Business models for the multifunctional use of electric vehicles (MultEmobil)
One electric car, many users: Towards multifunctional e-mobility
E-mobility is accepted as an innovative alternative for those who are environmentally conscious about how they get around, and the public generally views it as very positive. Yet despite this, it has yet to be fully integrated into the German road transportation network. This is due partly to the limitations in terms of range and charging infrastructure, and partly to the high level of investment still required by e-mobility. Even if the price of electric cars versus conventional cars evens out in the long term, we still need a plan for the transitional phase. What sort of solutions are economically viable? How can we cut the still considerable costs for users? Can we draw on innovative usage concepts to help? How suitable are they for everyday use?
Business models to enable a multifunctional usage concept
In the “MultEmobil – Multifunktionale Elektromobilität” joint project, partners are developing business models that allow electric vehicles to be shared among multiple users. Currently they are looking at ways to share electric vehicles among diverse user groups (service providers, commuters, short-distance drivers), as well as make use of them for longer journeys and as dynamic energy storage systems for distributed grid support. The project primarily involves working up complementary business models for energy, mobility and infrastructure providers. All of these stakeholders are connected by the Key2ME mobility card in order to establish a standard for uncomplicated use and to overcome reservations. The chip card provides users with access to the system, which provides the ideal way to use and bill all relevant services. The system consists of devices that can read the chip cards and features a wireless connection to a server in the cloud, where all activities are logged and stored. Simulations and field testing examine how the business models developed work in practice and allow developers to validate them with respect to technical and economic viability.
Creating a sustainable market for electric vehicles through shared usage
The city of Bochum will be using the results of the project to restructure the way it handles official trips and callouts in the domain of building management (building supervision, maintenance), as well as upkeep and conservation for forests, parks and recreational areas. By optimizing the use of the electric vehicles it already has through smart, collaborative approaches, the city will be able to reduce the costs of operating its vehicle fleet. The same goes for ASB GmbH, an implementation partner on the project, which wants to have more control over how it uses its electric vehicles to provide nursing services. This additional flexibility helps cut costs and boost efficiency. The IT companies involved in the project plan to offer Key2ME on the automotive market. Trianel GmbH, the biggest network of local public utilities, will make the business models available to the network’s public utilities for cooperative energy management and charging anywhere in the country. Finally, the research partners on the project will transfer the results to research and teaching, ensuring wide-scale application in research.
Keywords: business models, collaborative usage, mobility card
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