What is the best way to convince people of the benefits of electric mobility? The RUHRAUTOe consortium has been investigating this question since its launch in November 2012, when it was the first all-electric car sharing network in Germany. At the end of the public funding period, a positive balance could now be drawn.

“Our studies have shown that the acceptance of electric cars increases considerably after the first trip,” explained University of Duisburg-Essen Professor and RUHRAUTOe Coordinator Dr. Ferdinand Dudenhöffer at the beginning of the project. Building on this understanding, more than 30 car sharing stations have been set up in the past six years in nine cities throughout the Ruhr region, where more than 40 electric cars have become available to users. The joint project was implemented by the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) together with Drive-CarSharing GmbH, Vivawest Wohnen GmbH and Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr (VRR).

At the end of the funding phase, UDE Professor Dr. Ferdinand Dudenhöffer could draw a positive balance: “The large number of users, the continuation of the project with the start-up eShare.one and the numerous public events and media coverage highlight the huge success of the project.” Well over one million kilometres travelled by RUHRAUTOe users confirm this statement. The average distance travelled of 10 kilometres also shows the high frequency of use in urban areas.

The publicly funded RUHRAUTOe project offers the broadest range of electric cars in car sharing in Germany: from the Renault Twizy and BMW i3 to the Tesla Model S luxury class, RUHRAUTOe boasts all current models of electric cars that can be rented at over 30 stations in Bochum, Essen, Oberhausen, Mülheim an der Ruhr, Gelsenkirchen, Dortmund, Bottrop, Dinslaken, Duisburg and Wuppertal. More than 4,000 people are already using the services of the e-car sharing project, which is being implemented in Drive-CarSharing GmbH’s business model. RUHRAUTOe was a joint project of the University of Duisburg-Essen, Drive-CarSharing GmbH, Vivawest Wohnen GmbH and Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr (VRR). The project was supported by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI – Bundesministerium für Verkehr und digitale Infrastruktur) with funds totalling 1.15 million euros as part of the “Electric Mobility Model Regions” funding programme. The Electric Mobility Model Regions are coordinated by NOW GmbH. The RUHRAUTOe project will be continued under the same name by the Dortmund eCarSharing start-up eShare.one.