Electric carsharing service starts

A new company offers battery-powered city car in Prague 1 and 2

A carsharing project for electric cars has launched in Prague. The company Re.volt has electric cars that can be rented through a smartphone app.

Carsharing allows people who are registered with a particular company to use an app to find a car parked near them and then rent it for a short amount of time. It is not related to ridesharing services, which function more like taxis, as the service does not include a driver.

The Re.volt carsharing app asks for basic information from the user and a selfie as proof of identity before cars can be rented, as well as a deposit. The service is open to people with a permanent residence.

Re.volt technical director, Martin Matoušek told the press that the service was simple to use and would bring “a real revolution in carsharing.” The name is also a pun as volt refers to electric batteries.

The Re.volt cars are constantly monitored, and when the battery gets below a 30 percent charge it goes into a power saving mode, and a technician will come and change the battery. This should not happen when the car is not being rented, so users should not notice the change.

The cars are intended for short trips in the city. They have a maximum speed of 78 km/h and a maximum range of 144 km. The two-seat cars, with a trunk, have air conditioning and heating, sunroof, touch-screen infotainment system, reverse camera, USB port, power steering and brake booster.

The cars are unlocked with the mobile app, and as long as the car is being rented it remains invisible to other people using the app. Users can park in blue and purple zones for residents, and for now, the cars must be returned to areas marked in the app in Prague 1 and Prague 2. the rental price is Kč 4 per minute.

The company will have 20 electric cars Prague 1 and Prague 2 by the middle of August. Two are currently in use and the others have been delayed in delivery from China, where they are made.

The two cars in the meantime will serve as a sort of live testing mode to see where the problems in the system are.

Re.volt's Matoušek said that now the challenge was to made the idea work logistically and financially.

The project is already ahead of the founder's expectations. “Originally, we wanted to find a couple of testers at the beginning, at least 20. In the end, almost 650 people registered. That surpassed our expectations. The feedback means we are going in the right direction,” co-founder Pavel Kuchta said.

If the trial operation is successful, the company intends to add 40 more cars in the first half of 2019 and expand the areas where it operates in Prague and also expand to other cities. By 2020 they hope to have 240 cars in Prague.

The two founders, Pavel Kuchta and Martin Matoušek are not from Prague, and they were inspired to found the company due to their frustration with traffic and parking in Prague. It took two years to put the idea into practice.

This is not the first carsharing service in Prague, but the first to use electric cars of this type. Prague City Hall supports the idea of carsharing as a way to reduce traffic in the city and has allowed cars from carsharing services to use parking zones for residents.

For more information visit www.facebook.com/revolt.city.carsharing or revolt.city.

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