This research takes a in-depth look at the relationship people have with cars and their willingness to move away from a relationship of personal ownership. The research involved respondents across a range of car ownership situations including:
Car owners who do not use other transport
Car owners who sometimes use other transport but who still rely heavily on their cars
Car owners who recently started using other transport
People who have moved away from car ownership.
The research consisted of ten depth interviews with respondents purposively chosen to fit a range of car ownership and usage scenarios. Interviews were conducted across May and June 2019, in South Australia where there is high ownership and usage of private vehicles.
Car ownership seems to be a habitual behaviour and an assumed activity. It typically follows on from the experience people have grown up with, and becomes an expected behavior. Disruptions to this ownership path are rare and not triggered from an evaluation of the ownership but rather external event which bring it into the consideration set (leasing a car for work, or moving to the CBD) or forces it (moving to a home with no parking).
This research looked at a scenario where inner-city living meant a car was not needed and when the business leasing model was taken into the private context. In both instances, the behaviour happened and then positive attitudes to not owning a car formed after the event. This follows the pattern of what we know about how attitudes typically describe past behavior better than predict future and therefore are seen to follow behavior change.
Given that re-evaluation of car ownership is rare and that economic arguments for non-ownership tend to fall on deaf ears, the marketing implications are:
Don’t make economic or rational appeals in communications the main message in communications or focus of program activity when seeking to reduce car ownership
Help people to form easy and new repertoires of transport options when the owned car is removed from the choice set
Don’t assume sustainability is the key driver for a move away from car ownership. There may be other motives (economic being a strong one) or no real motive, but rather just a forced life event.
Lack of awareness is the biggest challenge facing a brand that is introducing alternatives to private vehicle ownership models. Therefore, the focus should be on creating mental and physical availability above all else.
Transportation planners are often looking for efficiency in transportation but this article in Science Advances has also identified that resilience is an important city design feature. Planning for when disruptions occur can help to avoid city gridlock.Read more
With regard to separation of food scraps for composting, this research identified that there are two important aspects often overlooked when the focus is only on behaviour: 1. Policy makers need to ensure that there are socio-technical systems supporting diverse groups of people...Read more
Australia's Chief Scientist Alan Finkel points out, in this interview, the need for Australia to develop better storage systems and reflects on the recent report from ACOLA. California Energy Commissioner Andrew McAllister, also warns Australia to pursue demand side...Read more
There has been a rapid global rise in both bike and car share offerings. Yet many of these have only current low adoption levels, highlighting a pressing need to understand the consumer behaviour that surrounds their adoption.
Research undertaken by the Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living (CRCLCL) has shown that current ‘top down’ education approaches aimed at changing consumer behaviours to adopt sustainable housing options (including concepts like net zero energy homes) have been largely ineffective.
The 21st Century has seen the rapid rise of sharing economy mobility services. Enabled by ubiquitous ‘smart’ devices and secure electronic financial transactions, shared mobility has allowed the collective ownership and use of transport assets in new commercial ways.
In Australia, various City Councils, including the City of Adelaide, are pursuing carbon neutrality at municipal-scale based on their operational greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. As passenger transport is a major component of city operational GHG emissions, there is an opportunity for shared mobility services to play a role in reducing those emissions.