Trains and Electric Cars in Denmark Offer Sustainable Transport Solution

Better Place Denmark and DSB have signed a groundbreaking agreement to provide Danes with door-to-door, sustainable transportation by combining trains and electric cars. The agreement reflects the companies’ shared vision of delivering sustainable passenger transportation. The partnership is designed to offer Danes a convenient transportation alternative that leads to a considerable reduction of harmful CO2 emissions, road congestion, and provides a more enjoyable travel or commute experience.

This partnership will provide Danes with the greenest, most convenient transportation option, giving customers the benefits of both trains and electric vehicles (EV’s). The current challenge for train passengers is that once they arrive at the station, they are left without efficient transport to their final destination. The challenge for drivers is that they are stuck behind the wheel, without the chance to spend that commute time more efficiently. This agreement gives train riders a zero emission means of reaching their final destination, and encourages drivers to take the train and avoid the frustrations of traffic congestion.

The partnership will allow the high numbers of EV owners that are expected to emerge in the near future, the freedom to choose between the EV, the train or a combination of the two without worrying about ticket, seat reservation, parking, charging etc. All of those things will be addressed by the joint offering.

Together the two companies will deliver a shared electric vehicle (EV) service, which will be available at a number of major Danish train stations, starting with a pilot project at the Høje-Taastrup and Skanderborg stations in 2010. The two companies are also evaluating the possibility of establishing charge spots for EV’s at major commuter stations in 2012.

"By encouraging more drivers to use the train in partnership with the electric car, we not only reduce the major traffic congestion problems, but more importantly, we significantly reduce the harmful emissions that come from the tailpipe," said DSB CEO Søren Eriksen, and he continued, "The partnership with Better Place gives us a wonderful opportunity to encourage even more Danes to take the train, and provides a model of sustainable transport for other European countries."

The agreement contains two main elements; the first is the creation of infrastructure to charge EV’s at a number of train stations, and the second is the goal to establish a joint EV-sharing scheme at the main commuter stations. The infrastructure at the train stations will be used by both the EV-sharing scheme and private EV’s. By using smart charging the infrastructure ensures that the EV’s are charged at the optimum time, thus ensuring that the energy powering the cars comes from renewable sources whenever possible.

In 2010 DSB and Better Place Denmark will establish a pilot project based on a shared EV-scheme that will include a number of electric cars at Høje-Taastrup and Skanderborg. The two train stations will offer customers the opportunity to go from one end of the country to the other in the greenest and most efficient manner.

By using a PC, and in the future a mobile phone, the customer will be able to book train tickets, make seat reservations and order an EV from the sharing scheme, which they can pick up when they arrive at the destination station. The common EV-sharing scheme provided by DSB and Better Place will be extended to several of the largest commuter stations after the initial pilot.

"We consider the cooperation agreement with DSB as a unique opportunity to promote the adoption of EVs in Denmark and an important milestone in our work to establish a nationwide infrastructure for sustainable transportation," said Jens Moberg, CEO of Better Place Denmark, and he continued, "Together, DSB and Better Place will provide a more convenient, more environmentally friendly transportation solution that allows Danes to be green from door-to-door. This is exactly the kind of coordinated, intelligent marriage of technologies and solutions that Denmark needs to reduce the excessive CO2 emissions that come from petrol-powered cars."

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