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Electric municipal car-sharing scheme

Koprivnica

Koprivnica’s ambition is to make one third of the municipal fleet electric by introducing a municipal car sharing system. The deployment of electric vehicles, charging stations, the programming of a web platform to organise the sharing and a training scheme for staff are at the centre of the measure. It is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 27% and the operating cost for the municipal fleet by 24%. Koprivnica’s introduction of electric vehicles in its municipal fleet by a car sharing scheme has been innovative with regard to both organizational as well as technical aspects, since electric vehicles had hardly been used in Croatia and very little information was available about the potential. Now the benefits can be measured and the system potentially transferred to other regional companies and cities.

Implementing sustainable mobility

Electric vehicles (EV) had hardly been used in Koprivnica, the region or even the whole country. EVs are hardly promoted and very little data referring to their benefits and potentials is available. By introducing further EVs into the municipal fleet and connecting them to a functioning car-sharing system, the benefits can be measured and the system transferred to a number of larger regional companies. The scheme is managed by a simple computer programme and operated through the city’s website. EV charging stations are a novelty in Croatia. Due to this fact larger commercialization is still a long way ahead. This is  the first step of creating this kind of infrastructure in Croatia. Connecting municipal companies into an electric car-sharing system represents a twofold innovative concept. The benefits of raising public awareness, encouraging the purchase of electric cars and introducing the concept of car-sharing into companies in the city and region also contribute to the aim of reducing CO2 emissions and the level of noise.

 

The main objectives of this measure were:

  • To increase the share of electric vehicles in the municipal fleet to 30%
  • To establish a demonstration example of efficient use of electric vehicles
  • To implement a municipal electric car-sharing system, which will be a reference for smaller communities
  • To build private charging points for electric vehicles, breaking the market barriers
  • To reduce CO2 emissions of the municipal fleet by 27%. The total number of vehicles is 23. By keeping the same number of vehicles and replacing 7 of the obsolete conventional vehicles by electric vehicles, the reduction of CO2 emissions by 27% is realistic. This figure is based on a total of 8 electric vehicles; 1 vehicle had alredy been purchased prior to the start ofDYN@MO
  • To direct citizen awareness of the importance to protect the environment via sustainable transport solutions, i.e. to further follow the commitments of the Covenant of Mayors signed by the City of Koprivnica
  • To optimise the efficiency of the use of the municipal fleet by reducing the number of vehicles of the current fleet and establishing a system of their constant occupancy. The current usage rate must be taken into account and improved through the car-sharing scheme.
  • To reduce the operating costs for the municipal fleet by 24%
  • To rejuvenate an obsolete car inventory
How did the measure progress?

Before the project, the municipality and the municipal companies were using small and mid-sized gasoline powered personal and delivery vehicles. These were shared internally inside the organisations/departments with no operational contact among them. This situation has not been  optimal as vehicles were not used in an efficient way.

There was a need for the development of a car-sharing scheme in order to minimize costs incurred by the current inefficient way of municipal vehicles management. Most of the driving of the municipal companies is local, in average less than 30km daily. EVs at the current stage of technological development are highly suitable for this usage pattern.

Currently, the City of Koprivnica has been very actively promoting cycling and walking and is implementing the first measure  related to the use of EVs. One company travel plan has also been produced by municipal utility company and another is under preparation for the largest local industry, employing 3,000 people. This measure could be easily used as a model for this large industry and several other companies in the city.

 

Planning & preparation

 

During the preparation phase the following tasks have been executed:

  • Cost-benefit analysis of the car-sharing scheme for the municipal companies. Currently, the companies purchase the vehicles independently. A large initial cost of the cars purchase, followed by the cost of maintenance and fuel can be managed more cost-efficiently by establishing a car-sharing system which will lower both the cost of initial car procurement and operating costs.
  • Design of EV charging stations has to include the previous consultation on the location and issuing af all necessary permits by electricity supplier and municipal spatal planning department in order to choose the best possible location.
  • Setting of targets referring to possible savings and reduction of CO2. The goal is to reduce the operating costs and CO2 emission by using a „smart“ car-sharing system and e-vehicles. A benchmark value is to be established that would show the changes resulting by the measure.
  • Setting up the car-sharing scheme. Based on the cost-benefit analysis of the proposed scheme the initial plan will be produced, software developed and the scheme will be tested during the lifetime of the project. Based on the evaluation results, the scheme will be up-graded and adapted to future needs of a growing number of users.

 

Implementation & demonstration

 

In the implementation phase the following tasks have been  executed:

  • According to the current municipal fleet and its usage, the purchase of 7 e-vehicles -  (5 e-cars, 1 hybrid car and 1 hybrid plug-in car) is planned
  • Demonstration of how the clean vehicles works and all the benefits of electric vehicles, especially to the municipalities of towns nearby
  • Setting up of EV charging stations for the use of municipal companies at the most convenient locations in order to be used regularly and without additional costs of displacement. The EV chargers use can later be expanded towards privateusersby implementing an adequate billing system.  The Croatian National Energy Agency will set up the chargerswithin their HEP ELEN programme.
  • The up-grading of the municipal website is necessary in order to serve the purpose of the project. Staff capacity and hardware support will be improved by staff training and resulting experience, while the additional IT equipment will improve the overall quality of municipal IT department services.
  • The training scheme for municipal companies has been established because their employees are the beneficiaries of the system. They will be interviewed  for evaluation purposes in order to improve the system and solve potential problems.
What were the outcomes of the measure?

Tangible outputs:

  • Establishment of a municipal car-sharing system existing of 5 electric, 1 hybrid and 1 plug-in hybrid vehicle with online registration system
  • Establishment of 5 e-charging stations throughout the city
  • Increased public awareness, encouraging the purchase of electric cars and introducing the concept of car-sharing into companies
  • Dissemination of the cost-benefit analysis of the proposed scheme will support the expected raise of interest for the technologies used in the project.
  • 6 workshops with stakeholders (municipal companies), including 1 initial workshop for all potential users and 5 workshop with particular companies or institutions

Expected outcomes in the short- to medium-term:

  • Innovative transport pattern for municipal companies and the city administration will be implemented, including more than 300 potential users.
  • The innovative car-sharing concept, developed for the first time in the national and regional context, will be widely promoted through local, national and international networks.
  • Approximately 300 potential users of the scheme will be included in the first stage of implementation. The scheme is expected to grow after the project both in the number of vehicles and users.
  • Promotion of EVs in the car-sharing scheme will contribute to the popularity of these vehicles and hopefully lead to more wide-spread use of these vehicles in the region.
  • Nation-wide promotion of innovative practice will include presentations at conferences and events of the national Association of Towns and Municipalities and other events. Promotional activities will also include towns in the wider cross-border region.

Expected outcomes in the mid- to long-term:

  • Becoming a best-case contact point for car-sharing schemes in Croatia is a very realistic outcome of this measure.
  • “Breaking the ice” on a national level in the application of EVs and car-sharing schemes for municipal companies and city administration  in the region where such experience is completely innovative. Cities region-wide have been encouraged to launch similar schemes and include EVs in their municipal fleets if the system’s energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness can be proven with evaluated data. This bottom-up approach can also affect national transport policies in a positive way.
  • Optimising the use of the municipal fleet by providing reliable data on the number of vehicles to be most efficiently used in the municipal fleet in its current and future operation range.
  • Contributing towards the city’s environmental targets set in the Local Agenda 21 planning document – the use of EVs in municipal fleet and improving the efficiency of the overall fleet will reduce the level of noise in the town centre, reduce CO2 emissions and contribute towards the creation of low CO2 emission zone of the town centre.

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