Hyundai has launched an electric family car-sharing service in Amsterdam, reports the Volkskrant on Thursday.
Frank Meijer, director of Hyundai Eco Car & Mobility, told the paper that they had chosen the Dutch capital to launch this new service, due to its high number of public charging points, high parking costs, and public receptiveness to car sharing.
The idea is that anyone wanting to hire a car finds it from an on-street location via a smartphone app, using this to pay and open the doors. The Ioniq electric car costs 25 cents per minute, or 12 euros an hour and registration – which will cost 10 euros – is free within two weeks of the launch.
According to a Hyundai press release online, ‘Amsterdam has more than 2,200 public charging points and the best infrastructure for electric cars in Europe.
The new cars can take five people and their baggage, and go 280 kilometers thanks to a better battery than earlier electric car models.
In an initial phase, 100 cars will be put on the streets, Meijer told the Volkskrant. ‘We will learn, and look at the business case.’
Car sharing firms such as Snappcar and Zipcar believe that in future many more people will use shared vehicles, allowing the overall number of cars in Europe to decrease.
But academics such as Dr Gonçalo Homem de Almeida Correia, a specialist in sustainable transport at Delft University of Technology, has said that a lot depends on the attitudes of authorities, and that ‘a good public transport system can do much for the sustainability of a city’ than vehicle sharing.
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