 passengers per rented car, well above the average occupancy rate for private vehicles.

In addition to its flexibility, short-term rental plays a key role in intermodality. It helps to
reduce dependence on the private car
by offering a practical alternative for daily travel, combining different modes of transport such as car rental, public transport or self-service bicycles.

This approach helps to reduce road congestion and cut greenhouse gas emissions, creating a healthier urban environment and more sustainable mobility solutions.

Hire companies stand out for having a vehicle utilization rate well above the average for private vehicles, covering 2.3 times more kilometers than the latter on average.

Thanks to the pooling of environmentally-friendly vehicles and more intensive use, this approach reduces CO2 emissions on the road and limits the consumption of resources linked to vehicle manufacture.

In conclusion, short-term rental represents a relevant and innovative response to the need for sustainable mobility in a constantly changing world, marked by growing environmental concerns.

Conclusion

A carsharing solution, as a shared mobility model, plays an important role in the transition to LEZs and the decarbonization of transport.
Car-sharing offers an alternative to individual vehicle ownership, encourages intermodality, reduces environmental impact and contributes to the decarbonization of mobility, while maintaining access to a flexible and economical transport solution.