Since its creation in 2010, Clem has been involved in numerous projects to provide car-sharing services for cars and electric utility vehicles intended for individuals and professionals in towns and villages in France. Founding president, Bruno Flinois presents some of the broad outlines of an adventure that we feel is at once innovative, dense and exciting.
A vision for 2030
Bruno Flinois defines “ Clem as a shared electric mobility operator which manages vehicles and charging stations “. The company’s positioning is particular: “ Clem is the only operator to offer fully carbon-free car sharing services. We have a dual platform from which we manage 580 vehicles and 750 terminals across 80 projects spread across 220 towns and villages. We have very little competition ».
Fourteen years after the launch of Clem, the initial objective is still in sight: “ My vision as an entrepreneur since day one is that by 2030 all municipalities will be equipped with a shared mobility solution, with at least one or two vehicles in each village. With Clem, the mayor of a city or the president of an urban area can offer a low-carbon solution for traveling to those in their territory who do not have access to public transport or cannot have their own vehicle. ».
On site, the service must respond as closely as possible to the needs of the residents to whom it is addressed: “ In Ile-aux-Moines, in Morbihan, a somewhat tailor-made Renault Kangoo pickup is available for car sharing. It is used to transport luggage from the port, but also to go to the recycling center. It allows island residents to avoid having to have a private car just for this purpose. ».
Less than 100 inhabitants
The smallest town equipped with a car-sharing service by Clem has less than a hundred inhabitants: “ It is located in the Pays du Lunévillois. The president had decided that each of the communes of the intercommunality would have its own service. So that everyone in the area can have access to car sharing within a twenty-minute walk of their home ».
Even with a relatively small population, attendance can be very high: “ This is the case of Villerouge-Termenès in Aude. With 750 inhabitants, the two electric vehicles – a Renault Zoé and a Peugeot e-Partner utility vehicle – run every day. This is because of a significant density around its town center. There are 500 of them who are less than a kilometer from an EV. There is no lower limit on the number of inhabitants to equip a municipality with a car-sharing service. ».
One of Clem’s targets, ” these are the 14,000 municipalities which are in rural revitalization zones. Around 10,000 would be in the same situation as Villerouge-Termenès, that is to say with a majority of inhabitants near an electric vehicle if a car-sharing service were open. A rapprochement could be made with the France services houses “. Last December, there were 2,700 of these, bringing together several public services in one place, combining physical reception and digital support.
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Centre-Val de Loire region
A little novelty for Clem which is integrating the Rémi program (Interurban Mobility Network): “ This is the first time that we have worked on a regional scale. Little by little, we are equipping the fifty or so intermunicipalities in the Center-Val de Loire with car-sharing services, from large towns to villages. This region is the first to exercise the competence of mobility organizing authority (AOM) at the local level, according to the provisions of the Lom law. ».
Concretely, ” the objective of François Bonneau, the president of the region, is to install 52 stations in 24 months. We started sometime last year. Twelve stations have already been opened. We ensure beforehand that there is indeed a use. They each have a capacity for two electric vehicles. Most often, they start with just one. By 2025, there should be two everywhere. This is important to guarantee service, particularly in the event of vehicle overhauls. ».
The collaboration regarding this program which “ Marie Clem and Rémi », according to the expression of the president of the community, takes on board two other companies: “ These are Transdev and RATP Dev which are delegates of the public service in this territory. François Bonneau is very supportive of our solution. He is present at all station inaugurations and has invited the Minister of Transport. The government is therefore aware and other regions are watching what is happening in Centre-Val de Loire. After carpooling and bikesharing, carsharing comes naturally. We can expect development from 2025 concerning it ».
Some numbers to help you get your bearings
Different possibilities are open to relatively modest communities to set up a car-sharing service: “ One of them consists of operating an electric vehicle from the fleet which is usually used by municipal employees. On weekends and weekday evenings, it can be made available to residents. This operation is eligible for the green fund for rurality. The municipality thus benefits from 50% aid for investment. These communities are currently being pushed to green their fleet. Our platform is able to prioritize reservations based on service needs ».
