Leisure and Event Traffic with Intermodal Bookable E-Vehicles in a Rural Region

While working in the ENEVATE-project, one conclusion became more and more evident:
Due to the limitations e-cars are facing, in many use-cases e-mobility makes sense only if it is combined with intermodal transport. Thus, together with its partners, the Regionalmanagement Nordhessen GmbH started elaborating a regional project, which combines public transport and e-mobility, to proof the applicability of e-vehicles and provide sustainable intermodal transport
solutions from one source in the region of Nordhessen, which is rural in character.

The result of this approach in combination with a strong regional partnership is the project “FREE - Leisure and event-traffic with intermodal bookable e-vehicles.” Started in October 2012 and funded by the “German Federal Ministry for Transport and Digital Infrastructure”, the idea of the project is, to give tourists in Nordhessen the opportunity to travel around the region without using a private car, by integrating e-vehicles into the public transport system. The special
challenge for such a concept is the already mentioned rural character of the region which
means that none of the business models for e-car sharing or charging infrastructure, which existed in 2012 and where mainly set up for urban and metropolitan regions, could be applied to Nordhessen. Moreover, the requirements of mobility vary strongly between the regional core city Kassel and the other parts of Nordhessen. Thus business models had to be developed with respect to these special regional characteristics.

Besides the development of the business models, the project is focused on the successful implementation and operation of e-vehicles. Main parts of the project are:

1. The development of an e-car sharing with 18 e-cars, provided by the Kasseler Verkehrs-Gesellschaft AG (KVG) in cooperation with the car sharing provider “Einfach Mobil CarSharing GmbH”, covering the whole region of Nordhessen and complementing the tram and bus lines of the public transport system. The e-cars are located at hotels or points of interest. The guests can rent the e-cars directly at the hotel, a car sharing membership is not necessary.

2. In addition to the e-car sharing, a pedelec-rental- service has been installed by “Heinrich Müller ebikes mieten + mehr”, providing 36 pedelecs at 35 rental and charging stations all over Nordhessen and 36 additional pedelecs for group and sightseeing tours.

3. An e-bus has successfully been integrated by KVG into the public transport system, operating in Kassel on a line which connects tourist points of interest.

4. The installation of around 100 additional charging points for e-cars and pedelecs to set up a region wide charging station network of around 210 charging points. To guarantee an easy access to all e-car charging points and the e-cars by one card, a project-RFID card has been developed by project partners KVG, Städtische Werke AG and EAM GmbH & Co. KG.

5. The Chair of Transportation Planning and Traffic Systems (VPVS) and the Chair of
Human-Machine-Systems Engineering (MMS) of the Kassel University are responsible for the science based monitoring of the project. While VPVS does research on traffic impacts of e-mobility in Nordhessen and sets up concepts for pricing and business models, MMS supports the user-optimised development of the mobile information and booking system, based on the moovel-application of the moovel GmbH. This application offers intermodal
traffic information: combining car and bike sharing, train services and public

6. A new booking system has been developed and will be introduced until February 2015 to enable tourists to book rooms and mobility-packages together and from one source. The access will be ensured by integrated ticketing which is based on the inclusion of the project’s e-mobility package into the existing all inclusive card “MeineCardPlus” for tourists in Nordhessen.