Since 2001, Volvo Cars has been participating in Sweden’s SunFleet Carsharing environmental car pool together with rental firm Hertz.
“Interest in the car pool is increasingly steadily,” says Per Lanevik, manager of SunFleet. At present, 24 companies, organisations and public authorities with a total of 1300 car-pool users are linked to SunFleet in Sweden – an increase of 175 % since January 2004.
SunFleet Carsharing is Europe’s only commercial environmental car pool that offers companies, local councils and organisations access to environmentally optimised and conveniently available passenger transportation. The aim is that car-sharing really should be like having access to one’s own car – but without having one’s own car. The car pool offers a safe car of high environmental performance that is always accessible close to the workplace or home. SunFleet’s car fleet consists of electric hybrid, ethanol-powered and gas-powered cars, including Volvo’s Bi-Fuel models that run on methane.
Advanced yet dependable technology
Just over 1100 trips are made every month using SunFleet’s cars.
“Car pool members pay only a fixed subscription fee, as well as running costs when they actually use a car,” explains Per Lanevik. The cars are equipped with an advanced telematics system that handles bookings, unlocks the cars and automatically reads the distance covered and the duration of each rental. The customer simply books a car via the Internet, is issued a reminder via SMS, unlocks his car using his mobile phone and then returns the car which automatically transmits details of the distance covered and the length of time the car was used. Information about the distance driven, loan duration and the exact date and time of the rental are then stored as easy-to-read statistics under each customer’s personal profile on the SunFleet website.
More car pools planned
“Interest in car pools is set to grow further in the coming years. SunFleet is involved, for instance, in the EU’s newly launched Civitas project together with Malmö City Council, where SunFleet was given the brief to start up five car pools in the city. In Sweden, we expect to increase by a further 50-100 % over the coming 12 months. We are also examining the possibility of expanding our operations into other cities in Europe,” says Per Lanevik, who is sure the car-pool concept is here to stay.
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