Drivers of carsharing diffusion in Germany: An actor-centred approach

Type de publication:

Journal Article


International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, Volume 14, Number 3-4, p.217-245 (2014)



Carsharing increasingly gains ground as a transportation mode in Europe and the world. The present paper contributes to the literature by studying the roles and interplay of market and non-market actors in the diffusion of carsharing. It applies an actor-centred framework to the context of market development of carsharing in Germany, considering the perspectives of carsharing providers, customers, and politics. Data from secondary sources, national published printed matters, and survey data are used to analyse market and non-market actors. Results from the customer survey show that motives of convenience and value matter more than ideological motives such as environmental awareness. Findings at the provider-level correspond to this result, as even 'traditional' companies adjust their services to improve their usefulness. The analysis of public policy measures indicates that only marginal national level political action has been taken. This finding is in stark contrast to other European countries, such as the Netherlands or Italy. The synthesis of relations between the different market and non-market actors reveals that infrastructural variables are a key determinant for carsharing diffusion. In view of the recent growth of carsharing services infrastructural provision becomes even more salient. Disposing of the critical resource of parking space, political actors can catalyse the ongoing process of cross- and trans-regional diffusion. Copyright © 2014 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

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