This fall, Volkswagen will launch a pilot car-sharing program called "Quicar – Share a Volkswagen" in Hanover, Germany. Quicar's first available model will be the Golf BlueMotion, a vehicle powered by a 1.6-liter TDI diesel engine with an average fuel consumption of 3.8 liters per 100 kilometers (62 miles per gallon U.S.). At some later point, VW says it will add models such as the Caddy and the Beetle to its car-sharing fleet.
When Quicar kicks off, there will be some 200 Golf BlueMotions and 50 pick-up and drop-off locations throughout the city of Hannover. Once customers have registered for the program, they can book a Golf BlueMotion via the Internet, smartphone or through a call center. Picking up the vehicle is said to take only a few seconds, with the customer gaining entry by simply waving a card over a reader fitted to the vehicle.
VW is working on a telematics and software solution for bookings, reservations and vehicle management. In addition, all vehicles in the Quicar program will be fitted with navigation and entertainment systems.
• Mobility concept takes to the streets in the fall with 200 VW Golf BlueMotion
• Close cooperation with the city – up to 100 locations in the medium term
Volkswagen is mobilizing Hanover. The Group is launching a new car sharing concept in the Lower Saxony capital this fall featuring 200 VW Golf BlueMotion. The name: "Quicar – Share a Volkswagen". The city of Hanover and Europe's largest automaker signed a letter of intent to this effect. "Highlights of the project featuring our particularly efficient models include high vehicle availability and excellent functionality of the overall concept. And we are integrating private customers, students and authorities as well as commercial users," Christian Klingler, Board Member for Sales and Marketing for the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand, commented.
Volkswagen is cooperating closely with the city on this project. Stephan Weil, Mayor of Hanover, explained: "Innovative traffic concepts are always very interesting for our city. We are delighted that Volkswagen is launching a car sharing project here. Hanover has a population of some 520,000 and is a major industrial powerhouse, trade fair venue and service location, a university city and, not least, the capital of Lower Saxony – so it is the ideal setting for such a project."
The first model in the fleet will be the VW Golf BlueMotion. Its 1.6 TDI diesel engine has an average fuel consumption of a mere 3.8 liters per 100 kilometers, corresponding to CO2 emissions of only 99 grams per kilometer. A start-stop system and recuperation (brake energy regeneration) are standard features and make sure the Volkswagen fleet in Hanover ranks among the most efficient car sharing service providers. In the medium term other models such as the VW Caddy or the newly launched VW Beetle will be added to the fleet.
To start there will be some 50 pick-up and drop-off locations dotted all over the city. In the medium term, this number could reach 100. It is easy for customers to collect and return their cars to these stations. The advantage of this system is its very high availability. Customers interested in car sharing will be able to register and find out more at shops located across the city.
The principle of the concept is very user-friendly. Once customers have registered they can book a Golf BlueMotion via the Internet, a special app or a call center up to five minutes before the car is needed. Collecting the vehicle only takes a few seconds. The customer holds a chip card or a chip fixed to the driver license over a reader fitted to the car and the vehicle is unlocked. The ignition key in located inside and the driver completes the authorization process by entering a PIN using the touch screen.
A completely new telematics and software solution for bookings, reservations and vehicle management has been developed for the car sharing fleet. In addition, all the vehicles are fitted with navigation and entertainment systems. Customers are issued with an additional SD memory card for this equipment, allowing them to save individual destinations or routes. And there is plenty of room for storing music, too.