Car2Go in trouble if city changes electric car sharing criteria

WATCH ABOVE: In August, new criteria will be put in place for all future electric car sharing tenders – but that could mean trouble for existing companies. Global’s Kelly Greig reports.

MONTREAL – The City of Montreal is boosting its electric car sharing fleet – but with a catch.

In August, new criteria will be put in place for all future tenders – meaning at least four seats and a range of 150 km.

But it seems existing companies are getting left out of the loop.

“We would like – at least for the boroughs like Île Bizard – if you have to do 30, 40, 50 km, they can have the service,” said Aref Salem, Executive Committee member for transport.

According to the opposition, though, prioritizing customers outside the heart of the city is missing the point.

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“The idea that you designed it for Île Bizard first is proof that you have no clue what you’re doing,” said Guillaume Lavoie with Project Montreal.

The party claimed that the call for tenders is fixed because only a limited number of manufacturers fit the new rules.

Members suspect the driving force is to cut off other companies from bidding.

“It was rigged from the start, badly done from the start,” said Lavoie.

“Two-thirds of the world’s car makers are excluded from the start so how can we do this if the intention is not to give the contract to one specific company?”

In April, Mayor Denis Coderre promised to bring in 1,000 electric car sharing vehicles in the next five years.

Car2Go, for instance, has an existing business in Montreal, but fears it will be shut out because its vehicles simply can’t go the extra mile.

“They go 109 km. The 150 km rule is very surprising to us because the average user goes 6 km,” said Jérémi Lavoie, a spokesperson for Car2Go.

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“For members it doesn’t make much of a difference if the range is 109 or 150.”

He said that if the 150 km rule stands, his business could be in trouble.

“If we are out of the call for interest and out of further proceedings it might be a problem, yes,” Lavoie told Global News.

What do you think? Does it matter if cars have a 150 km range? Let us know!

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