Shareable cars will make employees’ driving greener

by | Feb 13, 2018

Photo: Shutterstock

Every day, many people drive to work in their own car and add to traffic congestion. CO2 and particulate emissions could be reduced if more cars were shared. That’s why some companies are now testing shareable cars in business districts as part of their business operations.

6 out of 10 company employees take their cars to work, according to research conducted in 54 companies by the project Moving People. At the same time, almost half of the employees who live less than 10 kilometers from work still drive there by car, and many justify driving their cars during working hours. But they could potentially swap their cars for more environmentally friendly alternatives like bikes or shareable cars.

Shareable cars are rented on a short-term basis and work well in areas with high population density, such as in cities or in business districts with a high concentration of businesses. A number of companies in Ballerup, Gladsaxe and Avedøre Holme have now entered into agreements with shareable car providers to offer employees an alternative to taking their cars to work or using taxis to get to meetings during working hours.

“For our employees, the cooperation with Green Mobility means that they can choose to ride a bike and use a shareable car when the weather is bad. For some, it means that they do not have to buy a second car,” says Bo Petersen, Environmental and Purchasing Officer at IF, which signed a deal with the shareable bike provider Green Mobility last year.

Changing taxi habits offers financial benefits

In the business area Lautrupgård in Ballerup, DriveNow offers shareable cars. And so far it’s been a success, says Anders Besenbacher, the company’s sales manager. Currently, they move 200 trips within the area each week, split between 15-20 cars.

Anders Besenbacher says once employees get used to taking a shareable car instead of a taxi they are happy for the flexibility it allows for driving to meetings.

“It may require a change of mindset for employees to take a shareable car instead of booking a taxi to get to a meeting. And how the employees take on the shareable cars depends a lot on the company’s commitment,” he explains.

In order to motivate employees, DriveNow encourages companies to write the use of city cars into their transport policy and invite employees to take part in launch events and test runs.

At IF in Hvidovre, Bo Petersen recognizes the potential barriers to signing up to use a shareable car. He estimates that approximately 10% of the 600 employees at Stamholmen in Avedøre have a shareable car subscription. At the same time, he believes there is great potential for this to increase. A cautious but optimistic goal is that more than half of the 100 weekly visits the company receives from other Nordic countries will eventually replace taxi rides from the airport with shareable car trips. That’s why a guide to using a shareable car is part of the company’s travel guidelines on the common intranet. Every trip from the airport taken in a shareable car rather than a taxi reduces the cost to the company by 60-70%.

Shareable cars reinforce the green image

The potential of the shareable car is about more than the economy. Because they run on electricity, they send a clear signal that they act in accordance with the company’s green policy.

“When we arrive at a meeting in an electric car it sends a strong signal and it is very well connected with our environmental profile, so that means a lot,” says Bo Petersen from IF. “It’s a really good business case. It creates flexibility for the employee, is in line with our green profile and it saves money. If I should point out some disadvantages: if a meeting is outside the city zone, you may have to pay for the car while you are in a meeting. But again – it’s not going to exceed the price of a taxi.”

What is a shareable car?

Shareable cars are gaining popularity in the city, and many recognize DriveNow’s BMW model or the green Renault Zoe from Green Mobility. Shareable cars are cars that can be rented on a per-minute basis. Shareable car users must be registered with a dealer and download an app. In the app, the user can find the nearest parked car and reserve it.

After a trip, the user parks the car in a public car park within a defined geographical area. The cost of the trip is deducted from their registered payment card.