Prius PHV Strasbourg 2010: partners

— City and Urban Community of Strasbourg


— Center for Energy and Processes of MINES ParisTech

The City and the Urban Community of Strasbourg, which have long been committed to sustainable mobility, are seeking to encourage the development of less polluting vehicles. The two authorities, which cover a population of 475,000, have therefore decided to participate in a large-scale experimentation of new plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHVs) developed by Japanese carmaker Toyota, in partnership with Electricité de France (EDF), France's historical electricity supplier and designer of the necessary charging infrastructure. The project, supported by the French ecology, industry and research ministries, is supported by the Demonstrator Fund of the French environment and energy agency (ADEME). Numerous public and private players from the Strasbourg region are involved in the project.

«Chosen by Toyota and EDF to host this unprecedented experiment, Strasbourg confirms its position as a pioneer in the field of sustainable mobility, respectful of the environment», emphasises Roland Ries, the Mayor of Strasbourg.

«The initiatives begun over 20 years ago in favour of sustainable mobility are now gaining international recognition. The appearance of this new generation of plug-in hybrid vehicles in the urban landscape opens a new chapter in our transport policy and represents a pertinent extension to the other innovative steps already taken in the European capital, such as the introduction of trams in 1994, the pedestrianisation of the city centre, the development of car pooling and the promotion of cycling so many initiatives that contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving quality of life for the conurbation's inhabitants», adds a proud Roland Ries, going on to conclude:

«This type of technology has not been tested in real conditions on such a large scale and over such a long period until now. This experiment, which is being carried out for the first time in Europe, is a long-term commitment for Strasbourg».

Strasbourg's involvement in the project

Strasbourg is not only acting as the location for the deployment of these hundred or so new-generation vehicles. Together the City and the Urban Community are both playing an essential role, alongside EDF, in the installation of a network of special charging infrastructures, which will enable users of this new type of plug-in hybrid vehicle to charge them at home, in the partner companies, but also in public places, public car parks or by the roadside in the city centre.

The City and the Urban Community of Strasbourg are involved at different levels in this flagship project, with a firm investment of over &euro200,000:

— Along with several other private and public establishments based in the urban area, Strasbourg is a user-tester of these prototypes, as it is hiring 5 of these new plug-in hybrid vehicles

— Strasbourg contributes to the installation of charging points in nine car parks in its urban area

— Strasbourg is setting up roadside stations equipped with charging infrastructures dedicated specially to charging electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids

— Strasbourg contributes funding to the car pooling scheme, Auto'trement, to enable it to hire a number of experimental vehicles. For the local authority, this company is an important partner: not only will all the subscribers to the service in Strasbourg be able to use these new PHVs, but the user-testers will have very different profiles.

Reasons for choosing Strasbourg 

If this territory was first chosen by the project's two sponsors, Toyota and EDF, it is certainly because the City and the Urban Community of Strasbourg have been heavily involved for several decades in promoting sustainable transport solutions and are already prioritising a variety of innovative and multi-modal experiments.

The tram solution was adopted there 20 years ago

If pollution and other problems due to congestion were to be limited, an alternative to the car had to be found in 1989. And it would be the tram. Its appearance on the streets in 1994 would profoundly change the urban landscape of the Strasbourg conurbation and this change was enthusiastically approved by a majority of local people, well aware that these transformations would make their city a more pleasant and human place.

Changing travel practices in an urban area that prioritises soft modes of transport:

— walking represents a mode share of 33.4%* (52%* in the city centre)

— cycle mode share is of the order of 7.6%* and 14%* (up 7 points since 1997) in the city centre (compared to 1.6% for Lille, for example)

— car use has fallen below the 50% barrier (45.9 %*, compared to 56.1% for Lille) it is only 20%* in the city centre (down 12 points since 1997)

— public transport accounts for 12.5%* of total journeys, with peaks of 22%* to 33%* on trips into the city centre. Public transport use increased 120% between 1992 and 2009.

