The Future of Car Ownership

Via Planetizen:

Accounting/consulting firm KPMG predicts that the share of multi-car households will drop from today’s 57% to 43% by 2040. That will be driven by a combination of demographics and ridesharing (e.g., Uber) and carsharing (e.g. Zipcar) services.

Others suggest that autonomous vehicles could be an additional disrupter.

8 responses to “The Future of Car Ownership”

  1. Chris – call it what you will but in its present form Über isnt ridesharing – it’s alt. taxi or P2P towncar or something like that. Yes, über has said they are implementing a ridesharing feature (Uberpool) but, so far, it appears to be mostly PR.

    Lyft has some genuine ridesharing features (Liftline, Driver Destination and Lift for Business) and reports that 40% of trips in San Francsico are shared.

    This is important because real ridesharing has real benefits for traffic and energy, which are recognized by cities.

  2. I clicked through the link above and looked through the KPMG report “Me, my car, my life”. I found the graphic on page 17 where it said that that current two-family car ownership is 57 (from the 2013 ACS). But, where does it say that they predict it will drop to 43% by 2040? I searched but couldn’t find that number. If you know, please reply.

    • As I look into it further, that 43% prediction is not in the KPMG report and not in the KPMG press release. It appears that the author of the report (Gary Silberg of KPMG) made some statements at a November Connected Car Expo at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The media then took over and “the message” is being repeated over and over again in blogs like this.

      Having looked at this, my thinking is Silberg was trying to alert the auto industry that as American becomes more urban and the middle class buying power shrinks,and the technology gets better, more middle class (or all classes) COULD move to shared vehicles. [Also, if you want to heard in today’s world, you’d better have something jarring to report]. But, if 43% was a valid prediction, you would have thought that it would have been in the press release or the full report.

      So, I put this story in the “it could happen, it even might happen but don’t use that 43% in anything too seriously yet because the source is very shaky” file.

  3. Speaking of uber, the City of Portland is suing it after it announced it would start operating in Portland despite lacking the necessary permits to do so.

  4. The trend towards downtown living will also reduce dual-car ownership. The trend towards working from home (a long and slow trend, but a real one) also reduces the rate of households where two people need to be out of the house in different locations simultaneously.

    • Is there a trend toward “downtown living” on the national scale? The only solid data I’m aware is a trend toward downtown living by richer people, which would seem to increase car ownership (since some rich people will pay for the luxury of owning a car while living downtown, while some poor people priced into suburbs will be forced to prioritize car ownership).

      • Yes, there’s a trend. And yes the units tend to be for the better off. The story I’ve heard is that when suburbanites downsize by moving to the Pearl, they bring two cars (and rent 2 spaces). But after they discover how little they use the second car they get rid of it.

        And, don’t forget, there are a lot of better off 20 and 30 year olds.

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