15 January 2020
The Municipality of Maastricht has three BMW i3 shared cars available for business travel. Resi Urlings, an informer at the municipal inquiries office, has already driven an e-car a number of times. She liked it from the moment she got in the car , she's now re-evaluating how she gets from A to B. ‘I find myself wondering: do I even need a car? I can walk, cycle, use public transport, or occasionally rent a car to get where I need to go, and I would probably save money!’
Part of the Municipality of Maastricht’s ecarshare pilot, the e-cars were added to the municipal vehicle fleet in October 2018. Following the year-long pilot, they decided to extend it. As of January 2020, phase two of the pilot will begin and employees will be able to reserve the electric shared car for private use as well. The conditions for business travel remain the same: employees can use the e-car if they can't easily reach their destination on foot, by bicycle, or by public transport. Alternatively, employees could use one of the e-cars is if two or more employees need to travel to the same destination.
Resi is a true early adopter. ‘During the first test ride I noticed that driving an electric car isn't very different from a regular car,' she says. 'The main thing is that the BMW is very comfortable to drive. But I also really like how convenient it is to collect the electric car when you reserve it. You don't even need a car key! You just hold your mobile phone to the car and get in. One hiccup was when the car wouldn't open when we were at the location. It was easy to fix: all I needed to do was call a service number and they solved the problem right away.’
Currently, Resi and her husband use a petrol-powered lease car. ‘When this contract expires, I’m going to switch to electric. I think I'd be much better off without a car. I live in the city centre, so I walk to work. On weekends, I've no problem walking to Wolder to visit my mother. I also often use the bus or train when I travel. For the odd occasion I go to a place that's a bit harder to reach, it would be ideal to rent an e-car. Being able to use the Municipality of Maastricht's company cars during the weekend is ideal. The amount I pay to lease a car each month is enough for me to rent an e-car many times!’