by Léonard Gay (Póle Vehicule du Futur)

The Alsace pilot is an innovative French-German electric mobility service for cross-border workers to be launched in mid-2013. This turnkey service is a mix of ride-sharing and electric car driving which targets daily commuting on the continuous territory of Alsace and Baden-Württemberg.

There are more than 60,000 frontier workers in Alsace and about half of them are in employment in Germany. Cross-border journeys represent a major challenge because of the negative externalities of traffic barely accepted by communities living in the immediate vicinity of main roads.

The electric mobility service will be firstly introduced to the cross-border workers at the Michelin factory in Karlsruhe (Germany), which comprises of 700 employees, 70% of whom are French frontier workers. Michelin is committed in promoting green energy and has installed 35,400 meters square of photovoltaic panels on the plant roof for BEV charging.

The average driven distance covered by daily home-to-work journeys vary from 80 to 140 km averagely (return trip). Today’s range of battery electric cars is ideal to address these mobility needs, providing of course that BEVs are charged both at home and at the workplace. The consistency and predictability of commuting trips help in assessing the cost-effectiveness of the service, which remains the overall aim of the project.

It seeks to demonstrate the 3-year pilot’s economic viability beyond the initial experimental project supported by public funds. Other large German employers of Baden-Württemberg will be approached as necessary to test the service. As the number of end-users grows the overall service will become cost-efficient and more practical.