* Source: household travel survey 2009

With its attractive, modern, practical, environmentally-friendly trams, Strasbourg has forged a reputation as a pioneer, as it was one of the first French cities to consider a return to this mode of transport, whilst resolutely revamping its distinctly «19th century» image.

And today, the city continues to collect records: with its 53 km of commercial lines, its 5 existing lines (a sixth is planned for 2010) and its 66 stations, its network is the longest in France. The low-floor tram cars facilitate accessibility for disabled passengers or parents with pushchairs while their large windows keep passengers at street level. Almost 300,000 people use it every day. Over the last fifteen years, the tram has become the cornerstone of a vast public transport policy that encourages alternatives to single-person car use and invites road users to try the multiple travel combinations available: tram-bike, tram-walking, tram-bus, tram-train, tram-car pool. A symbol of this eco-mobility, the tram is also a formidable vector of social integration, serving to improve communications with certain hitherto «cut-off» neighbourhoods, in particular those situated along the Rhine. In a few years' time, it will also cross the Rhine to reach Kehl, in Germany, in double quick time.

The bike, king of the road

Strasbourg has long been trying to lower its levels of pollution, reduce traffic congestion and save energy by encouraging soft modes of transport. This effort, a necessity in view of our close proximity with Germany, began to take root in the 1970s with the appearance of cycle tracks, of which the city now has almost 500 km. In this field, Strasbourg is streets ahead of other French cities and can justifiably claim to be France's most cyclable city. The city's cyclists have at their disposal some fifty bike parks, over 1,500 bike stands in the car parks in the City and Urban Community, not forgetting the 7,500 stands they can use to park their bikes on the street.

The car in its rightful place 

As a UNESCO World Heritage site, Strasbourg's historical centre had to be protected as far as possible against pollution and the invasion of the private car. Starting from the principle that each mode of transport has its own «zone of relevance», the Strasbourg urban authorities opted to take the car out of the city centre and to encourage active travel modes and public transport instead. Numerous measures (a dissuasive traffic plan, parking charges) were then implemented to limit the use of cars in the city centre. At the same time, relevant effective alternatives were proposed. The effects of this policy aimed at ending the omnipresence of the car in the city centre were soon felt: between 1990 and 2009, the number of vehicles entering the city fell by 28%.

At the crossroads of the major European high speed rail routes 

Since June 2007 Strasbourg has also been linked to Paris in 2 hrs 20 by the TGV-Est high-speed train, which in the coming years should be extended into Germany and later as far as Budapest. The construction of this line, the «Magistrale» is receiving the active support of the European Union. A link-up with the TGV Rhine-Rhône, also co-financed by the EU, is also planned, making Strasbourg a major European high-speed rail hub.

A new Urban Travel Plan to anticipate tomorrow's needs 

The Urban Community of Strasbourg's first Urban Travel Plan, adopted in 2000, was innovative insofar as it focused on the construction of a large tram network. However, it left little room for innovation in the field of private car use.

Changes that have occurred since 2000 (a continuous increase in the number of cars and the distances covered, considerable technological progress) now oblige us to reconsider the possible innovations in terms of individual mobility. The objective being to continue to widen the range of mobility services available, based on the logic of «to each need, its mode of transport», whilst protecting the environment and quality of life of the inhabitants of the Strasbourg conurbation.

The introduction of plug-in hybrid vehicles fits in perfectly with this vision. Other experiments of the same type as the one conducted with Toyota and EDF will be set up in the coming years, and Strasbourg firmly intends to position itself at the cutting edge of sustainable mobility. The aim of making the urban area a European laboratory for innovation in transport represents the 4th development theme in the Urban Community's development strategy for the 10 years to come.

