After e-scooters and bikes, you can now also hire electric micro-cars in Switzerland. A company from Biel is leading the way.
In Switzerland, "smart mobility" is controversial. Some people see these new small vehicles as getting in the way, occupying rare parking space and creating insecurity on the road. But others see "micro-mobility" as a potential way to revolutionise traffic in cities. And amidst all the discussion, cities are trying to find a way of dealing with each new trend.
When swissinfo.ch asked Zurich city's traffic department and police media service how they were dealing with the new vehicles, they reacted with surprise. Nobody knew offhand that there were such micro-cars in the city. They asked swissinfo.ch to send them photos of the vehicles so as to find out which licence plates the vehicles were using.
According to the provider's app - the company Enuu from Biel - there are currently thirteen vehicles in both Zurich and Biel. Basel is to followexternal link in the autumn - officially supported by the city. The electric micro-car is allowed to drive on roads and cycle paths and lanes, but not on the sidewalk. According to the provider, the vehicles may also be parked on wide sidewalks and on bicycle and motorcycle parking lots.
In their "home town" of Biel, the micro-cars have been in use for some time. Although the conclusion there has been positive so far, a more conflicted discussion is expected in Baselexternal link. And in Zurich, too, the discussion is only really starting.