Clem is co-constructor of the solutions called for by the communities: “ They own the vehicles, and we manage the service from A to Z. They decide the name of their service – for example Lulu or The dragonfly -, the choice of electric vehicles and pricing. According to a very precise model, we pay them the amounts collected. We operate the service, regardless of the brand of vehicles acquired new or used and the capacity of the batteries. ».
In numbers : ” Depending on the vehicle model chosen, a station which also includes charging equipment costs between 50,000 and 80,000 euros including tax. With the aid, a small rural municipality will benefit from around 50% subsidies. It can even go up to 80%. Our service management is billed at 5,000 euros per year. With very low rates for rental to local users, the remainder payable by the municipality is around 4,000 to 5,000 euros per year. Which weighs on average just a few euros per inhabitant of the municipality ».
For Parisians and Ile-de-France residents too
In the Paris region, the needs are different: “ Our experiment in Paris is among the largest in Europe. We have deployed a hundred vans for logistics in the metropolis. They are actually exploited up to 60% for this. The rest are artisans and traders. But also quite a few individuals on weekends, to move or return with bulky purchases made at Ikea or in supermarkets. As the service is not expensive, people do not hesitate to book in a district other than their own ».
Another experiment with the TacTic project: “ It’s happening in Rueil-Malmaison, in collaboration with mayor Patrick Ollier who is also the president of the Greater Paris metropolis. The project foreshadows new last mile logistics services, with two types of needs covered: a van for large volumes, and a cargo bike for less bulky loads. ».
A Nissan e-NV200 is already available: “ Tomorrow it will perhaps be Renault Kangoo, Peugeot e-Partner, Citroën ë-Jumpy, etc. The idea is to provide this service at affordable prices to the 137 cities of the metropolis. The cargo bike will be available in Rueil-Malmaison in two months. Previously, we had to have a shelter on the road. Too bulky to be installed on a sidewalk, it will be located on Place Richelieu ».
With autonomous operation: “ This will be thanks to the photovoltaic panels on the roof which will recharge the batteries. There will be two of them. It is left to the user to exchange the pack and charge the one that is drained of energy. ».
The rental period can be quite extended: “ For example, it is from thirty minutes to three days in rural areas. With an average range of 250 kilometers, the user generally does not need to recharge the vehicle for trips locally or within the department. We only provide the energy initially. If he wants to go further, it’s up to him to find his solution for connecting the vehicle. There are quite a few fast terminals today all over France ».
The Clem platform is compatible with any form of mobility sharing: “ For example with electric bikes, including cargo models. In this regard, we have good services open in collective housing with Cogedim. In all cases, these are vehicles weighing less than 3.5 tonnes. We have had experiments with quadricycles like the Citroën Ami, but this is no longer possible today due to companies who no longer want to provide them in car sharing, or at dissuasive prices. ».
Other energies were also considered: “ At the beginning, we also thought about CNG. This was when it was possible to have small compressors to install on a domestic type inlet. Now, we need a station that would exceed our uses. For tomorrow, we are not banning ourselves from hydrogen. This solution, however, takes time to come to fruition. ».
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The services set up by Clem generally use green electricity for charging stations: “ When we choose the source, we rely on a supplier engaged in photovoltaics. Otherwise, we advise the community to do the same. To do this, it can go through UGAP. We manage battery charging in V1G. For example, with a solar source, we start charging at the best times of the day, according to an in-house algorithm. ».
Clem’s services are relatively insensitive to degradation: “ This is very true in rural areas because users know that they will find the same vehicle later and that it is a collective good. They therefore have no interest in degrading it. Even in Ile-de-France, our stations target communities located nearby ».
There remain cases of damage committed by outsiders: “ Outside of Ile-de-France, our services are often close to people, for example police officers, who can intervene quickly. In Paris, it’s different. Sometimes all it takes is a simple logo for small groups to take action. However, we are not at the point where Zity had to close its service. However, we have already had to return a few stations because they found themselves covered in graffiti again, as soon as we had cleaned them. ».
Automobile Propre and I thank Bruno Flinois very much for his availability and the time taken to answer our questions. A big thank you also to Romain Pichard, sales manager, for organizing this interview at our request.
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