Line e-car sharing in Borgholzhausen: A new connection to public transport

How do you get away from the train station in rural areas when the next bus doesn't leave for another hour? When it comes to innovative mobility concepts, it's worth taking a look at Borgholzhausen.



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Mer Solutions GmbH


Mer Solutions GmbH

Around 9,000 people live in the small town of Borgholzhausen in North Rhine-Westphalia, spread over an area of 55 square kilometers. About two-thirds of the people live in small settlements, some of which are very far from the town center. Locally, there has long been a desire to connect hard-to-reach areas to public transportation. The idea of "line e-car sharing" has now been successfully implemented with Mer: Anyone getting off at the train station in Borgholzhausen will be able to use the existing line e-carsharing service from April 2022.


Mer is the ideal partner for the new mobility concept in Borgholzhausen, as there are special requirements. The offer complements the public transport timetable and consists of three pillars. First, there is the option of line e-carsharing: private individuals can rent an Opel Vivaro-e (9-seater) directly at the station and take up to eight people with them as "drivers," for example to travel to the shared workplace.


Secondly, classic e-car sharing is planned: The Renault ZOE electric car can be booked flexibly and easily via an online platform. For companies in the region, there is also the option for regular customers to book a fixed slot every day so that the vehicle is guaranteed to be available. This three-part approach is designed to ensure the best possible utilization and cost-effectiveness.

The goal behind: The UrbanLand OstWestfalenLippe is to be better connected. Not only will the attractiveness of public transportation be increased by the complementary line e-car sharing service, but companies in the region will also benefit from flexible mobility options for their employees. Mer is working with various partners on the project, including the town of Borgholzhausen and the energy service provider Westenergie. The project was selected in the state competition "Mobil.NRW - Model Project for Innovative Public Transport in Rural Areas" and is supported by EU funding.


A step into the future

Borgholzhausen is ideally suited to test the concept in real life, as the municipality has created several thousand jobs and has around 4,000 commuters. Those traveling from Osnabrück or Bielefeld and getting off the train can move around flexibly and reach the neighborhoods more easily with a line e-car sharing vehicle. In the future, "caretakers" from Mer will ensure that the e-carsharing vehicles are always fully charged, available and clean at the station.

Especially in rural areas, where there are usually several vehicles per household, the innovative concept can lay the foundation for a more sustainable future. If the range of public transport and eCarsharing is well developed, many households could do without a second car in the future. In addition, there are new opportunities for people who do not own a vehicle (locally).

In the long term, however, the committed citizens of Borgholzhausen want to pursue a different vision and initiate the transition to autonomous driving with the new project. Particularly in regions that are not densely populated, the connection of autonomous vehicles to public transportation could be a sensible further development.

The project in Borgholzhausen shows what individuals can achieve when strong partners work together with initiative, motivation and passion. Not only the citizens benefit, but also the environment, because the electric cars run on 100 % of green electricity. It is not surprising that the small town has already been awarded the European Energy Award (EEA) twice because of its sustainable energy planning.

At Mer, we take care of the operational process in Borgholzhausen, i.e. providing the vehicles and creating all the platforms and interfaces. We make sure that the vehicles are reliably available and that you can easily book the next car via app. At Mer, we want to use e-car sharing to combine the advantages of individual mobility with sustainable solutions in rural areas as well. Our vision is for electric mobility to be used by as many people as possible in rural areas - we already have years of experience in this. Even if the idea is still unfamiliar: electric cars make an enormous amount of sense in rural areas because, after all, electricity is available almost everywhere.


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