The pilot is a collaboration among the provinces of Groningen and Drenthe, and a regional car dealership, Century. According to the website of the province of Drenthe, the goal of the pilot is to make rural areas more sustainable and accessible, while exploring the role of shared mobility initiatives in the process.
“In Drenthe, the distances to facilities are longer than in the major cities. It is not feasible for everyone to purchase a (second) car, and many are therefore dependent on public transport or bicycle,” noted Nelleke Vedelaar, Drenthe provincial representative for the Partij van de Arbeid (PvdA – Labour) in a post on Drenthe’s official website. Vedelaar says the shared car scheme has the potential to improve accessibility throughout the province.
The cars themselves will be accessible through the use of either the Century Deelmobeliteit (shared mobility) app, or Arriva’s glimble app. The car itself is can be picked up anywhere, but has to be returned to the same location.
“Within the Groningen-Assen region, we are working on good accessibility of the entire region, not only to and from the cities, but also between the villages themselves. The electric shared car fits in well with this aim,” said Betty de Boer, director of the Region Groningen-Assen (RGA). She also feels that the car will help promote tourism in the area, due to the increased accessibility.
The pilot itself will run for two years under evaluation by the University of Groningen. After the pilot is concluded, the extent of its success, and the potential long term benefits the project may bring will be determined. Whether the project continues thereafter is dependent on the outcome of the evaluation.