Rural municipalities commit to promote car sharing; 100,000 shared cars by 2021

The 20 largest rural municipalities in the Netherlands on Wednesday signed an accord with Minister Stientje van Veldhoven, responsible for Housing and Environment, to promote car sharing in their municipalities. The aim is to have at least 100 thousand shared cars with 700 thousand users by 2021.

"You might think about the city when it comes to car sharing. But it is also a solution for regions where distances are longer," Minister Van Veldhoven said. "More and more people share cars, and I think that's a good thing. For the climate and our clean air, but also for people who do not have their own car or for whom public transport is only partly a solution."

The government strives to promote car sharing in the Netherlands as much as possible. In the Netherlands, a car stands still on average for 23 out of 24 hours, according to the Ministry. That's a waste of space. Car sharing creates more parking space, and has benefits for the climate - car sharers emit on average between 8 and 13 percent less CO2, the Ministry said. 

Theo Meskers, VVD alderman in Hollands Kroon and director of the rural municipalities association, is optimistic about this accord. "Accessibility and quality of life are important tasks in the countryside. I think that car sharing in combination with, for example, the train, bus and electric bicycle, can really offer a customized solution," he said.