Toyota and partners launching Cité lib by Ha:mo EV car sharing in Grenoble; ultracompact EVs complementing public transport
|Toyota i-ROAD and COMS for use in "Cité lib by Ha:mo" EV sharing trial in Grenoble, France. Click to enlarge.|
The City of Grenoble, France, its metropolitan area Grenoble-Alpes Metropole, EDF and its affiliate Sodetrel, Toyota Motor Corporation and Cité lib officially launched the new “Cité lib by Ha:mo” electric vehicle car-sharing service. (Earlier post.)
Offering a new type of mobility based on ultra-compact electric vehicles, the service aims to complement Grenoble’s public transport network with a solution for short-trips—including one-way trips—that can be planned as part of overall city journeys. The vehicles and the charging stations are seamlessly connected to the IT infrastructure of Grenoble’s transport network, offering both route planning and online/mobile app reservations.
Toyota is providing 35 Toyota i-ROAD EVs, the largest number in service in the world. (Earlier post.) The Toyota i-ROAD is an innovative, fun-to-drive three-wheel personal mobility vehicle equipped with Active Lean technology that emulates the movements of a skier. The i-ROAD is as agile as a scooter with the enclosed-canopy comfort of a car. Toyota is also providing 35 four-wheel COMS vehicles. (Earlier post.)
|Toyota i-ROAD for use in “Cité lib by Ha:mo” EV sharing trial in Grenoble, France. Click to enlarge.|
The 70 Toyota vehicles will be available for short city trips in 27 charging stations installed and operated by Sodetrel—including for one-way trips from one station to another. A total of 120 charging points for the project and 41 for other plug-in vehicles will be added to the city’s transport infrastructure.
|Toyota i-ROAD and COMS at a charging station for “Cité lib by Ha:mo” EV sharing trial. Click to enlarge.|
Each station—which is located close to tram, bus or train stops—is equipped with at least four spots for i-ROADs and COMS. Some stations also feature one or two spaces for other EVs and PHEVs.
Users can pick-up one of the 70 vehicles and drop it off at any station near their destination without having to return it to the original pickup point. They will only be charged for the ride.
The service eliminates the need to look for a parking place. In addition, the compactness of the vehicles makes it easier to plan and build parking and charging infrastructure.
Toyota is not only contributing the 70 electric vehicles to the project, but is also responsible for the car-sharing management system—called Ha:mo (for Harmonious Mobility)—which it has been piloting in its home town of Toyota City in Japan. Toyota considers that electric vehicles are part of the overall solution for low-carbon transport and are especially suited to short-distance, urban journeys, while hybrids, plug-in hybrids and fuel cell vehicles will prove more practical for longer trips.
Having operated a car sharing service in Grenoble for nearly 10 years with 80 vehicles (gasoline, hybrids, CNG and electric), Cité lib will manage the day-to-day operation of the new service. The additional EVs will double its fleet and offer a different type of service to its subscribers.
A simple pricing plan dubbed “3, 2, 1 euros” for respectively the first, second and third 15-minute increments will be proposed to Grenoble citizens. For annual local transport card subscribers, the price will be reduced, at 2+ 1 euro for respectively the first and subsequent 15-minute increments.
Cité lib by Ha:mo will open to the public on 1 October 2014 for a three-year period. The project partners will use this trial to collect valuable data on technical aspects and user behaviors.