Austria’s big challenge: e-car sharing in rural areas


Monday, 17 March 2014

In small towns and rural areas many people depend on private cars. This is the big challenge of the Austrian case study, which focuses on a selection of initiatives of municipalities.

In Gaubitsch most trips cannot be done by public transport.
One of the top actions is the Gaubitscher Stromgleiter (power glider) “An e-car for all”. 
In order to reduce the number of families with two cars, the municipality has purchased a “municipality second car” – an e-car placed on a central parking position. 
For a yearly membership fee of 99 Euro, individuals can use the e-car for only 10 cent/km (cost-covering for electricity, maintenance and insurance). 
The battery range is around 130 km. In the first year, the ”Stromgleiter” has clocked 22,000 km and thus saved 2.8 tons CO2. The e-car is currently shared by 29 users.

This project was received a prize by the Dorferneuerungsverein (“countryside regeneration council”). The jury appreciated its originality, citizen involvement as well as economic, ecologic and social sustainability.
The deputy chairwoman of Dorferneuerungsverein Doris Hartmann is an enthusiastic user of the ”Stromgleiter”. She stated: “It is a great award for our project and it shows that even a small municipality with less than 1,000 inhabitants can achieve major improvements.”

Inspired by Gaubitsch, the municipality of Auersthal also started an e-car sharing initiative—project E-Go. The goal is to offer an E-car sharing solution to all citizens of Auersthal. This is remarkable for a village located in a region concentrating on the exploitation of fossil fuels. However, recently the region invested heavily in renewable energy, especially wind turbines. Details about this project can be obtained on the following website: (in German)

The government of Lower Austria is increasingly supporting peer-to-peer e-car sharing on a greater scale. The government realized that intelligent mobility solutions can significantly contribute to climate and environmental protection. Therefore e-car sharing projects are supported with funds to be able to purchase car sharing technology such as on-board units and reservation software. Additionally, consulting and workshops are offered to interested municipalities. 

And now, read some words from Georg Hartmann, project manager of the Gaubitscher Stromgleiter” and Alois Mareiner, e-car user and mayor of Gaubitsch.