Newsletter

The Legacy of the eBRIDGE Project: The eBRIDGE Start Up Kit

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

The eBRIDGE project brought together 7 pioneering cities pursuing a common a vision: a zero-carbon urban mobility where technology - electric vehicles and smart infrastructure - supports people to make sustainable travel choices.

In such vision, mobility performs instantaneously, on-demand, enabled by a multimodal transport system integrated in an interoperable, seamless mobility fabric. Information and communication technology enable smart travelling; journey planners and mobility apps provide real‑time information allowing on‑line booking and billing, thus enabling efficient door‑to‑door trips. We call this Urban eMobility 2020.

To make this happen, a holistic approach including energy generation, charging infrastructure, integrated urban development and citizen engagement is vital. Most importantly, electric mobility will require a radical change of mindsets about the way we travel. Its success relies in a paradigm shift and the role of traditional means of transport like the private car, or even the need of private car ownership.
Our contribution to this vision is the eBRIDGE Start Up Kit which consolidates the project knowledge in two publications, the eBRIDGE Toolkit and the eBRIDGE Guidelines, with the aim of providing an unbiased view of the potential of electric fleets for daily travel. 

The eBRIDGE Toolkit is a condensed volume of practical recommendations for the successful operation and promotion of electric fleets.
The eBRIDGE Guidelines are a comprehensive summary of the project key findings and including an overview of the electric mobility market in the eBRIDGE countries, the description of the pilots and overall key findings on policy, business models, emissions scenarios, and recommendations to improve fleet performance and the effective marketing of e-fleets.

The eBRIDGE key messages for electric mobility and the support of electric vehicle uptake in Europe are:

Global issues

  • Electric mobility is a sound way to reduce (local) emissions and improve quality of life only if supplied with renewable energy sources.
  • EVs can cover a large share of trips made in urban and rural areas. There is interesting information regarding these data in the scenarios report available here
  • Technology and charging infrastructure must develop accordingly to address the current barriers. Availability of interoperable charging infrastructure is key
  • Electric mobility is not economically sustainable in many private applications. Further research is needed to explore relevant uncertainties like EVs depreciation, battery lifespan, re-sale value, and to achieve interoperable chargers.
  • Eventually, the second-hand EV market might induce side effects on actual users for the adoption of EVs.
  • Promoting renewable energy use and expansion is decisive. Cooperation with local actors in the form of multi-stakeholder alliances is highly recommendable.

Policy

  • EVs have great potential and as such, certain constraints to cope with: political will and commitment to long-term sustainability are fundamental
  • Policy can induce sustainable fields of application, e.g. congestion charge zones in city centres
  • Monetary incentives (purchasing grants, tax reductions) have a strong effect on fleet operators’ decision-making. However, spurring end-user EV demand adequately is ultimately needed to achieve a mature market
  • Non-monetary incentives (free parking, bus lane) and appropriate mobility policies should strive to achieve sustainable long-term effects.

Operation

  • Cost reduction of mileage claims and fuel costs are attainable for municipal and company fleets. Commercial car sharing operators have smaller saving margins due to higher operation costs
  • EVs maintenance costs are lower but availability of repair workshops and personnel is limited
  • Charging determines the points of availability and increases EVs visibility
  • “Electric” is not a USP in car sharing: additional willingness to pay is noticeable only for local authorities and companies
  • Adaptation and resilience to adapt to a fierce market competition are crucial
  • Electric car sharing is a complex product to sell. Operators shall consider providing additional mobility management services to become organisations’ partners in the formation of travel plans.

Users

  • Electric fleets help users get familiarised and build confidence with EVs
  • Lack of knowledge creates artificial barriers
  • EVs enjoy greater user acceptance
  • Range anxiety decreases with regular use
  • Driving experience and user attitudes towards EVs are largely positive
  • Specific driving training targeting business and private users is encouraged.

The eBRIDGE Toolkit and Guidelines are available for you to read and download by the end of March in English, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish here. We hope our work serves as inspiration and support to other pioneers who also find that electric mobility is the way to go!

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