Earlier this year, in April, Porsche hired Thilo Koslowski away from Gartner to head up their initiatives implementing innovative technologies, especially in the areas of connectivity, digital customer experiences, smart mobility and autonomous vehicles. Then, just one month later, Porsche founded Porsche Digital GmbH, with Thilo as its Managing Director, to “further develop Porsche as the leading provider of digital mobility solutions in the premium automotive segment.” Apparently, Koslowski has wasted no time in working toward those objectives as today comes word of Porsche Digital GmbH’s first venture investment in parking solution specialist Evopark.
Evopark is a Cologne based start-up looking to revolutionize paid parking in urban areas. Using an RFID equipped parking pass, Evopark equipped garages will allow users automatic and cashless access to parking garages and underground parking facilities. The chip in the Evopark pass will monitor your time in and out and then consolidate billing at the end of each month. An Evopark app shows users and cardholders where parking is currently available and will even provide navigation to a chosen space.
Porsche Drivers Park For Free
Starting with the announcement of Porsche Digital GmbH’s investment, and for a period of 3-months, both Porsche and Audi drivers can park at no cost for the first hour at parking garages operated by Evopark partners. In addition, to the partnership with Porsche and Audi, Evopark has many other relationships that provide credits, discounts and free parking opportunities just for using their system and shopping with one of the partners.
“We are working feverishly on including attractive value-added services so parking becomes a positive experience for our customers. The cooperation with Evopark is our first systematic step in this direction,” says Peter Jost, Director Sales Coordination & Strategy at Porsche.
Evopark was founded in Cologne in 2014. Currently, the parking service is available in 16 German cities and at 37 car parks and underground parking facilities. National and international car park operators such as B+B Parkhaus, Goldbeck and Q-Park are working closely with the start-up. Cooperation partners also include the major manufacturers of parking management systems, Scheidt & Bachmann, as well as Skidata, the AXA insurance company and renowned retail chains offering parking validation to shoppers. With Porsche’s “seven-digit” investment, Evopark should be able to expand quite quickly.
“Porsche is giving us real impetus in establishing a nationwide digital parking service,” says Evopark executive Tobias Weiper. “The search for a parking spot is the reason for almost 30% of inner-city driving. At the same time, however, many spots in parking garages stand empty.” Evopark is making a positive contribution to inner-city mobility. The goal, according to Weiper, is “an open platform for off-street parking in Germany and Europe.