If 20 years ago somebody had suggested that a driver could rent a natural gas fuelled car via a mobile phone, pick it up at a dealership and pay by the hour, they probably would have dismissed it as pure science fiction. This kind of mobility solution is no longer just a fantasy; instead, with the help of platforms such as Respiro, they are gaining in importance in big cities. Shared, connected, sustainable vehicles that can be rented at a dealership.
In Spain, private vehicles remain parked 97% of the time; 96% in the UK and 95% in the United States. This is why carsharing formulas are gaining in popularity in big cities. A case in point is 30 year-old Pablo González, who lives in Madrid and does not own a car. He usually gets around the city by public transport and walks to work. “I don't have a vehicle and carsharing is very convenient because I can reserve a car by the hour or day. There's parking next to where I live and close to work, so when I have to go to a meeting I can rent one just for the time I need it”, says Pablo.
Anywhere, anytime. Thanks to today's mobile devices people can reserve and access a car in just a few minutes. Respiro has its own app for managing its car rentals. People use their phone to reserve them, and it also serves as the key to unlock the door. Once at the wheel, Pablo can connect his phone to the car and use his apps. “I can manage everything with the app, from making a reservation to extending the rental time if needed”, he states.
Rented at a dealership
Among the more than 100 parking facilities where Respiro has its vehicles, one of them is at the SEAT Castellana Motor dealership, and for the first time a dealer becomes a carsharing provider. “The opportunity to offer this service through SEAT dealerships enables us to bring new forms of mobility closer to our customers, as well as involve dealers in the transformation process that large cities are experiencing”, points out Arantxa Alonso, Executive Director of XMOBA, an independent SEAT Group company that identifies, develops, commercialises and invests in new mobility solutions.
Future mobility will be sustainable. Respiro's car fleet is mainly made up of gas hybrid vehicles. “One of the reasons for choosing Respiro is that their vehicles carry an ECO label and their natural gas hybrids feature very low consumption and emissions”, says Pablo. CNG hybrid cars have two fuel tanks and the primary one holds natural gas. “Refuelling with CNG is just as fast and simple as with petrol”, Pablo assures.
More and more large European cities, such as Madrid or Paris, have restricted access zones or episodes of pollution that only allow zero emissions vehicles or those with an ECO label. “Thanks to these natural gas fuelled cars I can drive anywhere in the city without any problems, even in areas with restricted access”, adds Pablo.
Another advantage of shared cars is that large business parks have created parking zones reserved for them. Furthermore, if they are classified as ECO vehicles, they also benefit from a discount in regulated parking areas in cities such as Madrid.
A day spent with a shared gas-fuelled car:
- 6 hours of use
- 40 kilometres driven
- 1.6 kilos of CNG
- €26.60 total expense (rental fee + fuel)