Later this year, the first employees of ABN Amro in Eindhoven will be using the electric cars of Amber Mobility for their business trips. The Eindhoven startup today announced their plans during a presentation in the klokgebouw, as part of a special farewell exhibition for former mayor Rob van Gijzel.
The flexible platform around Amber ensures that an employee is always within walking distance to a car. This allows employees to no longer own a car. “For a lease contract you pay on average about 520 euros per month, with us that will be far less,” says co-founder Merien ten Houten. “This makes mobility a lot cheaper for both employee and employer.” Amber Mobility already made a deal for collaboration with Athlon Car Lease.
Amber Mobility is the new name of Project 33. “We have always said that this was a temporary name, with Amber we try to become more personal”, says Ten Houten. Joep Sloot, one of the team members, adds: “Or it can also be a verb, I amber to work. That would be nice.”
“Today I amber to work”
After serving the employees of the Eindhoven bank, the roll out will continue. “This is why we are now in negotiation with High Tech Campus, we want to start a mobility hub there in the first part of 2017. Several companies can share one pool of cars. The goal is to offer you a wide network in Eindhoven with about 400 Ambers by 2018. ”
How does it work?
A user tells the Amber Mobility app that he needs a car and the app will answer with a map on which an available Amber – within walking distance – is located. You pick up the car and drive to your destination. Ten Houten: “There is no need to return the car, within the area we are covering you can just leave it for the next user.” Currently a lot of energy is given to the development of the software platform and the app.
Ten Houten says he finds it frustrating to see that ‘ordinary’ cars are inactive for the major part of the day. “Twenty-three out of the twenty-four hours! Which consumes an incredible amount of space, imagine how one could use that in a better way.”
Because users always have access to a car when they need one, owning a car is no longer necessary. “Amber Mobility is an alternative to car ownership. You do have the freedom of your own car, but without the high cost.” But perhaps even more important: “Amber Mobility reduces CO2 emissions considerably, not only because the vehicles are electric, but also because we would need much less of them. It may sound very cliché, but we do it for a better world. ”
“Owning a car is unnecessary”
The startup is determined, but realistic as well. Focus for now is on the city of Eindhoven. “But the ambition extends to the Netherlands and eventually worldwide. How fast we can go, that will depend on the funding.” Therefore, this month is an exciting one: on September 22 the High TechXL accelerator program, where Amber has its base, has its XL-Day in the Klokgebouw. Besides Amber Mobility, other startups will present themselves in a venue filled with potential investors from the US and Asia.
Disclosure: Merien ten Houten is, next to being one of the founders of Amber Mobility, also co-owner of Media52, the publisher of E52.