Madrid seems to be in the midst of a love affair with the electric car, with two car sharing schemes for the electric vehicles proving exceptionally popular in the Spanish capital.
One of these is Emov, a new service, which saw over 100,000 customers sign up within only five months. It is gaining ground fast on Daimler's Car2Go scheme, which has 166,000 subscribers for its 500 battery-powered smart cars. Madrid has the highest rental rate among Car2Go's 26-city network.
Both Emov and Car2Go allow customers to rent their vehicles by the minute, with Car2Go vehicles costing 21 cents per minute (euros). Renault and Spanish infrastructure operator Ferrovial are discussing setting up a third electric car operator in Madrid.
Madrid's city council has actively encouraged the uptake of the electric vehicles: they are allowed to travel in restricted zones and park almost anywhere for free.
Mr Thomas Beermann, chief executive officer of Daimler's Car2Go service in Europe commented that "nowhere else are so many people having a positive experience with an electric vehicle."
However, not all Madrid residents are enthused by the rise of such companies. Mr Jesus Fernandez, Deputy Chairman of the Madrid Professional Taxi Federation, commented that "these companies are occupying a public space to earn a private profit...the city administration must regulate their expansion."
To find out more, visit straitstimes.com.
Image credit: Dia de la movilidad electrica - © Ayuntamiento de Gijón (from Flickr) by European Mobility Week under CC BY 2.0.