The EU funded ELVITEN project, after 36 months of intensive research work, is coming to an end. The ultimate aim of the project was to familiarise and boost the general public to the Light Electric Vehicles’ (EL-Vs) use after long-term demonstrations as well as to encourage the integration of EL-Vs in European urban transport.
More specifically, ELVITEN project offered 225 EL-Vs in six European cities – Trikala, Rome, Bari, Genoa, Malaga, Berlin – which were available to citizens through long-term or short-term rental and sharing services. Furthermore, the project developed and offered to both users and authorities, supporting ICT tools and services to facilitate and promote the EL-Vs’ use, such as Booking application, SmartCard application for collecting and cashing points of ecological driving, fleet management, etc. The vehicles were equipped with positioning and speed recorder, while all applications were collecting data from the EL-Vs’ use and user perceptions as well.
As a result of the ELVITEN vehicles’ demonstrations from April 2019 to June 2020, a big data bank was created, including data from 41,450 trips and 8,856 questionnaires with the users’ perceptions regarding the vehicles’ use and electromobility in general. Based on these, the project partners developed business models for rental services as well as guidelines for transport and planning authorities, aiming to integrate the light electric vehicles in urban transport system, and suggestions for improvements to vehicle manufacturers. It is worthy to mention that the European project ELVITEN through a sequence of communications and dissemination actions, such as the Regional Support Groups, the Let’s Go Electric social media campaign, etc., attracted various audiences, bringing together both citizens and policy makers.
ELVITEN accomplished its initial aim for a more sustainable, clean and green transport system, confirming the environmental and economic benefits in citizens’ daily life and the society in general. The use of light electric vehicles contributes to the decrease of fuels emissions, thus in important improvement of life in urban environments. The recent pandemic situation showed the way for the development of an observatory to understand the effects of COVID pandemic to transportation system for European citizens. Summarizing the collected results, partners compiled a report with suggestions for the rental services of the EL-Vs, as occurred after the outbreak of COVID pandemic. The suggestions were developed upon the following axes:
- Safety and sanitation: It should be highlighted during the awareness campaigns that the light electric vehicles are open, transfer only one passenger and can be easily cleaned, contributing to social distancing;
- Strategy: It is suggested to offer a monthly subscription for EL-Vs’ use instead of offers for a short-term use of the vehicles, in order to keep a low cost per drive for the new users;
- Integration: The integration of technological innovations and tools (platforms, vehicles’ sharing services, etc.) for the development of sustainable mobility for all should be pursued;
Moreover, the ELVITEN light electric vehicles, were used during the COVID pandemic so as to facilitate the citizens’ life. In particular, in the city Trikala the EL-Vs were used by the municipal policy and the courier services’ companies so as to ensure the immediate service of citizens. Respectively, in Genoa, the vehicles were used for products’ delivery and health services’ provision to citizens. Taking also into consideration the fact that the city logistics are responsible for much of the fuel emissions due to the frequent stopover for the freight deliveries, it is necessary to accelerate the shift to a greener and clearer transport system.