11/16/2020 | Press release | Archived content

Petrol is helping the elderly use free transport in 27 Slovenian municipalities

The PROSTOFER project includes a growing network of municipalities that enable the elderly free and environmentally friendly transport within the municipalities. Petrol, as an important part of the project, provides the supply of electric vehicles and the installation of the associated charging infrastructure. This expands the network of charging infrastructure, raises people's awareness of the development of sustainable mobility and, in addition, solves the problem of transport for the elderly.

Senior citizens who do not have their own transport, do not drive alone or have a lower income often have difficulty accessing basic services such as a health care, shops, etc. If we add on top of that the poor public transport connections, which are particularly paralysed now, during the pandemic, we can see that even visiting a friend on the other side of the city can be quite a challenge. Thanks to the PROSTOFER project, the elderly can get to their desired destination for free in an easy and environmentally friendly way. Novo Mesto has been using an electric car called Rudi for about three years. 'It is an important project in the local area, where, in addition to providing assistance to the elderly, the system also includes a network of volunteers from the Novo mesto retirement community who are doing very noble work as drivers,' says the Mayor of Novo Mesto, Gregor Macedoni.

Petrol is participating in this project as a supplier of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure. Where there is a need for transport for the elderly in an individual municipality, they provide an electric vehicle and in some places a compatible charging infrastructure. This is often highly desirable in this type of vehicle use, as it allows the vehicle to be parked in a safe place at all times (e.g. in front of the town hall) and can be charged all night, for example. In this way, the vehicle is fully charged every morning but does not occupy public spaces for charging electric vehicles.

'Petrol is one of the leading providers of sustainable mobility in Slovenia and the wider region. It is the head of two major EU projects (Urban-e and Multi-e) and a member of several others. These projects are aimed at ensuring sustainable mobility, both in terms of the installation, management and maintenance of charging infrastructure as well as obtaining grants for electric vehicles intended for public use. One such form of using electric vehicles is also transportation for the elderly. In doing so, Petrol has become an important strategic partner of many municipalities and companies, as it can provide them with high-quality charging infrastructure and at the same time obtain grants to facilitate the transition to e-mobility,' said Tadej Smogavec, head of Sustainable Mobility Development at Petrol.

List of municipalities:
Zreče; Oplotnica; Vrhnika; Šmarje pri Jelšah; Dobrepolje; Komen; Radlje ob Dravi; Logatec; Ravne na Koroškem; Ruše; Žalec; Jesenice; Ivančna Gorica; Žiri; Markovci; Ribnica; Loška dolina; Žirovnica; Kanal ob Soči; Braslovče; Škofja Loka; Železniki; Murska Sobota; Cerklje na Gorenjskem; Sotočje Institute (Municipality of Medvode): Gorenja vas - Poljane; Brezovica

'Our municipality was becoming increasingly aware that more and more citizens require assistance at home. Aid is needed mainly by people who are ill and alone and whose transport logistics are difficult. Last year, we concluded a cooperation with the company Petrol d.d., Ljubljana. In a short time, we received a BMW i3 electric car and two chargers. We trained seven drivers - 'prostofers' - and the campaign started up. We notice the great satisfaction of our citizens, and certainly we owe thanks to Petrol,' said the Deputy Mayor of the Municipality of Zreče, Drago Šešerko. By working with Petrol, municipalities get a reliable partner who assumes all the risks and costs incurred in using an electric vehicle. This relieves the burden on employees in municipalities and also provides advice on the introduction of other energy solutions.

They are also happy to be involved in the project in Škofja Loka. 'We want to offer all generations of our citizens the highest quality services in all areas. We are a town of volunteers and time and time again I am proud of our ability to stand together and give help. The responses of citizens are very positive. Even in these unfavourable 'corona-times', we have performed over ten transports in less than a month, half to the Škofja Loka health centre and half to specialist examinations in various institutions, as well as to Ljubljana, Bled and Jesenice. Depending on the circumstances, we could currently only provide emergency transport, but we are looking forward to public life coming back again, when our volunteers and 'prostofers' will be able to accompany an elderly person to the store and have a pleasant conversation,' added Tine Radinja, the Mayor of Škofja Loka.

The development of sustainable mobility is one of Petrol's key strategic directions for development

By working with municipalities and helping citizens access free transport throughout Slovenia, Petrol is expanding the network of electric charging infrastructure, helping municipalities to move into a sustainable future, raising awareness among the general public that electric vehicles are not only suitable for young people but also for slightly older people and, above all, following the set strategy of transition to a society that offers comprehensive energy solutions. Sustainable mobility is also an important element.