Electric mobility is seen as a realistic way of tackling Madrid’s air quality and climate problems.
Like many other European cites Madrid is supporting electric mobility. Now the city has a smart new electric car sharing scheme, 'car2go', which complements existing transport systems by providing a service for short distance trips. The change over to electric mobility is not just a change of technology but requires behaviour change which is often dependent on the relative cost of the new behaviour/travel mode on offer. One way of making electric mobility more appealing in this regard is shifting from vehicle ownership, with a high cost, to temporary vehicle use offering greater flexibility, more adequate and lower demand in parking space. Since November 2015 car2go, a non station based electric car sharing scheme, has complemented existing mobility services available in the Spanish capital.
Unlike most car sharing programs, car2go is not station-based. The concept is simple:
• No need for a subscription or vehicle reservation;
• Users can access vehicles where they want and then drive off;
• Parking is possible anywhere in Madrid, i.e. Electric Cars can park at no cost in any green, blue, or white parking region in the city, and have access to most of the areas were traditional cars don’t have access anymore;
• There’s no need to take the car back to a fixed depot.
• To drive car2go electric, one must register with the service through the website, and then all is made through the user smart phone.
Users pay only for the actual number of minutes of car usage.
The main investment on the side of the company are the main charging hubs that’s has implemented in the City, in order to charge all its vehicles with rapid chargers.
Evidence of success
Specifically, in Madrid Car2Go service started from November 2015, and now has one of its biggest Electrical Vehicle fleets, with 500 EV and 53 km2 covered within the city, and over 166.000 users in the City.
The success is such that another company promoted by Renault and Ferrovial is going to launch a third carsharing 100% electric service with 500 Renault Zoe cars in October 2017.
The main problem of the company is to have people that move cars to the charging hubs and back, Companies are occupying a public space to earn a private profit, and thus some other competing companies are arguing about the model (Taxi drivers, Uber, Cabify, etc.)
Potential for learning or transfer
As the investment costs of the company are high if you don’t have a rapid charging network in the city, the main need to replicate this experience in another European city is that it has over 500.000 inhabitants in the region were the carsharing company is going to implement its scheme. As well as these kinds of companies learn more and more, and EV reduces their price, they could study the replication in other smaller areas.