An EV Revolution, Carbon Neutrality, a Sharing Economy Boom and More from May

Read on for parking industry highlights from May.

As May draws to a close we reflect on a month that has been dominated by developments in EV charging and the green parking arena. Our very own Quick Question addressed the role that the parking industry will play in helping governments meet their EV adoption targets, Metric conducted their own feasibility report into adopting an EV fleet and YourParkingSpace.com launched the world’s first carbon-neutral car park.

But the news doesn’t stop there, other highlights include the growth of the sharing economy, the importance of accessible parking, the continued digitalization of parking, and the relationship between retail and parking. So, pour yourself a coffee and read on to catch up with this month’s hot topics.

World First: A Carbon Neutral Car Park

The entrance to Republic Visitor Car Park

There are many ways that the parking industry can help to reduce harmful emissions, including, reducing search traffic in congested city centers, integrating with the mobility ecosystem to encourage transit and last-mile solutions, incorporating green construction techniques, and supporting electric vehicles. YourParkingSpace.com has gone one step further by launching the world’s first carbon-neutral car park.

The car park, which is located at YourParkingSpace’s London-based offices, is run on 100% renewable energy and, with the help of Circular Ecology, offsets the carbon emissions from drivers at the premises by finding an equivalent amount of carbon savings. The ground-breaking initiative was made possible by assessing the average distance driven by motorists to and from the car park, as well as establishing emissions data for each vehicle to calculate the car park’s total carbon emissions.

Of course, carbon offsetting is nothing new, but until now it has been an untapped opportunity within the parking industry. We will certainly be watching to see whether the industry as a whole takes the leap.

Are EV Work Fleets Possible?

EV charging icons painted onto parking spaces

From one green parking initiative to another. EV charging solutions provider, Metric, has been going one step further by creating an electric vehicle fleet for their employees. Providing electric vehicles and the infrastructure needed to support them goes a long way when it comes to transforming the image of the parking industry. But, it seems that there are still some creases to iron out before the industry can level up its green credentials.

Metric has identified several potential problems when trying to transfer their Service and Maintenance Team to electric vehicles. Charging infrastructure poses a problem in rural locations, where engineers may need to drive out of their way to recharge their vehicles, limiting the amount of work they can do in a day. And, as these rural locations are often busy during tourist seasons, there can be an issue of availability.

Furthermore, as the range of commercial vehicles can vary significantly depending on vehicle load many small vans have reduced the size and capacity of their batteries to increase storage capacity. So engineers who need to be able to complete a full eight-hour workday across a large geographic area may be better served by larger vehicles, with a longer battery life so that they are not impeded by significant recharge times.

In addition to these challenges, the feasibility report took into account other factors including charge speed and ability to deal with all types of chargers, and factoring in the use of heaters, satnav, trackers, charging phones, and even charging drill batteries and test equipment. Early indications suggest that EVs may not provide a solution for all Metric engineers, but as EV technology continues to improve a full EV fleet may become possible in the future.

Here’s How the Parking Industry Can Accelerate the EV Revolution

Rows of EV chargers

As governments around the world set targets for reducing emissions and increasing EV ownership the parking industry can step up to play a starring role. After all in the UK, as is surely the case for many other countries worldwide, transport is the largest emitting sector of the economy, responsible for 27% of greenhouse gas emissions, 55% of which comes from cars.

In our recent Quick Question videos, parking industry experts shared their thoughts on how parking can spearhead the transition to electric vehicles, from countering range anxiety through the implementation of public charging infrastructure to enforcing EV charging spaces and offering simple payment options. And, we took a closer look at six of the biggest challenges that we will need to overcome if we are to increase EV ownership.

Scaling the Sharing Economy

Person holds a mobile phone displaying a car parking space sharing app.

The acquisition of WhereiPark, a leading monthly parking marketplace in North America, by Spacer Technologies, the SaaS platform powering asset marketplaces, foreshadows a boom in the sharing economy. In recent years the space sharing economy has grown as operators and real estate owners look to monetize their space and minimize parking waste. Offices, schools, hotels, venues and shopping centers, and even driveways and curbs – all tend to fall vacant for a significant amount of time.

Offices, for instance, often located in residential areas, have parking spaces that lie vacant throughout the evening when many residents are returning from work and looking to park their cars. Using a space-sharing platform can help businesses monetize their real estate or simply give back to their community by making otherwise vacant spaces available to residents. And, as the debate rages on about parking minimums, perhaps space-sharing apps can offer a solution for parking oversupply.

Protecting Accessible Parking

A disabled parking sign with a parking garage and trees in the background

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, there are key requirements that public and commercial facilities should adhere to in order to ensure accessibility and functionality for all. For instance, a certain number of accessible parking spaces should be provided based on the size of a given parking facility.

Unfortunately, these designated parking spaces are often misused. According to BraunAbility, 74% of people have witnessed an accessible parking area being misused, and 2 out of 3 individuals will avoid visiting a location if they are unsure if it’s accessible. It is, therefore, in the best interest of parking owners and operators to safeguard the availability of these parking spaces for those who need them most. When it comes to the enforcement of these spaces, smart parking technology can be a cost-effective tool that helps to reduce enforcement patrols. By utilizing parking management software, parking operators can monitor parking violations and dispatch enforcement officers to issue citations and uphold compliance.

The Automation of Parking Continues

Automation of Parking

Together Renault and EasyPark Group are letting drivers experience the future of parking. By accessing the EasyPark app directly through the infotainment unit of Renault’s new car Megane E-Tech Electric drivers are able to automatically end a parking session as they leave a parking spot. The integration of parking apps into infotainment units has been gaining momentum in recent years, and enabling a car to automatically manage parking sessions without interaction from the driver, is the next logical step in the digitalization of the parking industry.

Parking and Retail – A Match Made in Heaven?

A woman stands at a check out

Retail partnerships which allow shop-owners to offer free or discounted parking to their visitors and employees can help parking operators enhance alternative revenue streams. By offering incentives to shoppers, they are encouraged to return to the shops, and therefore, the parking facility. And, for employees, free or discounted parking, is an added bonus that helps to reduce turnover rate and overhead costs for the employer.

By using a parking management platform, such as that offered by Get My Parking, the process is streamlined for both retailers and parking operators. Parking privileges can be provided in the form of validations or promo codes which can simply be entered while checking out of the car park. And, for employees, customized permits can be issued, and then invoices generated towards the end of the billing cycle. 

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