As Flix celebrates World Car-Free Day, CEO André Schwämmlein calls for a new mindset

+++ The average car in Germany emits 162 g CO2 per km. With an emission factor of 23 g CO2 per passenger km in Germany, FlixBus represents an affordable option to easily reduce one’s carbon footprint.

+++ Collective mobility can fight isolation for remote communities in times of fuel price increase. Of over 5,500 destinations connected by Flix’s network, 30% have less than 20,000 inhabitants.

+++ CEO André Schwämmlein: «The time has come to grow out of the old car-based approach and take on a collective mindset, for the sake of a healthier planet, a richer community and a happier society».


Munich, 22 September 2023 – On World Car-Free Day, Flix, the global travel tech provider, speaks up again to encourage more and more people to take on a collective approach to travel and join the company on their path to a more sustainable future in transport. To this purpose, it sheds light on the environmental benefit deriving from the shift from private to collective mobility.

Along with it, Flix wants to highlight how not only can collective travel contribute to a positive impact on the environment, but the societies at large can benefit from an extensive network of connections.

André Schwämmlein, CEO and co-founder of Flix said: «With every passing day, we are faced with the consequences of long-established processes turning to burdens for many: a tragic climate change also driven by individual car traffic, a new surge in fuel prices limiting the people’s right to travel, remote communities increasingly disconnected due to the lack of transportation. Promoting collective mobility can be a solution to all this. Acknowledging its importance is now more crucial than ever and something that must be tackled by all: us as mobility providers, the institutions, and the society as a whole».

«The time has come to grow out of the old mainly car-based approach and take on a collective mindset instead, for the sake of a healthier planet, a richer community, and a happier society. We will keep doing our part to bring affordable and sustainable travel for everyone, and we hope that as many people as possible will join along the path and help us turn this vision into reality», he concluded.


Easier on the environment by coach

The environmental advantages of long-distance bus travel have long been overlooked, mainly due to the technical challenges facing a sector that is still widely dependent on diesel. While zero-emission solutions for long-distance coaches are not yet available, Flix has been engaging with diverse partners over the years to pilot a variety of alternative drives and fuels that can anyway reduce its impact.

As an example, Flix just entered a deal with Scania to equip up to 50 coaches in its bus partners’ fleet with technologies allowing the use of Bio-LNG, with the goal of cutting up to 80% CO2 emissions.

Nonetheless, when comparing private cars to buses, also a traditional, diesel-powered FlixBus coach plays a role in limiting one’s travel footprint. While the average emission factor for cars in Germany is 162 g CO2 per km (114.7 is the average CO2 emission in 2022 across 27 EU countries), the average carbon footprint per person of a FlixBus in Germany is 23 g CO2 per km1

On a bus trip from Berlin to Hamburg, for example, this translates into 6,678.28 kg of CO2 per person being emitted instead of 47,038.32 for an individual car ride, equaling to 86% CO2 being saved.

Thanks to Flix’s modern fleet, predominantly equipped with Euro 6 coaches, Flix is able to limit its environmental impact, and it represents a key lever within its climate strategy. Other levers include optimal vehicle utilization and maximization of load factor, both of which are aided by Flix’s data-driven approach and continuous analysis of the demand.

According to available data, over 800,000 tonnes of CO2 were avoided by Flix customers worldwide choosing its mobility services over other modes of transport, such as cars and planes2.


Beyond environmental sustainability: collective mobility as a trigger for community wealth

While choosing coaches over cars plays a central role in reducing the overall impact of road traffic, the benefits of collective transportation are not just limited to the environmental sphere.

In fact, relying on effective travel solutions can also translate into valuable opportunities for both the individual and the wider communities.

On one side, surges in fuel prices like those experienced in the past months and resurfacing just now are likely to affect, to some extent, one’s possibility to travel where collective services are not at hand. Providing remote, underserviced areas with an effective network of connections can make a difference for residents of these regions in times of price increase, ultimately securing their right to travel.

The same applies to the rural communities themselves, home to around 30% of the EU’s population3 according to EU figures and regarded as possible hubs for ideas on more sustainable business models4. The huge mobility divide that exists between urban and non-urban contexts can undermine their local economic growth potential via, for example, tourism, on top of limiting the mobility of residents.

Enabling easier travel to these areas, thus attracting new visitors and creating new opportunities for the local heritage, can result in new value generated for the communities: a goal which has been ever since pursued by Flix by constantly increasing the number of small towns in its network while boosting connections with major centers. Of over 5,500 destinations currently being connected by Flix, 30% have less than 20,000 inhabitants. 


1 German Environmental Agency (UBA), 2019, and Flix Well-to-Wheel analysis, 2021.

2 German Environmental Agency (UBA), 2019, Flix Well-to-Wheel analysis, 2021, Flix business data and Flix customer ride survey. 

3 ELTIS, Bridging urban-rural transport divides, March 2023: www.eltis.org/in-brief/news/bridging-urban-rural-transport-divides 5 European Parliamentary Research Service, The future of the EU’s rural areas, March 2022: www.epthinktank.eu/2022/03/14/the-future-of-the-eus-rural-areas/

4 European Parliamentary Research Service, The future of the EU’s rural areas, March 2022: www.epthinktank.eu/2022/03/14/the-future-of-the-eus-rural-areas/


About Flix  


Flix is pioneering the transport sector by offering climate-friendly alternatives for convenient and affordable travel via the FlixBus and FlixTrain brands. Thanks to a unique business model and innovative technology, Flix has quickly established Europe’s largest long-distance bus network and swiftly moved on to a global expansion including the United States, Canada and Brazil. As a trailblazer for sustainable traffic Flix operated the first green long-distance trains in 2018, initiated a pilot project for all-electric long-distance buses in 2018 and launched EU’s first biogas-powered long-distance buses in 2021.  

While Flix handles technology development, network planning, operations control, marketing and sales, quality management and continuous product expansion, trusted Flix-partners maintain the daily route operations. The unique combination of technology start-up, e-commerce platform and classic transport company has positioned Flix as a leader against major international corporations, permanently changing the global mobility landscape. 

For more information, visit: www.corporate.flixbus.com