Towards a sustainable mobility system : leveraging corporate car fleets to foster innovation

Abstract : The mobility system in France faces increasing sustainability challenges. In response, French public authorities have endeavoured to foster innovation in the mobility system, with a particular focus on the automotive subsystem, where the challenges are most acute. Corporations have a special position in the mobility system: their decisions influence mobility behaviours well beyond corporate mobility patterns alone. Every year in France, 4 out of 10 new light-duty vehicles (including passenger cars and light commercial vehicles) are sold to corporations. Yet, corporate mobility in general, and corporate car fleets in particular, are still blind spots in the collective understanding of the mobility system. The main contribution of our work is to demonstrate that, given their effects on the larger mobility system, and given their sensitivity to public policies, corporate car fleets are a relevant object for research and a relevant matter for public policy discussion. Our research is a multi-method investigation, collecting information from a wide range of sources, including professional journals and legal archives, and cross-checking quantitative results on the composition and use patterns of corporate car fleets from large mobility surveys in France against qualitative insights gained from an exploratory survey of fleet managers in the Paris region. We develop a set of definitions and analytical frameworks for investigating corporate car fleets, including a typology of vehicles based on the various levels of ‘rights' granted to the employee over the vehicle. We show that corporate car fleets could account for 15% of the total light-duty vehicle fleet in France, 25% of its total mileage and 25% to 30% of its CO2 emissions. We also reveal the instrumental role that corporate car fleets can play in setting new trends for France's global vehicle stock. We highlight that the daily patterns of use of corporate vehicles are highly diverse, and partly compatible with electric vehicles. Finally, we show that tax policies have significant effects on the dynamics of the spread of innovations in corporate car fleets. We discuss the implications of these results for policy-making and stress the need for further integration between industrial policies, transport policies, and tax policies. We further emphasise the need for greater coordination between the various levels of government, and for adequate phasing of public policies. At present, more transparency is needed about how long current ‘initiating' policies (e.g. purchase bonus) will last, and how strong the ‘supporting' policies (e.g. low-emission zones) will be in the medium- to long-term
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Virginie Boutueil. Towards a sustainable mobility system : leveraging corporate car fleets to foster innovation. Architecture, aménagement de l'espace. Université Paris-Est, 2015. Français. ⟨NNT : 2015PESC1203⟩. ⟨tel-01722958⟩

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