Toyota, Grenoble, EDF and Citélib launching Ha:Mo EV sharing service as part of multimodal transport solution; small EVs for the last kilometer
In October 2014, a car charing service featuring 70 Toyota i-ROAD and COMS ultra-compact electric vehicles and around 30 charging stations developed and managed by EDF’s subsidiary Sodetrel will be open for service for a period of three years through a unique partnership between the City and the Metropolitan Area of Grenoble (France), French energy company EDF, Japanese car maker Toyota and Citélib, a local car-sharing operator. (Earlier post.)
Connected to the public transport system’s IT infrastructure, this new car-sharing scheme will complement Citélib, the current car-sharing service of Grenoble, by allowing users to pick up one of the small EVs at one location and drop it off at another. The project also aims to promote multimodal transport methods. The main idea is to allow commuters to drive electrically the first or last kilometers of their journey for increased flexibility and time-saving, thus contributing to reducing traffic congestion and improving air quality in city centers.
|Current. You leave your apartment Monday morning on the outskirts of Grenoble at 7:25 to go to work. You take a 20-minute tram ride to the city center and wait for the connecting bus for five minutes. Ten minutes later, the bus drops you off five minutes from your office. You’re late, again, for the 8:00 meeting and haven’t had time for a coffee. For more flexibility, you may take your car—but this means you must leave even earlier, at 7:15, and there is no guarantee of an on-time arrival, what with traffic and the time it takes to find a parking spot.|
|Citélib by Ha:mo. During the tram ride, you access a smartphone app to see the available i-ROADs at your usual stop. You reserve and pay. Another app can also allow you to see the status of traffic and public transport before you leave, so you can plan the best route that day. Once off the tram, you flash your phone onto the charging station to release your i-ROAD. In six minutes, you ride to the charging station near your office, two minutes away.|
Surveys show that the average daily commute in Europe takes between 40 and 50 minutes. Increasingly, commuters use public transport, but most of them still have to walk some 15 minutes to reach their final destination. New IT technologies, paired with innovative mobility solutions, are starting to allow the introduction of more flexibility to urban mobility, and will undoubtedly make up the cornerstone of future smart cities, Toyota observes.
By bringing together their respective competencies, the project partners are offering Grenoble an innovative service which will allow a real-life, thorough evaluation of the potential of this new form of mobility.
The scale of this integrated and complex project requires partnerships and collaboration—between the project partners of course, but also with the local communities.
EDF is bringing around 30 charging stations to the project, but also more than a half-century of experience in developing electric mobility, both through battery technology and managing charging infrastructures. EDF aims to accompany its public, corporate and private customers in transitioning towards modes of transport that are more sustainable, less noisy and CO2-emission free.
|Station locations. Click to enlarge.|
Sodetrel, a fully-owned subsidiary of EDF, brings its expertise in management of charging infrastructure for EVs and PHEVs, commercial management of charging services, and car-sharing service management for the public and private sectors.
Toyota is providing the 70 ultra-compact electric vehicles used in the project: the Toyota COMS (single-seater, 4 wheels, a small rear storage compartment) and the Toyota i-ROAD (two-seater, 3-wheel with Active Lean technology). The latter introduces a completely new and fun way to drive. Very compact, it combines the exceptional handling of a motorcycle or a scooter with the comfort and stability of a car. 4 i-ROADs occupy the footprint of a single car.
|Toyota will provide electric vehicles based on the new i-ROAD concept (left) and COMS (right). Click to enlarge.|
Toyota is also developing a data management system that will enable the visualisation and reservation of the vehicles. The system will integrate with Grenoble’s existing transport IT system to offer route planning with different modes of transport from a smartphone. Citélib by Ha:mo is Toyota's second “Ha:mo” (short for Harmonious Mobility) project and the first outside Japan.
This concept fits within our overall future mobility vision which is based on four pillars: safety, comfort, ease of use and ecology. Ha:mo was designed to reduce the stress caused by traffic jams, peak traffic hours, and searching for a parking space. It also allows a reduction in emissions that cause poor air quality in city centres.—Michel Gardel, Vice President of Toyota Motor Europe
Citélib was chosen for its track record, with more than 10 years of experience in running car-sharing programs in the region.
On top of our current vehicle range, from two to nine occupants, Citélib by Ha:mo will fill an important gap for short-distance travel and allow our customers to pick up and drop off their vehicles at different locations.— Martin Lesage, General Director of Citélib
Citélib has seen 30% annual growth of car sharing in Grenoble; the service attracts 50% private and 50% corporate customers, Lesage said.
Grenoble metro community citizens can already pre-register for Citélib by Ha:mo. If they register as early as this summer, they will receive time credits towards future usage of the service when it becomes operational in October.