Electric car sharing at railway stations.

Commencing Monday, 19 September 2011 Mobility is joining forces with m-way, the Swiss Federal Railways and Siemens Switzerland to add electric cars to its car sharing fleet. The pooling of know-how by the partners meant that the scheme was very quick to get underway – it is now about to be launched across Switzerland. Thanks to the intelligent combination of electric cars and public transport, Mobility's 100’000-plus customers can now experience the joys of simple, easy come, easy go automobility that's both environmentally sound and quiet – and great value for money. The cars run on electricity obtained from renewable sources.

Common goal

Each of the partners has a trump card to play. The cars provided by m-way, Switzerland's e-mobility specialist, are fitted with Mobility Cooperative's pioneering car-sharing technology. With cars parked at the Swiss Federal Railway's largest stations, the well planned scheme offers the opportunity to combine individual and public transport. In short: a door-to-door chain of transport that's environmentally sound – and now a reality. In terms of infrastructure, the cars are recharged using Siemens' technological know-how.

Viviana Buchmann, Managing Director of Mobility Cooperative: "We see no let-up in the demand for individual car-based mobility. The problem is, there is less and less space in our densely populated urban centres. By connecting with people who like to blend individual mobility with an up-to-the-minute lifestyle, Mobility has its finger firmly on the pulse. Our introduction of electromobility in a car-sharing setting represents yet another milestone in our campaign to promote 'cars on demand'."

Electromobility across Switzerland

Commencing 19 September 2011, Mobility's fleet of vehicles is being complemented by THINK City electric cars – a key link in the urban mobility chain. Not only can people take the environmentally sound train for the main part of their journey, but on their arrival at the station they can complete their trip sustainably in an electric car. The vehicles are parked conveniently at nine stations in urban centres throughout Switzerland:

  • Basel SBB railway station / Parkhaus Süd
  • Bern, Falkenplatz / SBB head office (right above the station)
  • Geneva main railway station (Cornavin) 
  • Lausanne main railway station
  • Lucerne main railway station
  • St. Gallen main railway station
  • Winterthur main railway station / Untere Vogelsangstrasse
  • Zurich main railway station / Zollstrasse

Zug will also be getting two of the electric cars on 26 September 2011.

"The new electric cars in Mobility's fleet parked at our railway stations represent an important and forward-looking element in the country's system-wide transport chain. The investment makes door-to-door mobility that much more sustainable", says Jeannine Pilloud, Head of Passenger Traffic at the Swiss Federal Railways and a member of its corporate management team.

To ensure Mobility Cooperative's 100’000-plus customers get the reliability they deserve from its automated self-service concept, the long charge times mean that the electric cars will –­ at least for now – be available only on a whole-day hire basis (07h00 to 23h00). A day's hire costs a flat-rate of CHF 70, which includes service, cleaning, maintenance, insurance, administration, VAT and so forth. Mobility will continue to develop the concept as it learns from experience. This may well result in the electric cars being made available on an hourly basis in the medium term.

The protagonist: THINK City from m-way

The THINK City is a roomy two-seater that's really easy to use. m-way Manager Hans-Jörg Dohrmann has this to say about the car: "THINK's electric cars are lively, manoeuvrable runabouts perfectly tailored to the needs of Mobility's customers." The three-door THINK City benefits from two airbags, ABS, ISOFIX child seat anchor points and lateral collision protection. Boasting a range of up to 160 kilometres, the Think City has a top speed of 110 km/h.

Powered by green energy

The electric cars need charging to be able to run. "Siemens is supporting the project with its charging technology. By offering integrated mobility solutions, Siemens' complete mobility concept comes in answer to the challenges posed by a growing world population, urbanisation, climate change and resource depletion", says Gerhard Greiter, CEO Mobility Division, Siemens Switzerland. The cars used run on 100 per cent green electricity obtained from renewable energy sources. The electricity comes with “naturemade star” certification, which guarantees that it is ecologically produced from Swiss hydropower. The “naturemade star” quality mark indicates that the producer adheres to a comprehensive set of stringent and ecological criteria; it is awarded to those whose energy is particularly environmentally sound.

The cars can be recharged when out and about or at home. The cable required for this comes with the car. All the customer needs is a 220-volt power outlet. Mobility customers are also able to recharge the cars free at more than 200 Park & Charge stations dotted around Switzerland.

About Mobility car sharing

Mobility is the modern approach to motoring: mobility on demand that's free from the commitments of conventional car ownership. This is reflected in the change of thinking by a growing number of people who no longer necessarily associate mobility with owning a car. Mobility's 100’000-plus customers enjoy round-the-clock access to 2’600 vehicles at 1’300 locations across Switzerland. The concept of car sharing is sustainable, since every trip has to be planned ahead. A study commissioned by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (BFE) shows that just under 20’000 fewer cars drove on Switzerland's roads in 2010 thanks to Mobility – equivalent to all the cars registered in Canton Uri. Alongside this traffic-reducing effect, every active private customer contributes to an annual carbon saving of 290 kg. The savings in 2010 amounted to 16’000 tonnes of carbon – equivalent to 12’400 airline seats on the Zurich - New York route.

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About m-way

m-way is the unique platform for two and four-wheeled electromobility from Migros. In keeping with its corporate values and pioneering traditions, longstanding Mobility partner Migros launched m-way to promote the development of environmentally sound, sustainable mobility, setting its own trends as a result. e-mobility specialist m-way offers vehicle marketing and service, financial services and insurance, equipment and accessories, and roadside assistance.

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About SBB/CCFF/FFS – the Swiss Federal Railways

The Swiss Federal Railways have been providing efficient, low-carbon mobility for just under a century. Today more than 950’000 people travel by train every day, and 75 per cent of the trains are powered by hydroelectricity. The SBB has been consistently pursuing its door-to-door approach for some time now, promoting a continuous, cross-system transport chain for both rail and road. Customers should have the opportunity to choose their means of transport and their mobility chain in such a way that they benefit from the strengths of each link in the chain. The launch of electromobility in a car-sharing environment represents a highly useful addition to the SBB's existing 'first and last mile' product portfolio, which already includes P+Rail, Bike & Rail, bicycle rentals, car sharing, accompanied carriage of bikes on trains, and RailTaxi.

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About Siemens

Siemens Switzerland has a workforce of more than 6000 employees, which makes it one of the country's major industrial employers. Siemens is a global technology group with more than 160 years of experience in the field of electrical engineering and more than a century of experience of electromobility. With experts in the energy and industry sectors as well as corporate R&D, Siemens covers the entire process chain of electromobility, particularly in the area of charger technologies, related standardisation, and communications between power grid and car. As a key piece of the puzzle in today's new energy era, electric cars make real sense – particularly when it comes to “smart grids”. As a company with green credentials, Siemens is continuously on the lookout for solutions that are both energy efficient and sustainable for the environment of tomorrow. This project is one of them. The project is exciting, in that the technologies are being subjected to extensive trialling in the real world. The findings will help Siemens optimise the solutions and extend its green portfolio, which already accounts for one third of its revenues.

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