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Berlin: Flinkster car sharing

Berlin, the capital of Germany, is a metropolis with 3.3 million inhabitants. The city is transforming continuously and provides a breeding ground for research and innovation. A dense public transport network, low car ownership and an established car sharing landscape with more than 3,500 vehicles are the ideal starting point for new mobility concepts.

The context

Flinkster is the station-based car sharing offer of DB FuhrparkService (a subsidiary of German Railways), that operates in Berlin and other German cities. The fleet in Berlin provides 240 vehicles, thereof 40 electric vehicles. The vehicles are equipped with a RFID-capable on-board unit and accessed via a customer card. Bookings can be made online, with a smartphone app or via telephone.

The Berlin demonstration will focus on 8 electric vehicles of the e-Flinkster fleet provided for business use on the EUREF campus. The campus is a business & research cluster that accommodates more than 40 companies and institutions with around 2,000 employees.

Among the 40 companies located on the EUREF campus are research institutions, universities, renewable energy companies, mobility operators, smart technologies consultancies, etc.

During eBRIDGE DB FuhrparkService and choice will analyse requirements, potentials and barriers of electric car sharing for business use. This shall be done in a multidimensional process. While attitudes, usage experiences and barriers in usage will be assessed with the help of surveys among employees, economic factors and perspectives for mobility management will be assessed during personal interviews with fleet managers of the participating companies and institutions.

As a result, a suitable marketing approach intended to improve the level of awareness and use of electric car sharing offers will be conceptualised and tested. The overarching goal is to establish electric car sharing as a natural element of business mobility management.

The tasks

The case study runs from April 2013 until March 2016.

Usage concepts

Electric vehicles have specific advantages and disadvantages when used for business mobility. When used in car sharing mode (instead of dedicated company fleets), additional organisational and financial challenges and opportunities occur. The analysis of these aspects will form the foundation for further later research.

Behavioural change

To assess the potential for behavioural change, two surveys will be conducted among the employees of the companies located on the EUREF Campus, in order to reveal information about business mobility behaviour, electric vehicle mindsets and actual electric vehicle use.

Business Mobility Management

The use of electric vehicles in car sharing mode for business does not only have an impact on the employees but also on the companies. This is why companies' representatives will be interviewed to assess the effects on mobility management. Cost and organisational aspects and the impact on the environmental balance of the respective companies will be the main themes of the interviews. This will result in a report on relevant impacts of e-car sharing for business mobility management.

Marketing

During the lifetime of the project, a set of materials such as leaflets, business mobility guidelines, brochures for companies will be produced and promoted among users and interested companies, in order to support behavioural change towards electric mobility and more environmental-friendly means of transport in general.

User Training

One user training workshop will be carried out during demonstration period. During the workshop, employees on the campus will have the opportunity to get familiarised with e-Flinkster fleet and electric mobility.

The goals

Besides the overarching goal of establishing electric car sharing in the business mobility context, concrete targets related to operational optimisation and general awareness raising will be pursued by the local project partners.

Regarding the operational performance the specific goals are:

  • Expansion of electric fleet
  • Improved degree of capacity utilisation
  • Increased number of users
  • Increased number of companies and institutions involved in electric mobility.

Berlin

Berlin, the capital of Germany, is a metropolis with 3.3 million inhabitants. The city is transforming continuously and provides a breeding ground for research and innovation. A dense public transport network, low car ownership and an established car sharing landscape with more than 3,500 vehicles are the ideal starting point for new mobility concepts.

Austrian municipalities

In contrast to the global trend, car sharing in Austria remained static for the last 15 years. The introduction of electric mobility on the one hand and the entry of new market players on the other hand have reactivated the sector.

Vigo

Vigo is a big city situated in the province of Pontevedra, in the north-west coast of Spain. As a harbour city, Vigo plays a strategic role for the regional tourism and its solid transport infrastructure makes it a transport hub for the Galician region and the north of the neighboring country Portugal.

Valencia - Palma

The metropolitan area of Valencia, with 1.7 million inhabitants, is the 3rd largest urban agglomeration in Spain. In the last few years, the region has made substantial investments to improve its transportation system with a commitment to promoting the use of sustainable modes of transport.

Milan

Milan, located in the North of Italy, is the second largest Italian city and the capital of Lombardy region. The city covers an area of 182 km2 and has 1.35 million inhabitants. It will host EXPO 2015 and is expecting around 20 million visitors in a year; it is therefore planning a strengthening of its transport service system and has already introduced a Pollution Charge paid by car users entering in the city centre (the so called Area C). The Milan eBRIDGE pilot has been focused on the e-car sharing fleet located into the Area C.

Lisbon

Lisbon is the capital city of Portugal, with a resident population of 547,773 inhabitants. The city is situated on the right bank of River Tagus, in the heart of the country, being its political and major economic centre, presenting a cosmopolitan dynamic as a result of the hundreds of daily movements registered by its floating and resident population.

Carmarthenshire

Carmarthenshire is one of 22 Welsh administrative divisions (Counties). It is the third largest Welsh County by area, and the fourth largest by population (183,800 inhabitants).

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