Many other innovative projects are currently being planned or developed in this pilot city:

— car pooling, which has existed for over 10 years already with the «Auto'trement» company, and which was launched by Roland Ries, already Mayor of Strasbourg at the time. This service consists of pooling the costs and use of a vehicle by making it available to a number of subscribers at stations spread across the different parts of the city

— a «street code», intended to re-balance the way the different modes of transport share the public roads and thus reinforce the protection of the most vulnerable users, in particular cyclists and pedestrians

— «pedestrian priority zones», open to all road users, but where the pedestrian has priority

— the tram-train: thanks to a new type of vehicle able to run on both rail tracks and the tram lines, it will be possible to connect Strasbourg centre and station with the foothills of the Vosges, a mountainous region situated to the west of the city

— the Cristal system, a new generation electric vehicle, designed by an Alsatian company, LOHR Industrie, which represents an entirely new take on the notion of public transport, with a vehicle that can be used both for individual self-service hire and public transport (trains of vehicles hooked up to each other)

— the CATS European Research and Development project, subsidised by the European Commission, which will be trying out the Cristal system over a period of several months and analysing the way it works

— a bike sharing service, which offers, on top of the usual short-term bike hire possibilities, longer use of the bike, with long-term leasing schemes for individuals and businesses, set up under the Business Travel Plan (PDE).

For the City and the Urban Community of Strasbourg, the environmental issue is, however, not limited to just promoting the use of public transport or clean travel options: the two authorities are currently involved in implementing a «Climate plan» which embraces globally the management of sustainable development for the whole of the urban area, including for example the energy aspects of housing. The aim once again is to join the club of local authorities leading the way in this field.

What perspectives doesthis experiment offer Strasbourg?

The development of hybrid vehicles is now a European challenge, seen as much as a vector of economic and technological development as a means of further protecting the environment. The current Spanish Presidency of the European ministers council has made it one of its priorities, asking the Brussels Commission to draw up a common strategy for electric cars and the standardisation of charging systems.

Strasbourg, European Capital, has not hesitated to take a stance by initiating a dynamic policy in favour of the use of such hybrid and electric vehicles. The City has thus chosen to join in a scheme which involves the pooling of efforts alongside a car manufacturer and an electricity distributor an attitude that brings it closer to the European model. Eventually, it hopes to see this unique experiment lead to a domino effect and other similarly innovatory initiatives be able to carry on the good work.

«This experiment already started over a year and half ago for us», points out the Mayor of Strasbourg. Far from simply being an experiment on the technological characteristics of the vehicles or the charging points, the innovative dimension of the project has been perceptible at every stage, both in terms of the legal and regulatory framework and in its funding and the way the offer has been implemented. «It is high time that local authorities face up to this issue - now, just as the market for hybrid and electric vehicles is about to take off», continues Roland Ries, before inviting other French cities to come and share their experiences with the Alsatian capital.

Approaching the question of the experiments from a wider point of view, the President of the Urban Community of Strasbourg, Jacques Bigot, insists on the fact that «innovative and multi-modal forms of mobility are one of the 4 main themes of the authority's economic strategy for 2020. By making this a priority in this way, the Urban Community intends to support the dynamism of the economic players in its area and consolidate its international reputation. Projects such as the plug-in hybrid vehicle project will contribute to making Strasbourg a 'European laboratory' for new technologies and the favoured destination of innovative companies, particularly those involved in the field of mobility».


Grenelle Environnement*

Favouring the emergence of an offer of low-carbon vehicles

The objectives of a reduction in dependence on petrol and the emission of greenhouse gases, determined by France following the "Grenelle de l'environnement" watchdog meetings, call for the implementation of innovative technical solutions, achievable through ambitious RandD projects.

The Demonstrators Fund, managed by ADEME, was set up in 2008 to finance research projects on themes connected to new energy technologies (renewable energy sources, vehicles with low-emission greenhouse gases, CO2 capture and storage…). The selected demonstrators aim at validating technologies still in development stage and their integration in a system representative of industrial operating conditions, without reaching industrialisation level.

