Successful first encounter citizens Kanaleneiland with electric car sharing

Successful first encounter citizens Kanaleneiland with electric car sharing

On Monday evening the 11th of March IRIS partner We Drive Solar organized an information session on electric car sharing in the Utrecht district Kanaleneiland. A representative group of citizens gathered to learn all about the benefits of solar powered, shared cars. Soon they can start their own subscriptions to this smart, sustainable mobility system, as part of project IRIS.

On the stormy Monday evening of 11 March 2019 We Drive Solar organized a very first information session about its smart and sustainable car sharing platform at a local community center in the Utrecht district Kanaleneiland. Getting the residents in this urban area engaged with electric car sharing is a challenge. This is a densely populated district, home to in majority low-income households, including many elderly and residents with a migration background. There is a language barrier and a culture in which owning a car is tied to social status.

Still a group of around 20 residents with mixed background decided to face the stormy weather and hear the sunny story of entrepreneur Robin Berg, owner of We Drive Solar. Berg explained them how the shared cars will run on locally generated solar energy – flowing from the solar panels on the roofs over their houses. As part of project IRIS, these ‘batteries on wheels’ will be driving around Kanaleneiland this year, following other successful pilots with electric car sharing and bidirectional charging in the city. As a result, the residents will gain access to affordable quality mobility, also contributing to cleaner air in the district.

The attendees seized the opportunity to join conversations on Berg’s inspiring story . Amongst the topics they discussed were practical questions about the subscription, but also questions about what this development means for the area and about how electrical driving works.

As an important result of the meeting, there are now enough registrations to install the first We Drive Solar cars in the district. As a bonus, Berg and his team decided to give out a prize: a free car sharing subscription for one month. The winner, himself by chance a professional bus driver, will soon be the first to hit the road in solar powered car in Kanaleneiland. Project IRIS makes it possible for inhabitants to register for a small try-out subscription.


05 Apr 2019