Published by Emily Ruck Keene on 01.10.2019 - 5 min
A new electric carsharing service launches in Amsterdam. Vincent Carré, Director of Electric Vehicles & New Mobilities in Europe at Groupe Renault, and Fetch Car Sharing Managing Director Marco Boender give the details on this exciting project.
Marco Boender: Starting from January 10 there will be 200 Renault ZOEs in Amsterdam, which users can pick up from their mobile phone using the Fetch electric carsharing platform. Sign up, make a reservation, get in the car, close the door and go. The car can travel up to 300 kilometres, so users can even drive into neighbouring countries!
Vincent Carré: Fetch Car Sharing is the result of a strong collaboration. Today, Renault is the leading provider of vehicles for electric carsharing in Europe. We have 9000 cars in operation, including 5000 ZOEs. In each city where we work we establish strong partnerships, like in this case with Fetch Car Sharing.
MB: It’s a « free floating » concept. We delineate a geo-fence (a virtual perimeter) and the client can leave the car wherever they want as long as it’s a legal parking space. When necessary we also relocate the cars, clean them and charge the batteries. We then put them in hotspots such as public transport hubs and outside residential and office buildings, places where they are really needed.
VC: The service is for both private customers and businesses. The initial customers are individuals, but we are progressively, in all cities in Europe, driving this service forward with businesses, with very positive results. Electric carsharing is for everybody.
MB: Our first aim is to put the cars on the streets where they can be used by normal consumers and also small companies. Amsterdam has a lot of start-ups that only consist of one or two people. Once we’re up and running, we’ll move into the larger business sector of the market as well.
MB: Parking is such a problem that people don’t even have a first, let alone a second car. So we depend on both public transport, and types of mobility like electric carsharing. What we have learned from earlier experiences is that customers take a carsharing vehicle for the weekend, to go see family for example, but also travel within Amsterdam itself. In terms of complementary mobility, people need the total package to be able to live their lives.
VC: It’s the same for many cities in Europe. The trend of sharing cars is booming, especially in cities, where people want to reduce the number of petrol cars. It is very interesting to look at the statistics: 25-30% of car-sharers have given up their own car. One carsharing car can replace up to 10 private cars.
MB: The ZOE is a proven car for carsharing. It’s very reliable, which for us is naturally very important. It has a really long, accurate range, which is vital for our users. The car is also both sizeable on the inside and flexible for driving in a city. From a carsharing perspective, the ZOE is also a car that is easy to get used to. And, lastly, it has the separate connection for our technology.
VC: With each generation of the ZOE we have improved in our cooperation with different electric carsharing companies. We’ve developed a special interface for the car that informs the operator about the location of its vehicles and their autonomy.
VC: Yes, this is a trend that is definitely on the rise. Cities are evolving, they are fighting against congestion, against pollution, so shared mobility is a real solution.
MB: Mostly it is because it’s the way things are going, and because permit regulations make parking so difficult in Amsterdam. But each Fetch Car Sharing vehicle has a permit already; the government has recognised that this is the right direction to take. In the Netherlands there are already around 41,000 shared cars, which is relatively high for Europe.
MB: I’m really happy with the way our partnership is working. This new service isn’t just about a manufacturer, or a carsharing company. It’s really about a growing market. As with every major change in society, it can’t be done by one single entity. It comes down to the sharing economy: if you can’t share, then this isn’t the economy for you.
VC: At Renault we are strongly committed to developing electric vehicles and new mobility. As a leader, offering a complete range of electric vehicles, we are very lucky to be a significant part of this evolution, accompanying customers in their choices and sharing our experience and knowledge through exciting ventures like Fetch Carsharing.
Header picture : Fetch Car Sharing Managing Director Marco Boender and Vincent Carré, Director of Electric Vehicles & New Mobilities in Europe at Groupe Renault.
Copyrights : Pim Hendriksen