Power Ride: car2go fears being excluded

maire-denis-coderre-annonce-printempsCritics speak out against the requirements imposed by Montreal to introduce an electric vehicle system of self-service. The main car sharing company in the world is afraid of being excluded due to the tight criteria. A comparison of the cars used by the major systems allows also to note that only one supplier meets the requirements.

The main world car sharing company, car2go, denounced the criteria used by the City of Montreal to build its electric vehicle project self-service, saying they unfairly exclude.

Mayor Denis Coderre announced this spring that it intends to give Montreal a system of 1,000 electric cars in self-service. Before conducting a tender in due form to find a supplier, the city administration has decided to launch an international call for interest from senior managers to test the market.

Three of the criteria used by Montreal but raise important concerns for car2go, which is already established themselves in the city. “Currently, we are excluded based on the City’s criteria,” denounces Jérémi Lavoie, general manager of the Montreal branch of the German company.

“It is the largest car sharing company in the world, with over one million members in 30 cities. We have expertise in over 1,000 electric vehicles systems in three cities: Amsterdam, Stuttgart and San Diego. It is very surprising to be excluded as well, “said Jeremi Lavoie.

The main irritant affects the range of 150 km required by Montreal. “This is very surprising, because the majority of electric vehicles do not have 150 km of autonomy,” says Jeremi Lavoie. The Smart Fortwo used by car2go can travel 109 km with one battery charge.

Verification, only four of the 12 electric vehicle models currently licensed by Transport Canada show a more than 150 km autonomy, all four manufacturer Tesla. These cars are selling more than $ 80,000, none is currently used by VLS systems.

A new model of electric vehicles responding to the Montreal autonomy criterion, however, could soon be added to the list of Transport Canada. The Bluecar, used by the Bolloré group for Autolib ‘in Paris, is pending in the United States. This (BlueIndy) must indeed make its appearance on the streets of Indianapolis by the end of summer.

Other criteria denounced

car2go is also concerned that Montreal “advocates” the adoption of four passenger cars in his project. The call open interest states that “car for four passengers are recommended to promote the use of the service by the families.” However, the Smart Fortwo car2go offers only two seats, which would disqualify during any tender.

Another irritant for car2go, the draft Montreal asks that the car system is compatible with the Opus card. “It goes completely on the smartphone to unlock our vehicles. We do not want to use cards at all, “argues Jérémi Lavoie.

Communauto less worried

It also already present in Montreal with his Auto-mobile service, Communauto was less concerned about the criteria put forward by Montreal. “It is considered that the RFI is interesting. We found there, even if there are some details that should be worked out, “said Marco Viviani, Development Director of the Quebec company.

Communauto is also strange criterion of 150 km autonomy mentioned in the call for interest and hopes that it will be changed. “The decline of a few tens of kilometers would have a greater availability of vehicles for such a project. Set 150 km, this may not be the most appropriate value. But I understand we do not want to golf carts, “said Marco Viviani.

Despite these difficulties, the two companies already present in Montreal are responding to the call for interest which expires on 24 August. car2go hope that Montreal will revise its criteria on completion of the process to avoid being unduly disregarded in the tender. “We will be heard, but that evil begins, worries Jérémi Lavoie. There is no logical reason for these criteria. Hopefully [those responsible] will change the process because they go in a direction that raises many questions. We do not understand why they exclude the largest car sharing company in the world. ”

Overly restrictive criteria, according to two experts
Impose a minimum range of 150 km to electric vehicles would severely limit the number of companies likely to implement a self-service system in Montreal, say two experts.

“If this test is passed, it closes the door to several suppliers. And it’s not really necessary, “said Robert Dupuy, spokesman of the Association of Quebec electric vehicles (AVEQ). Mr. Dupuy points out that self-service cars travel over short distances and can easily be recharged between uses.

“In Paris, the cars Autolib ‘are on average 12 km each way. It’s a bit unrealistic to say that people will ride 150 km. That does not strike me as a key criterion. ”
Robert Dupuy
spokesman for the Association of Quebec electric vehicles
The test for the battery life is particularly delicate as it varies greatly depending on the temperature and driving. “In real life, it varies from 100 to 140 km. It depends a lot on the climate, “said Robert Dupuy.

On paper, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV can travel 100 km on one charge, according to data from Transport Canada. The Japanese manufacturer claims however that his car can reach 160 km. But that distance, room temperature should be 25 ° C. Conversely, Mitsubishi admits that its battery will travel 48 kilometers in winter in a congested city. Notably, this test “winter” of the Japanese manufacturer was carried out at a temperature of 0 ° C.

Sign that the criterion of 150 km is too high, only vehicles Tesla displayed such autonomy. But Robert Dupuy laughs when asked if an electric VLS system could build on these luxury cars. “We do not put a $ 100,000 car that makes the 0 to 100 km / h in 2.8 seconds in the hands of everyone. ”

Important changes ahead

If an autonomy of 150 km is difficult to achieve today, it will be the next one to two years, warns Catherine Kargas, Marcon, a strategy consulting firm, including transport, promoting the transportation electrification. It believes that the Montreal tendering should therefore take greater account of rapid technological advances in the industry.

Calling Montreal precise interest for the moment that the model must have received its approval from Transport Canada at the time of the process. “In no case, a vehicle-pending can not be considered,” it said.

“The City should keep in mind that technology in 2016, it is not one that will be common in electric vehicles from 2017 or 2018,” says Catherine Kargas, who also chairs Electric Mobility Canada.

Chevrolet has announced that its Volt should have 300 km of autonomy. This vehicle should be available in Canada in late 2016. Nissan is also present in 2017 a car with greater autonomy. Tesla is working on a business model in two years. “There will be more choices and I believe that the City should reflect changes in technology,” said Ms. Kargas.

Criteria Montreal
Built in 1000 véhiculesGPS

Compatibility with the Opus card

The maximum speed should exceed 40 km / h

Range of 150 km in summer

Cars 4 occupants “recommended”

Transport Canada certification

The Stopru