Pioneering in electrification

Pioneering in electrification


The Municipality of Rethymno was composed in 2011 from the merge of the municipality of Arkadi, Lappaion, Nikiforou Foka and Rethymno with approximately 62.000 population. 


Read more:  www.rethymno.gr

Objective Action

The Municipality of Rethymno is the first greek municipality joining the CIVITAS initiative which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption in the mobility sector. The Municipality is a partner in the "CIVITAS DESTINATIONS" project, funded by the European Commission under the HORIZON 2020 Mobility for Growth call and aims to implement sustainable mobility and innovative measures at touristic destinations.

In the framework of this project and actively supporting the vision of sustainable development, the Municipality implements a series of measures to promote alternative means of transport and actions to raise public awareness.

The main purposes are:

• Promoting electromobility and the use of clean and alternative vehicles

• Change in mentality and shift to sustainable modes of transport

• Healthy local environment

• Improving the quality of life

• Reduction in energy consumption and CO2 emissions

• Reduction in noise caused by traffic in the city

Improving and promoting the city as a sustainable touristic destination.


Target Audience

The actions that started in the framework of the European project CIVITAS DESTINATIONS are for all including locals and visitors.

It's all about interventions which have been implemented in the public space, have been attributed to the public and are now available to everyone. Therefore with the e-bike sharing system, the e-scooters sharing system as well as th e-bus which is fully accessible to the disabled people, the shift from private vehicles is achieved.



The actions started in 2017 when the CIVITAS DESTINATIONS project was approved, the EV-chargers were installed early 2018 and all the actions were completed in 2019 with the launch of the electric bus.


The Municipality of Rethymno as a partner in the European Project CIVITAS DESTINATIONS has been actively supporting the vision for sustainable development and therefore implements actions related to electromobility both with the installation of equipment and raising awareness.

The Municipality of Rethymno is a popular touristic destination and designs and implements action to upgrade the quality of life of both locals and visitors.

Through the Project, the Municipality of Rethymno installed three double chargers for electric vehicles in the city centre, which are the first and so far the only free public chargers at a regional level. Also one fast charger was installed and the charges are for free of charge. It is worth noting that  both parking and charging are for free where chargers are installed. The locations of the chargers were defined through a study giving additional incentives to the dusers. The  Municipality of Rethymno aims to promote the use of electric vehicles as an alternative means of transportation, contributing to the reduction of air pollution and noise pollution in the city.

At the same time, the Municipality of Rethymno is a pioneer city by adding to its fleet a 100% electric vehicle serving the needs of the Technical Services Department of the Municipality in the general context of promoting electricomobility.

The Municipality of Rethymno launched the first electric bus  in public fleet at a national level. This e-bus runs around the historic center to serve  citizens and visitors. It started its route in June 2019 and is leased by the PT operator (KTEL Chania-Rethymno) within the CIVITAS DESTINATIONS project providing free transportation for passengers.

Rethymno has attracted and supported private investments in the city and the  the dockless sharing system with electric bicycles which operates in Rethymno is the first one in Greece promoting sustainable mobility alternatives. This system started operating with 300 electric bicycles without parking bases in June 2018.

The second private initiative was the e-scooters sharing system and was launched in the city of Rethymnon in the summer of 2019 with more than 300 e-scooters operating in the city.

Special emphasis was given to awareness raising campaigns about electromobility. Thus, an exhibition of electric vehicles was organized during the European Mobility Week 2018 and 2019 with excessive repsponse and the municipa;ity was awarded the second price for EMW2019. Also, it was very important that the vice Minister of Infrastructure and Transport Mr. Kefalogiannis Ioannis and the General Secretary  of Spatial Planning and Urban Environment Mr. Bakogiannis Efthymios  were also present. The visitors had the opportunity to learn more about the electric vehicles and to do a test drive. The most important part of the e-mobility project in Rethymnon was that it is an integrated approach targeting different mobility options. Companies such as BMW, Nissan, VW, Eco-cars and of course the municipal e-golf. participated promoting electromobility.

For the dissemination of e-mobility and the promotion of sustainable alternatives, numerous interviews were given on local radio and newspapers as well as social media posts and press releases.

All these actions aim at changing the mentality of locals and visitors with the ultimate goal of reducing the use of private vehicles in the city of Rethymnon.


Impact on Society

After the implementation of the above measures, the residents  showed interest in electromobility. It is worth noting that there are more than ten electric vehicles in the city of Rethymno and several private e-scooters! The Municipal Council has been supporting all actions related to the promotion of electricomobility. The engagement of locals and visitors is presented with statistics for the EV-chargers use, the use of e-bikes and e-scooters sharing systems and the passengers of the electric bus.

The statistics from the EV- chargers present very optimistic results about the future of electromobility in Rethymno. THere are over  503 charges with Total energy consumption: 3255,7057 KWh! for their operation. 

The e-bikes sharing system has been highly attractive from both locals and visitors with 900 registered users and about 2,000 rentals for the first month of operation.

The records fpr the first month of operation of the e-scooters sharing system were also impressive with 27,409 routes and 7,263 users and an average distance of 1.3km.

Therefore, by promoting these alternative modes of transport, the shift from the private vehicle to sustainable modes of transport is achieved.

Initiative Location

The project was implemented in Rethymno and the interventions were spatially implemented in the city of the Rethymno, however the benefits extended to the wider areas.


Working with Organization

The CIVITAS DESTINATIONS project was implemented in the framework of HORIZON 2020 and had the objective of the exchanging best practices among all the partners of the program.

The Municipality of Rethymno implemented all project actions and the Technical Services Department was the leading service. In order to implement all actions, the Municipality made applications and received the approvals from the relevant services and public bodies and therefore cooperations were origrinated.

More specifically,  there was a close cooperation with the Public Transport operator (KTEL) for the leasing and operation of the electric bus, fostering a good cooperation and further collaboration.

The cooperation of the public  and private sector was also enhanced by the e-bikes and e-scooters sharing systems which are always implemented based on the existing national legislation.


Workers Participation

A number of employees collaborated to prepare all necessary procedures for the actions implementation. More specifically, a project manager was responsible for the monitoring, following  the project requirements, the planned actions, the schedules and the critical points during the implementation. The employees in the Technical Services Department of the Municipality of Rethymno were alloacted task from the planning phase, the preparation, the procurement and the communication with the subcontractors and designers achieving the implementation of the Project. Also, the Administrative and Financial Municipal Departments cooperated with the Technical Srvices Department for all necessary actions and financial management decisions.


Benefits for Οrganization

The main benefits for the Municipality has been gaining all the experience and know-how during the implementation of these actions. The cooperation between the officials and the politicians and the public and private sector was achieved, raising their awareness about electromobility.

The electric car covers the needs of the Technical Services Department of the Municipality, and the employees  experience the benefits of the energy save.

Connection with Global Goals

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