Peer-to-peer mobility innovations: their adoption, use, and associated emissions impacts

Kerr, Laurie (2022) Peer-to-peer mobility innovations: their adoption, use, and associated emissions impacts. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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The private ownership and use of cars has negative environmental, social, and economic impacts. Peer-to-peer (P2P) mobility innovations challenge the relationship between private ownership and use of cars and could contribute to a more sustainable mobility system.

The research conducted for this PhD explored the adoption and diffusion of P2P mobility innovations and the potential impacts on CO₂ emissions in the UK. P2P ride sharing and P2P car sharing were used as two case study P2P mobility innovations. First, adopter characteristics and the ways in which adopters perceive the attributes of P2P mobility innovations were explored through a survey of 600 adopters and non-adopters. Second, seven in-depth focus groups were conducted with each of the adopter groups identified in the first research chapter. Third, the current emissions impacts of P2P mobility innovations were quantified for each identified type of adopter, and the potential emission reductions under different future scenarios were explored.

Results from the surveys revealed that there are heterogenous groups of adopters of each innovation. These groups differ from each other and from the mainstream population in their sociodemographic and personality characteristics, how they use P2P mobility innovations, and how they perceive the attributes of P2P mobility innovations. Identifying these distinct groups establishes differences in the market potential for P2P mobility innovations. Results from the focus groups revealed that each group differed in how they regard and place importance on the mechanisms of building trust (peer-reputation and reviews, inter-personal relationships, and validation checks), and the targets of trust (trust in peers, trust in the platform, and trust in the product). Users of P2P car sharing placed more importance on trust in the platform, whereas users of P2P ride sharing placed more importance on trust in other people. Trust is vital to the diffusion of P2P mobility innovations and understanding how the identified adopter groups perceive and value trust differently has implications for diffusion strategies. Results from the emissions quantifications revealed that for some adopter groups (commuters using P2P ride sharing), the largest emissions reductions come from using P2P mobility innovations instead of private car use, whereas for other groups (peer-users of P2P car sharing) the largest emissions reductions arise due to forgone vehicle purchases. Results from the future scenario exploration revealed potential emissions reductions of four to seven times larger than current estimates in a high-trust and high-institutional-support future. The scenario analysis contributes to knowledge about how to maximise the largest potential emissions reductions for different adopter groups.

This thesis contributes novel empirical insights into the adopters of P2P mobility innovations. The diffusion potential of P2P mobility innovations is examined and the importance of understanding the diversity of adopters, and their unique contexts, motivations, and perceptions is illustrated. The value of these insights to maximise the potential emissions reductions of P2P mobility are highlighted, and recommendations to platforms and for policy are provided to this end.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2022 08:24
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2022 13:45

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