Following an initial appeal for demonstrations of interest on low-carbon vehicles, launched by ADEME in 2008, 11 innovative projects have been funded for a sum of 57 M&euro. These concern drivetrain technologies and vehicle package, for all types of road vehicles (lightweight four-wheel vehicles, personal cars, commercial vehicles, lorries, buses).

The DHRT2 project proposed by TOYOTA, EDF, the Ecoles des Mines and INES notably helps accumulate knowledge concerning the battery/plug-in hybrid vehicle combination, the way these types of vehicles are used and the business models that can be associated with the charging infrastructures.

These research efforts thus prepare the emergence of an offer of low-carbon vehicles and their main industrial components. They contribute to France's plan for the development of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles launched by Jean-Louis Borloo, Christian Estrosi and Chantal Jouanno in October 2009.


The French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME) is a public agency under the joint authority of the Ministry for Ecology, Energy, Sustainable Development and the Sea, and the Ministry of Higher Education and Research. The agency is active in the implementation of public policy in the areas of the environment, energy and sustainable development.

ADEME provides expertise and advisory services to businesses, local authorities and communities, government bodies and the public at large, to enable them to establish and consolidate their environmental action. As part of this work the agency helps finance projects, from research to implementation, in the areas of waste management, soil conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy, air quality and noise abatement.

* Grenelle Environnement is a multi-party watchdog reuniting representatives of national & local government and organisations (industry, labour, professional associations, NGOs) with the aim of defining the key points of public policy on environmental and sustainable development issues.

Collaboration with the Center for Energy and Processes of MINES ParisTech

The technical monitoring of this demonstration of plug-in hybrid vehicles conducted in Strasbourg by Toyota and EDF relies on the scientific expertise of the Center for Energy and Processes of MINES ParisTech and its experience in the analysis of externalities.

MINES ParisTech is associated with the project through a research programme on "the plug-in hybrid vehicle and sustainable mobility".

Description of the research programme on the plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHV) and sustainable mobility

The PHV demonstration in Strasbourg is aimed at establishing optimal usage conditions of a PHV with a 20km EV driving range.

From among the group of driver-testers taking part in the project, a panel of some twenty people was selected in order to carry out an in-depth study and be able to answer the key questions associated with PHVs:

— Is the 20km driving range sufficient for everyday commutes between home and work?

— What infrastructures are provided for charging the vehicle, at both home and workplace level?

— From the CO2 assessment viewpoint, what are the preferential times of day for charging the vehicle?

— What is the desirable length of time for charging and what type of plug-in system should be favoured?

— How sensitive is electric consumption to the user's driving pattern?

— Once the itineraries have been determined in advance by the simulation platform, what are the energetic stakes for integrating these characteristics into the vehicle's control processing unit?

The work of the Center for Energy and Processes of MINES ParisTech aims to answer these questions, and will be structured as follows:

1. Analysis of the usage patterns of the PHV fleet

— typology of the drivers and usages

— environment-friendly driving conditions

2. CO2 assessment according to times of day and conditions for charging the vehicle

— level of avoided CO2 emissions

— preferential times of day for charging

3. Control with prediction 

— New control rules with forecast

— Analysis of savings using the new control algorithm

Presentation of the Center for Energy and Processes of MINES ParisTech

The Center for Energy and Processes (CEP) is one of MINES ParisTech research centres, composed of 152 people including 70 PhDs, based either in Paris or at Sophia-Antipolis in the South of France. The CEP located in Paris and the suburb of Palaiseau comprises 80 people, including 35 PhDs.

In close relationship with multidisciplinary teaching, including Master degree programmes and continued training, the CEP research themes focus on:

— energy decarbonisation

— energy efficiency in automobile air-conditioning systems, buildings and industrial processes

— the creation of carbon structures with nanomaterials

— life cycles analysis

— analysis of environmental and economic impacts