Green Car-sharing service in Germany
Move About, the Norwegian company that pools electric vehicles for corporate clients, has announced that it is due to set up its innovative green car-sharing service in Germany. The news represents the first time Move About will have offered its services outside of Scandinavia. The firm currently runs electric car pooling schemes in Oslo, Copenhagen and Gothenburg after launching in 2009. It will partner in Germany with Hertz, which began its own car-sharing service, Hertz on Demand, at the end of 2008.
Membership to EV Fleet
The Move About scheme works through the use of a simple membership card with an embedded smart chip which offers access to a fleet of EV vehicles. Companies typically pay a regular fee for access to a fleet which can be used by its employees and docked at specific points in a city. Move About currently has 60 electric vehicles in operation, a total that is expected to rise quickly with the addition of German and other European clients.
Cost Effective Solution
There are a number of benefits for all parties, some of which are derived from the increasingly cost-effective solution provided by electric vehicles. For the client companies, sharing electric vehicles means they neither have to invest in vehicles for staff, nor pay hefty fuel bills for company vehicles, given that electricity costs are typically at least only about one-third those of petrol and diesel. Businesses are however required to pay a fixed monthly fee, which includes customer service via a headset placed in the vehicle.
New EV Target Market
For the car rental companies, it gives them a new market and the ability to test green technology in a fairly limited capacity ahead of a larger potential roll-out. And for car manufacturers, it offers a new opportunity to gain a wider audience, amid continuing skepticism over the ability of EV vehicles to compete with their diesel and petrol alternatives. Staff members on many of the Move About schemes are also given access to the vehicles outside of work hours.
Contracts with MS, IKEA and KPMG
Although Move About’s stated target of operating in 50 cities by 2013 looks to be a challenge at this stage, expansion into Germany means it now has access to Europe’s largest economy and a huge range of clients. It already has contracts with some of the world’s biggest companies including Microsoft, IKEA and KPMG, along with state-owned clients including municipal councils.
Car Pooling Future
Its fleet of electric vehicles includes those produced by the likes of Peugeot, Nissan and Citroen, and the group has developed advanced ways of recharging batteries following a partnership with Bosch, also a Move About customer. For an increasing number of corporate clients, electric car-pooling services are the future of company cars.