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Member in the Spotlight: Electric van sharing network established for businesses in Île-de-France

11 August 2017

With the financial support of the Ile-de-France region and the national agency for environment and energy (ADEME), the City of Paris launched the VULe project in January 2017. The project implements an innovative electric van-sharing scheme for professionals in the French Capital. Françoise Guaspare and Thomas Mourey take up the story

I n order to foster innovative mobility solutions in the Ilede-France region, in 2015 the French regional authority launched an open call for innovative mobility projects. Through this open call, the region expected to select projects able to develop new logistics systems, to create new partnerships and funding models and to change the users’ behavior in the field of urban transport.

The objective was clearly to test and deploy innovative solutions that are accessible to all and which contribute to the energy transition. The Ile-de-France region received a large number of applications and selected six projects to be funded, including VULe (Véhicules Utilitaires Légers Electriques, or Light Electric Commercial Vehicles), an electric van-sharing scheme for local craftsmen and shopkeepers in Paris.

A RESPONSE TO A NEW LEGAL FRAMEWORK

The concept of the project responds to the results of a study carried out by the Paris Economic Chamber that shows that 47 per cent of companies in Paris use a vehicle to deliver goods in the city. This represents approximately 45,000 vehicles.

Due to the new French law on the Energy transition, 9 per cent of these freight vehicles (3,900) – those registered before 2001 - will not be allowed to circulate in the city of Paris after July 2017 as the municipality of Paris recently introduced new regulations limiting the traffic of polluting vehicles in the city with restriction levels increasing over time. In the study carried out by the Paris Economic Chamber, half of the companies’ directors interviewed said that sustainable vehicles would be better adapted to their delivering activities and admitted that the price of such vehicles is the main obstacle for the acquisition of an electric (or equivalent) vehicle.

Moreover, freight vehicles in urban areas are used for short distance journey and are responsible for 30 to 50 per cent of urban transport related pollutants (PM, NOx, PM) emissions as well as for ambient noise. They are therefore good candidates for electrification. In this context, the Ile-de-France region decided to financially support the City of Paris for the implementation of the e-van sharing scheme for local craftsmen and shopkeepers in the framework of the VULe project.

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