A growing number of Dutch municipalities are working towards ‘zero-emission urban logistics’ in the coming years. The inner cities are gradually changing into zero-emission zones, where ultimately only completely emission-free vehicles will be allowed. This has consequences for entrepreneurs who are established or active in such an area. Because those who still drive a fuel-powered car or bus for business will eventually have to invest in an electric or hydrogen-powered vehicle.
Or will they? Mobility companies can, in fact, also take smart advantage of this and offer them an attractive, more affordable alternative.
With the zero-emission zones, municipalities want to prevent the growing economic activity from coming at the expense of accessibility, liveability and safety in cities. A positive aim, but one that entrepreneurs and shopkeepers must consider.
A large proportion of them will soon no longer be able to drive in these zones with their current delivery van or transport bus. That’s tough if your business is located there or if you need to be in the city center regularly for pickup/delivery of goods or providing after-sales service.
The problem is that zero-emission vehicles are still relatively expensive and therefore not yet accessible to all entrepreneurs. It remains to be seen whether this will change in the coming years. Especially for smaller entrepreneurs and retailers, the purchase means a substantial investment. For those who only occasionally need to be in the city center with a (delivery) car or van, such an investment is a waste of money. Moreover, not every entrepreneur can afford to lose that money in these financially difficult times, specially when it is not known when it is going to improve.
Mobility providers and operators of partial mobility can respond cleverly to this (and they are already doing so!). Namely, by making zero-emission vehicles – suitable for freight transport – available for shared use at locations around or in the zero-emission zones. In other words: zero-emission shared mobility especially for (local) entrepreneurs. The concept means that entrepreneurs share electric vehicles together and only pay for their use. This way they do not have (high) fixed costs for their own (stationary) vehicles.
Entrepreneurs can book the vehicles via a subscription or a pay-per-use construction entirely independently for a few hours, a day or possibly several days. They can take the vehicle to the business, load the goods there and then deliver them to their destination inside or outside the zero-emission zone. Or the business owner drives their own (fuel) car or bus to the location of the shared vehicle, transfers the goods and then makes the delivery using the zero-emission shared car, bus or an electric – cargo bike.
This offers entrepreneurs a very flexible and affordable solution, allowing them to comply with regulations without large investments. Moreover, in this way they have access to mobility, but not the “burden” of ownership. The user does not have to worry about insurance, maintenance, cleaning, etc. giving that extra time for other things.
Technology makes it possible to easily make (delivery) cars, buses or cargo bikes available to a group of entrepreneurs and to use them as shared vehicles. Or as we call it: smart delivery vehicles. WeGo specializes in this technology. The WeGo platform makes all types of vehicles – from trucks to bicycles and everything in between – optimally suitable for shared use.
Thanks to the technology, entrepreneurs can, for example, very easily see if a vehicle is available, reserve one for a short or longer period and then put the vehicle into use. All via a handy app on their phone. They also use the app to open and close the vehicles, so no hassle picking up and returning keys.
In the back office, the provider can also view all relevant data regarding the vehicles, users and usage. Think of the trips driven, bookings made, occupancy rates, vehicle status and more. In short: our solution offers everything to make shared mobility possible!
Already 27 Dutch municipalities have taken the decision to introduce a zero-emission zone. This offers many opportunities for providers who see the potential of this market. In some cities there are already parties active who facilitate shared mobility for local entrepreneurs and retailers via the WeGo platform. They have already experienced that the concept works. Who will follow?