German Railway Company Adds Electric Car Rental Option To Ticket

1 year ago by Steven Loveday 6

Deutsche Bahn Railway

Deutsche Bahn Railway. Photo Credit: Bahn

Possibly the last place one would expect to find an electric car push is at a German rail operator.

Flinkster, Deutsche Bahn partnership

Flinkster Connect, DB partnership. Photo Credit: Bahn

However, such companies have suffered much loss of business as more and more German citizens are purchasing cars.

In the early 90s, there were about 30 million cars on German streets and now there are over 45 million. Not to mention the appearance of services like Uber and BlaBla car providing rides to patrons, along with the rise of car-sharing services.

Deutsche Bahn Director Berthold Huber said:

“We have to be able to offer the best mix of mobility for every individual journey requirement. An unsatisfied customer will sooner or later turn his back on us and look for alternatives. The goal is to extend the availability and offer [the service] in other cities too.”

The cars will be provided by a partner called “Flinkster Connect.” It has become one of the country’s top car-sharing services. Bahn currently works with a fleet of 700 electric cars through its subsidiary Flinkster. Now, they are making immediate plans to expand this number and to work to move the service beyond Berlin.

“We’ve planned the first phase of ‘Flinkster Connect’ consciously as a test,” explained Huber.

The company will only charge €29 (about $41) to add an electric car rental to the train ticket. It will also allow customers to keep the vehicle for up to a week. The hope is that not charging registration and mileage fees will boost this option for many travelers.

Can adding a cheap, electric car option bail out the European railway industry, or are new services and technologies going to eventually take over?

Source: The Local, IBT

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6 responses to "German Railway Company Adds Electric Car Rental Option To Ticket"

  1. Mark C says:

    Why wouldn’t an EV to complete your travels make sense when you just got off an electrified train. They don’t have enormous diesel engines powereing the electric motors in any of the trains I rode while stationed in Germany, quite unlike the US.

  2. notting says:

    “Possibly the last place one would expect to find an electric car push is at a German rail operator.”
    Definetely not, Deutsche Bahn has their own bike- (Call a bike) and also car-sharing system (Flinkster) because very often there’s a “gap” between the train stations or even bus station to the actual point where people want to go.

    “The cars will be provided by a partner called “Flinkster Connect.””
    That company called “DB Rent GmbH” (GmbH = roughly PLC in UK) was founded by Deutsche Bahn and still belongs to it…

    notting

    BTW: From one of the articles you linked: 15 Feb 2016…

  3. Just_Chris says:

    What ev is that in the image?

    1. Joe says:

      It is no EV. It’s a Citroen DS3 with Deutsche Bahn’s Flinkster-branding paintwork.

  4. tod-and-rail-and-renewables-seem-important says:

    “Can adding a cheap, electric car option bail out the European railway industry, or are new services and technologies going to eventually take over?”

    This is laughable on so many levels.
    1) The European Railway industry doesn’t need a bailout. Both freight and passanger rail is successful, and doesn’t need a bailout. This is written at a a time when even more, new taxpayer-funded electric car handouts are being introduced, so essentially the government bailing out that electric car industry. In contrast, Deutsche Bahn Fernverkehr, and many other European rail operators, are profitable companies. And even more profitable to society if one includes externalities, which are routinely forgotten when taking about electric cars. An electric car stuck in traffic is still a car stuck in traffic etc.

    2) Deutsche Bahn alone probably transports more people than all electric cars worldwide combined. The passenger rail division of Deutsche Bahn alone (not including all the other rail operators in Germany), transports more than 2 billion travelers each year, or more than 5.5 million every day. Global cumulative electric car sales just surpassed 1 million in September 2015. Just as a comparison to possibly be able to understand relevance…

    3) The weirdest part: “Can adding a cheap, electric car option bail out the European railway industry [?]” So now that it’s clear, how passanger rail in Europe is successful, relevant, often even profitable, most importantly beneficial to society and not in need of a bailout, there is the question if increasing the number of electric cars from currently 70, to a number not mentioned in the blog entry, can “bail out” the rail operators? It cannot even get more absurd – more than 5.5 million travelers daily, how will 70 or 700 or even if Deutsche Bahn multiplied it by 100, and had 7,000 electric cars – how will that make a significant difference in any way towards the 5.5 million daily travelers, much less even “bail out” the companies? Right, Rüdiger Grube will just say, why just transport all these 5.5 million travelers in an environmentally friendly, socially beneficial, fast, safe and efficient way by rail, when we can also shut down our rail operations and instead let a few extra electric cars create more traffic jams, while leaving the vast majority of travelers stranded, as those electric cars need to “bail us out”…

    Even for InsideEVs standards, this was a good one… 😉

    1. Joe says:

      Couldn’t agree more. I think the author of this text has never been to Europe and has no idea how (well!) trains operate here.

      Bail out is laughable, just as the rest of the text.
      Sorry, but call up DB, SNCF or NS and ask them if they’d like a bail out. Muahhhahahahaahah.

      Electric cars are, if anything, a nice addition to an already pretty big car sharing pool that Deutsche Bahn has been holding for a while.
      Adding to this is the fact that DB and other European operators hold much of the prime real estate in European cities and can thus build very nicely located, accessible chargers.