Current Projects

WiMobil: Effects of e-carsharing on transport and the environment in urban areas

WiMobil: Wirkungen von E-Car Sharing Systemen auf Mobilität und Umwelt in urbanen Räumen
Copyright: WiMobil-Projektflyer

In Germany, the car is the dominant means of transport – 58% of all trips and 79% of passenger-kilometers are covered by car in Germany. Cars also make 50% of journeys and 71% of passenger kilometers in the larger cities, although public transport is used to an appreciable extent (Mobility in Germany 2008). The consequences resulting from this are high land use for transport, both when moving and at rest; impaired air quality from air-pollutant emissions; an increase in climate-relevant CO2 emissions; accidents; traffic jams; high demand for parking space, above all in the city center; and noise.

Carsharing, which is currently experiencing dynamic market development in Germany and is reporting sharply increasing user numbers, counts as an important instrument for sustainable urban mobility. This boom is being borne by so-called free-floating carsharing in particular, with which one-way rentals are possible and billing is calculated by the minute. Furthermore, the use of electric vehicles in carsharing is currently being stepped up. Due to their limited range, electric vehicles are predestined for use in carsharing, above all for inner-city traffic with comparatively short journey distances.


Within the framework of the project WiMobil, which is funded by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), the effects of e-carsharing on transport and the environment in urban areas will be analyzed. Various empirical methods, taking the example cases of Flinkster (DB Rent) and DriveNow (BMW AG) within Berlin and Munich, will be employed. The Institute of Transport Research will conduct user surveys and is responsible for the elaboration of the study design for the overall project.


The main research questions of the project are:

  • How is travel behavior changing due to carsharing and especially e-carsharing?
  • What are the environmental effects of e-carsharing?
  • What infrastructural requirements must be given for e-carsharing?
  • What are the effects of carsharing for public parking areas and space requirements within the cities?
  • How can municipalities promote carsharing?


The above questions will be examined using the example of the carsharing systems DriveNow and Flinkster in the cities of Berlin and Munich. Covering two survey periods, the following empirical methods are used:

  • Evaluation of the backend data of carsharing vehicles
  • Person-related mobility tracking
  • User surveys (in-car survey, online survey, focus groups).

By doing so, space- and system-related (station-based vs. free-floating carsharing) differences can be determined. Beyond this, it is possible to examine the effects of e-carsharing vehicles on transport and environment on the long-term. Accompanying this, the effects of carsharing for public parking areas within the cities and the additional requirements for urban charging infrastructure will be analyzed. In addition, a guide for local authorities is being developed, that focuses on action and funding opportunities to promote carsharing.

Project phases

First wave of the survey: September 2013
Second wave of the survey: September 2014

Contracting entity

  • Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB)


  • DLR - Institute of Transport Research
  • Universität der Bundeswehr München
  • DB Rent GmbH
  • BMW AG
  • Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment Berlin
  • City of Munich

Project duration

09/2012 - 08/2015

Dipl.-Geograph Flemming Giesel
German Aerospace Center (DLR)

Institute of Transport Research
, Passenger Transport
Tel: +49 30 67055-238

Fax: +49 30 67055-283

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