Mobility expands its electric fleet – and calls for better terms and conditions

An ever-increasing share of Mobility cars are now electrically powered – in spite of the numerous regulatory and organisational challenges this involves. Now the cooperative is rolling out its 500th e-vehicle, and just this once has deliberately opted for a change from red.

Text   Stefan Roschi

30.01.2024

  • Mobility

Car sharing pioneer Mobility now celebrates a symbolic milestone on the way to electrifying its fleet: it has just placed its 500th electric car at the Akara Tower in Baden. "We see this as another landmark along the way to electrifying our range of vehicles," says Thomas Schmid, Head of Market. “Mobility is facing major challenges in this transformation process and, together with our station partners, we welcome every additional electric car we can make available to users.”

For once, the VW ID.3 in question – available in Mobility’s Economy category – doesn't sport Mobility’s hallmark red finish, but instead features a special vinyl wrap designed by the artists’ collective REAL Crew to showcase the theme of electrification. The idea is to add a splash of colour to Swiss roads while at the same time making a statement about the mobility transition.

Far above the Swiss average

Mobility is on course to switching its entire fleet to electric power by 2030. This means it is an active contributor to modern, sustainable mobility – especially given that, even using fossil-based fuels, car sharing reduces CO2 emissions in addition to saving space and resources. Around 17% of Mobility’s 3'000 vehicles now run on electric power. For comparison: in 2023, only 3.3% of cars on Switzerland’s roads were purely electric.

Annual e-kilometres have increased tenfold

Initial scepticism surrounding electric propulsion seems to have receded, at least when it comes to car sharing: Mobility customers have now covered a total of 13.5 million kilometres in electric vehicles – roughly 35 times the distance to the moon. The indication here is that increasing availability of electric cars results in more widespread use. The number of e-kilometres covered each year has increased tenfold in the past five years. It’s also interesting to note that e-cars tend to appeal more to male users than to women on average, though this difference becomes less marked, the younger the user group.

Electrification – a political issue

E-car sharing is an important means of future-proofing the viability of mobility in Switzerland – ecologically, socially and economically. But a political and regulatory framework is required that actively promotes this development. For example, as a tenant of the 3'000 or so parking spaces where its vehicles are stationed, Mobility is dependent on the goodwill of its landlords when it comes to electrification – a “right to charge” throughout Switzerland, as exists in Germany, would have a positive impact on the transition. It’s also important for Mobility to have remote control of third-party charge points, with free access to the data. This is the only way the fleet operator can ensure intelligent charging and capacity management.

“Switzerland still has a lot of catching up to do here,” says Krispin Romang of the electromobility association Swiss eMobility. “There’s been no subsidising of the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles at federal level to date, and no moves have been made to introduce the “right to charge”. In view of this, Mobility’s pace of transition to electric is more than impressive.”

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