You might not immediately think so, but the village of Loppersum near Groningen is in some ways pretty much like any village in Spain. At least, that was the conclusion by Hanze student Quintin Martinus (25) following his study of electric car sharing in rural areas of the Netherlands.
When doing his Master’s in International Business and Management, Quintin took fabulous Loppersum as a case study. His research reveals that Loppersum folks have a very positive attitude to sharing an electric car. As part of his study he compared the responses of people from Loppersum with customers of Zipcar, a Spanish company that already uses shared electric cars. And what was the result? Mobility in a village like Loppersum is incredibly similar to the mobility provided by the Spanish company. Many residents need a car and use this regularly, but for relatively short journeys.
Research shows that these people mostly use the car for recreational purposes
In particular residents aged over 55 are willing to become involved in a scheme like this. ‘Research shows that these people mostly use the car for recreational purposes. In this age group you have more people who work part-time and hence don’t need the car every day. They do actually want a car, but they don’t want to pay for it by themselves’, he explains. ‘For these people it’s interesting to take part in electric car sharing’. Or in other words, Dutch stinginess leads to sustainability.
Quintin himself feels very satisfied with his research, even though he actually found his subject by chance. ‘I had been looking for a good theme for some while, but none of the available subjects really appealed to me’, he recounts. Through the dark labyrinth of the Hanze UAS website he ultimately hit upon a link that offered the theme. ‘It was actually on the website, but it was really hard to find. It’s pretty crazy, now I think about it.’
My study is now being used as the basis. Now that’s wicked good!
He can warmly recommend other students to do research on sustainability. ‘It’s not only important, but you also gain some very useful connections’, he emphasises. Quintin himself is a living example of this. He’s currently working as a data and business analyst at MobiNoord, a start-up company focusing on car sharing in the north of the Netherlands. ‘My study is now being used as the basis. Now that’s wicked good!’