A new form of green transportation is all the rage in Monaco, France. At the hotel Fairmont Monte-Carlo, vacationers can come and pick up the keys of a 100 percent electric Twizzy. One of the many cars offered by Mobee, an extremely popular electric car sharing service among the locals.
Just one year after Mobee took hold of the streets of this principality, business is booming. The number of annual subscriptions is continuing to climb and has reached, as of the beginning of August 2015, 110 car sharing enthusiasts who all use a parking lot consisting of twenty-five, 100 percent electric and sustainable Renault Twizzy’s. It’s a success that hasn't stopped growing since January 2014, when Mobee had only 70 subscriptions. An increase of almost 60 percent.
“Since the launch of this service, the Fairmont has wished to participate and has offered its clients this transportation option. Today, on a technical level, the concept is fully operational and the initial feedback proved it to be extremely positive,” explains Nicolas Buteau, managing director of the Mobee enterprise, owned 49 percent by the government and 51 percent by Sodetrel (an electric subsidiary of EDF or Électricité de France).
In front of the luxury hotel, two Twizzy cars are made available to clients, whether they are guests of the Fairmont or not.
“We wished to be a part of this concept and we offer this service to any visitor,” stated representatives of the hotel. It is only necessary to have a driver’s license that is legal in Monaco and to get the keys directly from the hotel.
“Our concierges are perfectly trained and are in charge of the contract. The valets take care of the key returns and give advice on the use and handling of the vehicle.”
The first-time users are excited by this new concept. It must be said that this small two-seater quadricycle has a compelling argument, touted by Nicolas Buteau: “It allows one to travel all over Monaco, since it is registered here. The tourists can thus go to the Rock of Monaco, as easily as they can go to the Prince’s Palace, with no restrictions. So it is a more entertaining and independent way to discover the principality.”
Following this first experience, Buteau has observed a completely different use of Twizzy cars than with an annual subscription. “It’s not at all the same approach,” he specified. "In the Freefloating version of this service (most often used by locals), users take short trips to go from one point of interest to another. Tourists and visitors go for an hour and a half minimum and they do a complete tour of the principality. They wander where they choose, they can go out and explore the surrounding areas, and return when they like … they can truly take their time. And we’ve noticed that clients use Twizzy cars at night, to go to restaurants or shows.”
This service is available starting at 40 Euros for one hour, and 100 Euros for four hours.
Does your city offer transit services that appeal to locals and tourists alike? Would this kind of initiative encourage you to use more sustainable transportation options? Is there a 100% electric car sharing option in your community?
Original article, originally published in French here.
Credits: Data and images linked to sources.