In the countryside, many people depend on the car. How can you enable them to be climate-friendly and affordable? For the series "The Mobilizers" we have looked at initiatives that try it.

If you want to visit Karl-Richard Nissen without your own car, come to Leck in Schleswig-Holstein. It continues only with the Rufbus, with which the journey according to timetable app can sometimes take an hour - depending on where the bus is currently. Since one is glad that Nissen, 71, weather-tinged and except for the gray temples still blond, so much in the Dörpsmobil rises to pick up his visit. Dörp is Low German for village and everyone in Sprakebüll can borrow the electric Renault Zoe for 2.50 euros an hour.

The e-car village


"What moves us is what drives us", in green letters on the black lacquer. Carefully, Nissen threads himself into the flowing traffic that flows past the bus station in the direction of the small business center of Leck. The E-car has a great start preparing him for the threading.

Car sharing in country style - is this the future of rural mobility? At a time when people are moving into big cities and rural infrastructure is suffering? Nissen waves off. "The Dörpsmobil is only a small part of our idea." The whole idea was born in 2016 - out of annoyance.

Mayor Karl-Richard Nissen, in the background the Bürgerwindpark © Simon Frost for ZEIT ONLINE

Around the village in Schleswig-Holstein generate two community wind farms green electricity, which is fed into the grid. The income from the investments goes back to the accounts of the investors - and in this case that is about 150 Sprakebüller and residents of neighboring Stadum. But the wind turbines were too often quiet. The pipeline network was already fully utilized by conventionally generated electricity, says ChristianAndresen, blond, full beard and mid-40s. He is managing director of Solar-Energie Andresen GmbH and responsible for the management of the wind farm. His solution for the excess electricity: charging electric cars with it.

A pioneering idea

This led to a boom in Sprakebüll: In the meantime, more than 20 derrund 250 cars in the place purely electric on the way. "We have the largest density of electric cars in Germany here," says Mayor Nissen. Nobody has contradicted him, not even in Flensburg, about 30 kilometers to the east. There, at the Federal Motor Transport Authority, at the beginning of this year, 83,000 purely electrically powered passenger cars were registered - out of a total of 47 million. Far from the once formulated goal of the Federal Government: one million cars by 2020.

Renewable energy entrepreneur Christian Andresen © Simon Frost for ZEIT ONLINE

If so many people were driving electrically throughout Germany as in Sprakebüll, it would have been 3.76 million. Why succeeded in the province in Schleswig-Holstein, what failed the federal government? With subsidies Andresen was able to move 15 shareholders of the community wind farms to switch to the comparatively expensive and not very far-reaching E-Mobile. The expertise of the Greentec campus, which is around 15 kilometers southwest, also helped with advice and purchase. The former military site is home to some 20 companies engaged in renewable energy, e-mobility and autonomous driving. "Since 2013, we have provided more than 400 e-mobiles to the whole of Schleswig-Holstein and even to Lower Saxony," says Andrea Jensen from the management of the Greentec Campus. The idea of ​​using e-cars as storage for specially produced green electricity is more likely unusual. "The pioneers are already in Sprakebüll."