City to expand electric car sharing

An ambitious project could see hundreds of electric cars available for rental

Prague City Hall is selecting a company to operate up to 600 shared electric vehicles in the city in the coming years. The total value of the contract is Kč 1.01 billion. Some 15 percent will be paid by the city and the rest by the contractor, and it will be spread out over several years. Most of the amount should eventually be paid by fees collected from electric car users.

According to the plan, the service should start operating in the middle of 2020. The contract also includes the installation of up to 150 electric car charging stations. The location of the charging stations and the adjoining parking spaces will be provided by the city.

The tender was started by the previous city administration, headed by Mayor Adrianna Krnáčová (ANO), and the new administration intends to follow up on it.

“We do not want the citizens of Prague to die unnecessarily. Today, Prague has the second worst air in the Czech Republic next to Ostrava, and as a result, several hundred Prague residents die prematurely every year. Unfortunately, pollution cannot be seen because it is microparticles from cars. The trend toward electric cars and sharing them needs to be started as soon as possible, and this project aims to be the first impetus,” Deputy Mayor Adam Scheinherr (Praha Sobě), responsible for transportation, told the media.

There are several car sharing programs already operating in the city. One that offers electric minicars is Revolt, which also monitors the battery levels remotely and takes care of recharging. Prices for sharing varies among the operators, and are calculated both on mileage and duration of use.

Price conditions for renting electric cars will be outlined by individual competitors in the second phase of the tender. The first phase should have a basic overview of the cooperation between car providers and the city, according to Deputy Mayor Scheinherr.

Electric cars currently have favorable conditions for parking in Prague and in zones for residents and can get a parking permit for Kč 100, which is significantly less than for fossil fuel cars.

A stumbling block in the expansion of electric car use in Prague has been a lack or recharging infrastructure, with just a few pilot locations in operation.

With car sharing, clients use a phone app to locate and unlock cars that are parked across the city. Clients do not need to pick up or leave cars at specific lots. Different operators have different conditions, with come allowing longer term rentals for out of town trips.

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