Research shows that a passenger car is parked on average 95 percent of the time. The city of Lappeenranta decided to improve the use of city-owned cars and reduce traffic emissions by introducing shared electric cars in spring 2018.
There are a total of four electric cars for joint use. During office hours they are mainly used by the city’s own units but outside office hours, i.e. on weekdays between 5 pm to 8 am and on weekends the cars can be rented by companies, residents and travellers from the area. The vehicle service completely replaces the vehicles owned by the City of Lappeenranta. With such an arrangement the city cars are in a resource efficient use and do not stand idle while city’s employees do not need them. The goal of the city of Lappeenranta is to increase the number of shared cars in the coming years.
Launching the service did not go first as planned. When the city of Lappeenranta started discussions in the autumn 2016 on the purchase of shared electric cars, a suitable service was still missing from the market. After one year there was some progress and service providers were invited to tender for the shared electric car service. This was paused because the city wanted to discuss more with service providers. At the turn of the 2017-18, service providers were invited to tender again and the local AR Rent Oy was selected as the winner. The price of a three year contract is up to 77 630 euros but the monthly price for the city decreases when the utilisation rate of the cars increases.
The procurement process was long but we are very pleased with the outcome. There have been no surprises in the actual implementation or use of the service.Climate Coordinator Petri Kero, City of Lappeenranta
The city has been particularly pleased with the ease of the service and the use of cars. Hertz Car Sharing is taking care of all the practicalities. Cars located at the City Hall parking lot can be rented by registering for the service using via a mobile app or website. Unlocking can be done by mobile phone or Hertz card. Rental cars are Renault Zoe Z.E. 40 full electric cars. With a full charge you can drive about 250 kilometres in summer or about 200 kilometres in winter.
The city has not yet calculated the annual savings but the results will be reviewed when the service has been in use for one year. However, it is assumed that the service is able to achieve significant savings both economically and in terms of emissions.
The shared electric car service of the city of Lappeenranta received a Hinku Award in January 2018.