Evaluation of an Electric Vehicle Carsharing Pilot Project in Rural San Joaquin Valley in Terms of Meeting Mobility Needs of Residents and Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Research Team: Caroline Rodier (lead) and Brian Harold

UC Campus(es): UC Davis

Problem Statement: The San Joaquin Valley (SJV) has some of the country’s worst air quality and high rates of childhood asthma. California has implemented new policies and incentives to encourage the use of cleaner, more fuel-efficient, and zero-emission cars, like electric vehicles, to reduce emissions and improve air quality. CARB has granted nearly $1.6 billion for the Low Carbon Transportation Program, which has funded equity projects in low-income and disadvantaged communities, including an electric vehicle (EV) carsharing pilot program located at affordable housing complexes in several small, rural SJV communities. This pilot project seeks to provide more reliable, affordable, and convenient travel alternatives to residents in areas not well served by transit. The pilot project offers a promising alternative to meet SB 375 goals in the SJV; however, solid research is needed to verify that that the pilot service increases the mobility of residents while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This research will help to guide future cap-and-trade investments for scaled operations.

Project Description: This project seeks to significantly improve the evaluation of this the EV carsharing pilot program in the SJV by using telephone or in-person surveys with carsharing users. The survey will explore how and why the service is used by respondents and how it has impacted choice of travel modes (personal vehicles by type, transit, walking, and biking), destination choices, and access to new opportunities. The results will provide causal evidence for changes in travel behavior, greenhouse gas emissions, and equity outcomes. The results will also help gauge the use of the service and to guide further scaling and marketing efforts.

Status: In Progress

Budget: $79,970

Project Partner(s): California Air Resources Board