What would it take to sell your car?
by Jonas Fehling
It’s been a big week — from the U.S. elections to rising Covid-19 cases, it can be easy to overlook developments that are transforming our future.
In cities across the world, it’s becoming easier than ever to go car-free. In Paris, major streets have transformed into bike highways while in Barcelona, the city has created car-free superblocks to create social cohesion.
As cities become friendlier to people, they are becoming less attractive for car owners. Innovative companies are making it easier for us to ditch our cars altogether.
As a car-less student in Münster, I was an early customer of Flaschenpost, getting deliveries of water and beer. This week the beverage delivery startup was acquired by The Oetker Group for €1 billion.
While I’ve never owned a car, my parents still use theirs for their weekly grocery shopping. And they are not alone — not everyone is ready to go car-less. Traditionally, cars have been a symbol of status and freedom. In one British study, almost half of the respondents said there was nothing that could convince them to switch to a more environmentally friendly mode of transportation. But I’ve seen firsthand how attitudes are changing.
Services like Flaschenpost make it more likely I’ll never have to buy a car and that’s good news for our cities. A study by the Wuppertal Institut and Fridays for Future found that we must reduce car ownership in cities to 1/3 their current level to limit temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius. To do that, we must understand when and why people buy cars; with that information, we can tailor companies and services so to meet those needs.
What would it take to sell your car? What other services would you wish for?
This article was first published in the weekly FightBack Newsletter. Subscribe here for regular inspiration on impactful corporate innovation.