Rê.V.E – GRAND PARADIS – A NETWORK OF ELECTRIC VEHICLES
Period: June 2011 – July 2013
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
The “Rê.V.E. – Grand Paradis” project – Grand Paradis Network of Electric Vehicles – was a bike sharing network in the Aosta Valley. The project used a sustainable approach to mobility and adopted a wide view of the issues related to climate-altering emissions. In the context of environmental sustainability on a large scale, the aim of the project was to render transport within the Gran Paradiso National Park zero-impact with the use of solar-powered electric vehicles, using a renewable energy source.
The project enhanced the natural and cultural characteristics of the Aosta Valley side of the Gran Paradiso National Park, allowing slow and zero-impact trips where it was possible. This was achieved by implementing a responsible and ethical management of available resources and encouraging the convergence of interests and contributions in the various decision-making processes. The Rêve Grand Paradis project combined the interests of regional and local administrations, local tour operators, tourists and residents in the concerned areas, creating a free service for everyone. The Rêve Grand Paradis bike sharing system – now managed by the local authorities – is still used by locals for their daily trips, young locals to spend their leisure time, tourists visiting the area, tour operators as an additional offer to their clients, the territorial administrations for institutional purposes and events on the territory.
CONTRIBUTION TO MOUNTAIN PROTECTION
At the moment of its creation, Rê.V.E. introduced the Aosta Valley to one of Europe’s widest electric bike sharing services supplied by renewable energy. In this way, the project aimed at raising awareness on the subject of sustainable mobility and energy-saving, fostering zero-impact transfers in the Gran Paradiso and discouraging the vision of the territory as a mere car destination. A new approach to tourism, respectful of the extraordinary surrounding environment, was nurtured.
The network consisted of 66 electric pedal assisted bicycles available in 11 docking points in eight station locations within the Municipalities of Cogne, Introd, Rhêmes-Notre-Dame, Rhêmes-Saint-Georges and Valsavarenche in the Aosta Valley side of Italy’s most ancient national park, the Gran Paradiso.
The project used a sustainable approach to mobility and a wider view of the issues related to climate-altering emissions. In the context of environmental sustainability on a large scale, the aim of the project was to render transport within the Gran Paradiso National Park zero-impact with the use of solar-powered electric vehicles, using a renewable energy source.
COLLABORATION WITH LOCAL AUTHORITIES
The beneficiaries of the project were the Municipalities of Introd, Rhêmes-Saint-Georges, Rhêmes-Notre-Dame, Cogne and Valsavarenche, where the 11 platforms were deployed. The local inhabitants could also benefit from the service, as they had the chance to freely loan the pedal-assisted bicycles.
The network of electric vehicles represents a valuable benefit also for tourists and, consequently, for all the actors involved in the tourism sector, who had a new, exciting service to add to their regular offers.
The Municipality of Rhêmes-Saint-Georges benefitted also in a more direct way from the Reve project, thanks to the delivery of an electric car for use by the local administration.
The electric bike sharing “Rê.V.E. Grand Paradis” counted 2,191 accreditations and 3.554 journeys in the first triennium of activity (2011-2014).
BRINGING BIKE SHARING TO THE MOUNTAINS
The Reve project proposed in innovative terms the concept of bike sharing. When it was first approved, in 2011, bike sharing was a scheme mainly witnessed in big cities. Reve identified the great potential of bike sharing and transferred it to a more difficult environment such as the mountains. Thanks to the project the network that was created involved the three Aosta Valley valleys of Gran Paradiso. A further innovation was the use of renewable sources – namely, the solar energy – to offer a bike sharing system with electric pedal assisted bicycles that eased cycling on the uphill roads that characterise the mountain territory, thus discouraging the temptation or the necessity of using the car. Seven stations to recharge electric cars were also built. All of these features make Reve a pilot project, designed to be replicated in similar-sized Municipalities of Aosta Valley and in mountain environment.
The project involved all partners from the very first phases, under the coordination of Fondation Grand Paradis. The preliminary phase was the feasibility study conducted by the Fondation Grand Paradis and the Observation and Activity Energy Centre. At the same time the planning phase was carried out with the Fondation Grand Paradis and the Municipalities of Cogne, Introd, Valsavarenche, Rhêmes-Saint-Georges and Rhêmes-Notre-Dame.
The implementation phase was launched in 2011, firstly with the assignment of works, supplies and services, and then with the execution of the works. The trial and start-up phases took place in the spring of 2012. After the end of the project, the management of the bike sharing was handed to the municipalities.
Reve – Fondation Grand Paradis