Car sharing services are expected to have more than 12 million members worldwide by 2020, up from 2.3 million this year, a report from Navigant Research said.
The services, essentially short-term rental operations, provide cheap and easy access to vehicles and have gained popularity among younger drivers. As of July, ZipCar Inc. of Boston said it has more than 810,000 members and more than 10,000 vehicles in the world. ZipCar operates in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Spain.
Navigant Research of Boulder, Colo., said global revenues produced from car sharing this year are expected to be about $1 billion. That figure is expected to swell to $6.2 billion by 2020.
"Car sharing offers members the ability to enjoy mobility without the expense and hassle of owning a car, or the need to frequently rent a vehicle from a traditional car rental agency," Lisa Jerram, senior research analyst with Navigant Research, said in a statement. "In addition, car sharing is viewed by both public and private entities as a powerful tool to reduce urban congestion and lower emissions of greenhouse gases."