Continental mobility study 2020 shows global trend toward own cars, slump in vehicle sharing
The coronavirus pandemic is having a lasting impact on people’s mobility habits all over the world. Private car use has seen strong growth, while sharing and hailing services, which have been booming in recent years, are suffering a significant slump, according to a mobility study by Continental.
People in France, the USA, Japan and Germany, remain largely loyal to traditional mobility concepts: shared mobility in the form of vehicle sharing or spontaneous hailing plays almost no role in the four countries. In China, meanwhile, one in ten people continue to use these services. These are some of the findings of the Continental Mobility Study 2020. As part of the study, representative surveys on people’s mobility habits were conducted in France, the USA, Japan, China and Germany in cooperation with infas, the renowned social research institute.
While personal mobility is increasing, demand for commercial carpool services in France, the USA, Japan and Germany is in something of a crisis. In France and Japan, at 7 and 6 percent respectively, only a small percentage of the population relies on such services.
The need to switch to private cars is particularly pronounced in China, with 21 percent of those surveyed using “on-demand” solutions due to the pandemic. The high level of acceptance in China is also due to the fact that more people in urban areas complete the online survey, and such solutions are more readily accessible in these areas.
New car-sharing concepts such as ride pooling or ride hailing have not played a relevant role so far. The share of respondents using such services is rising slightly in large cities only, especially in the USA. But even here, there is no evidence of a mainstream phenomenon.
Well over 80 percent of all respondents own the car they regularly drive, and 14 to 20 percent use the car of a family member or a friend.
Although sharing concepts have gained in importance in recent years, particularly in urban areas, private transportation is firmly anchored in most people’s everyday lives and will probably remain so for a long time to come, especially in rural areas where households are currently more likely to have their own car. Respondents who do not have their own car stated that this was primarily for cost reasons, while others said they have no need for one.
Nevertheless, for most people the car is part of day-to-day mobility. 33 percent of Americans use their vehicle at least once a week, while 57 percent stated that they use it on a daily or almost daily basis. Only the French are more frequent car users, at 59 percent.
53 percent of Germans surveyed stated that they use their car on a daily or almost daily basis. 30 percent use it at least once a week. The situation is similar in France, the USA and China. Only in Japan is car use less frequent, with just 34 percent of respondents using their car on a daily or almost daily basis.