Car Rentals Could Benefit From Strategies To Combat Climate Change
Zero-carbon emission targets may eliminate vehicle ownership
With the unrelenting scuttlebutt concerning the potentially apocalyptic effects of climate change, the auto industry faces more pressure to either produce products that emit less carbon or abandon conventional fuels altogether, replacing them with green technology like electricity.
However there’s another trend affecting the transportation industry that runs parallel to the issue of achieving eco-friendliness, related to the millennial philosophy of sharing and eschewing the whole idea of ownership altogether. While the idea is pretty common worldwide among that demographic, a report from members of British Parliament has combined that philosophy with the need to cut down on carbon emissions.
The report from the government’s Science and Technology Select Committee revealed that science alone won’t solve the global environmental crisis unless there’s a significant reduction of vehicles on the road if the UK is to meet its zero-carbon objective by 2050. “In the long-term, widespread personal vehicle ownership does not appear to be compatible with significant decarbonization,” revealed one passage.
The report cites car rental companies as being part of the solution when it comes to smart and sustainable cities, believing they “could look a lot like a national network” that includes taxis as part of a future leaning more drastically towards less vehicle ownership. Oddly, the findings don’t group public transit in that network, as that mode of transportation has been steadily decreasing in usage in recent years, including a drop of more than 15 percent since 2008 in communities surrounding London.
Whether public transportation can improve its efficiencies over time is unclear. In fact, the report believes that services like car rental companies will play a much bigger role in this scenario as car ownership decreases, but only if consumers switch gears to become more proactive.
“The technology is available, it is a question of investment, not innovation,” stated the document. “Regardless of whether the car was fully automated, electric, hydrogen or pulled by horses, each consumer would have the same level of access as the next. Enabling communities to come together and collectively ‘do their bit.’”
While the Members of Parliament who drafted the report declared that technology isn’t the sole savior that will meet that 2050 target, science will still have a prominent role, especially with combatting cybercrime that could affect the sharing market, safety involving fleets contributing to a smart city future, and of course decreasing harmful emissions.
“Technological change will drive greater efficiencies, revolutionizing the quality of transport and in turn, life.”