Today in Cleantech

A new research paper in the Journal of Consumer Research looks at the motivations of Zipcar drivers and finds that they’re actually quite self interested, and not particularly interested in sharing, community or the environment. Drivers also said that they one day hoped to own their own car, and don’t want to be connected with other drivers. The researchers interviewed 40 Zipcar users in Boston so consider the small sample size, but this kind of data is not that surprising. We’ve known that convenience and cost are the real motivators right now in the share economy, and there’s no reason to believe that a consumer’s relationship with Zipcar is any different than his relationship with any other service provider like his mechanic or a bank. What would be interesting would be a comparative study seeing if drivers in a peer-to-peer car sharing network like RelayRides, where renters know who the car owner is, feel any differently.

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Adam Lesser

Cleantech Curator Gigaom Research

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