This paper analyzes the development of shared and autonomous zero-emission mobility around the world and the lessons learned thus far. It assesses circumstances where shared and autonomous fleets present opportunities and challenges for transitioning to zero-emissions, and key policy opportunities to accelerate the transition.
The work finds that without government intervention, shared mobility models are unlikely to result in lower-carbon transport. Policies, programs, incentives, and charging deployment strategies designed for shared mobility will be needed. Considerations for their design include socio-demographic profiles of shared mobility providers, access to home charging, improved zero-emission vehicle model availability, the travel intensity of autonomous vehicles, public-private multi-stakeholder collaboration, and integrating shared mobility objectives within urban planning.
To increase zero-emission vehicle penetration in shared and autonomous fleets, improving the upfront economic viability of zero-emission vehicles is key. The availability of strategically-located fast charging is an opportunity for mobility operators to work with public and private stakeholders. In the longer-term, such collaboration will set the stage for the most effective transition to and sustainable implementation of shared zero-emission vehicles within a mobility-as-a-service system. In addition, the use of low- or zero-emission zones or road pricing schemes can increase the viability of zero-emission vehicles within shared mobility fleets.
Governments have the opportunity to set ambitious targets that can be achieved through multi-stakeholder collaborations. This will require vision, multi-departmental planning and public-private efforts to bring zero-emission, autonomous mobility-as-a-service systems to life. Using taxation levers to impact the pricing of single (and, in the future, zero-occupancy) travel is an effective means of mitigating induced travel demand, congestion and energy use. To ensure maximum positive benefits for the public and public funds, policies should encourage active mobility and maximize the use of public transit assets.