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Home » Blog » Car usage rate: what it is, how it is calculated and possible solutions

In a traditional model of individual car ownership, many cars sit idle most of the time, contributing to the low overall utilization rate. Car sharing allows multiple people to use the same vehicle at different times, reducing the time the car is parked and idle.

Car Usage Rate: calculation and interpretation

In the modern era, in fact, car ownership is no longer considered a status symbol, as it iseva happened up to a decade ago. Car utilization rate is calculated by dividing actual driving time (or the time a vehicle is in motion) by the total vehicle availability time. The formula is as follows:

USAGE RATE = (Actual driving time / Total availability time) x 100


The result is usually expressed as a percentage. For example, if a car is running for 3 hours out of a total of 24 hours, the utilization rate will be 12,5%.

A low utilization rate may indicate underutilization of available resources, negatively impacting the efficiency and effectiveness of the transportation system. Cars that sit idle most of the time contribute to urban traffic problems and increase air pollution, as more vehicles are needed to meet travel demand.

However, other factors must also be considered, which contribute to a correct interpretation of the usage rate:

  • Is the actual driving time made up of a single trip, or a combination of multiple trips over the course of a day?
  • Could daily car use be replaced with shared transport, including public transport?

It is necessary to take into account all the variables; those who live in a capital city, for example, certainly have more opportunities to use public or shared transport.

Implications of low usage rate on urban traffic and society

A low rate of car use contributes to the increase in the overall number of vehicles on the roads. This phenomenon, known as oversizing of the vehicle fleet, intensifies traffic, reduces average speed and increases the risk of road accidents.
Further negative consequences are the excessive occupation of public land and the huge emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere. For example, several studies indicate that the use rate of the private vehicle fleet in Italy is approximately 5%. and that our compatriots waste on average 30 minutes a day looking for street parking. Both figures are emblematic of the inconvenience caused by the oversizing of the car fleet.
In this scenario, car sharing aims to address this problem by optimizing the use of existing cars and reducing the need to own one individually.

Car sharing as a solution to low utilization rate

Car sharing fits into the context of the collaborative economy, promoting the sharing of resources between multiple users. This means that a single vehicle can serve the needs of several people, significantly increasing its utilization rate.
Furthermore, users who participate in so-called car sharing can benefit from economic savings compared to individually owning a car.
The leva economy, and the pay-per-use model, can and should incentivize more people to participate in sharing programs, further contributing to reducing oversizing of the vehicle fleet and increasing the overall usage rate.

E-Vai, thanks to its electric fleet, responds to all the solutions that car sharing offers to the problem of low car use: optimization of resources, both in terms of vehicles and in economic terms; traffic reduction and recovery of public land; collaborative and shared economy; environmental sustainability, thanks to its low impact in terms of emissions.

What are you waiting for? Discover the active offers of E-Vai and get on board!

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