Losing the Shackles of Owning a Car

by | Traveling

The choice between owning a car and not owning a car is now a viable one for the majority of urban populations in North America. In urban Toronto,  services such as Car2go and Zip Car has been proven popular among the Gen Ys and Millennials. My sister and husband are a classic example of a generation happily getting by without a car in downtown Toronto. Without a car this generation has saved money and made a material impact on the environment through reducing carbon emissions. In fact, there are now 23% less licensed youth drivers than 20 years ago. The CEO of SAP revealed that in a study that Millennials would rather lose their car for one year than lose their mobile phone.

The changing nature of car ownership is clearly shown recently when Daimler Benz revealed their 2014 lineup of new cars not with the coolest and sexiest new Mercedes sports car but with a lineup of Car2go smart cars. The North American Toyota Vice President of Strategy, Chris Hostetter recently revealed that their design questions are not around body style but “how to make the experience of the car ride the most valuable part of someone’s day”. Ford has stated that the ” their product is not the car. The car is the container of the experience.”

Is this really a surprise? A typical automobile in the USA sits idle for 80% of the time yet the average American pays $50 per day in ownership and maintenance costs. Oil prices have more than doubled since 2009 although the prices at the pump have hovered around $4 per gallon. No surprise here, since the tipping point for people taking public transit and ditching their cars is around $4 per gallon.

Car ownership is changing and the result could be better for the environment and everyone’s wallet.


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