Avant Car plans to continue expanding EV sharing
Avant Car runs Slovenia's biggest electric car sharing system, Avant2Go, with a fleet of 500 fully electric vehicles. Further expansion is planned, says director Matej Čer.
Additional locations and vehicles will be added in Slovenia to ensure broad coverage and meet the needs of users, Čer told the Slovenian Press Agency.
"I can tell you that a new feature that many users will be happy about will be launched shortly. At this moment I can only hint that it will make Avant2Go even more usable," he said.
The company currently has dedicated parking and charging locations in Ljubljana, Maribor, Kranj, Novo Mesto, Murska Sobota and Ljubljana Airport.
The key for long-term development of the service will be availability of space for locations. More broadly, one of the main goals is to provide everything for successful internationalisation of car sharing, he said.
Experience shows an increasing number of users have already sold the second car in the household after starting to use Avant2Go, many have even sold their first vehicle.
The service is also gaining traction among companies. "Using car sharing, companies can improve fleet utilisation. It is no wonder that savings are one of the main motivating factors for using car sharing - for individuals and firms," according to Čer.
The current structure of users is very diverse, both in terms of age and purpose of use. About a fifth of users are foreigners.
"Our oldest user was 96, he was a huge fan of electric cars and all the EV technology," said Čer.
Avant Car started out as a car rental company and deployed its first electric vehicles over a decade ago in the belief that this is the right direction for the future.
"We conducted a lot of training, helped build charging infrastructure, included EVs in our fleet and developed the 100 EV car sharing service," he said.
Electric mobility is rapidly gaining ground fast and Avant Car's Slovenian fleet is now 40% electric.
Given that the EU has decided only zero-emission vehicles will be sold from 2035, Čer says that this is a message to all stakeholders which segments will have to be developed in order for Slovenia to remain competitive.
He thinks full electrification by 2040 is realistic, but it is important that decision-makers and other stakeholders believe in that and direct all efforts into it.
While the power grid cannot currently handle the switch to 100% EVs, Čer said this is a gradual process and that technology to ease the burden on the grid is developing fast.
One such technology is vehicle-to-grid, where a vehicle can send power back to the grid when it does not need it. As the number of such vehicles grows, they will act as decentralised batteries.
"If you want something to succeed, you have to truly believe in it yourself. This is the only way to find the best know-how, people and paths to realise the goal.
"Society at large will then recognise this passion and sincereness and activate towards this common goal," he said.
Avant Car currently has a fleet of about 3,500 vehicles in Slovenia, Croatia and North Macedonia and employs a 150-strong workforce.
Last year overall revenue reached €30 million.