Great news came on Tuesday at the Los Angeles Auto Show as newcomer Evercar officially launched its electric on-demand carsharing service. This is an exciting announcement given the popularity of carsharing services, which Evercar is specifically targeting with its service, and it should help to increase exposure to EVs — to both drivers and passengers.
It’s not clear from the initial announcement if the service is restricted to drivers of one of those services or if anyone can jump in, though I’m personally hoping they will open it up to individuals (why wouldn’t they?). I suppose one could just sign up to be an uber/lyft/etc driver and take one out for a spin and just happen to not pick up any riders during that time….
Digging into Evercar’s angle on this market, Evercar believes that on-demand drivers often don’t want to put miles on their personal vehicle — or maybe don’t even own a vehicle — but still want to drive for money. This fills that neat little gap without the messy bits of owning a car like extra insurance, cleaning(!), and repairs, which can be major barriers (for gasmobile owners 😀 ). EVs in and of themselves are a major improvement vs. the repairs and fuel costs that gasmobiles have to deal with, but still don’t magically clean themselves, but it sounds like the service has plans to address that separately.
Evercar is built on top of the technology platform and metrics put together by Vision Fleet, which itself was developed in order to manage the “Freedom Fleet” in Indianapolis. We covered the launch of the “Freedom Fleet” here last year, as it was big news, with hundreds of EVs flooding Indianapolis, and it’s fantastic to hear chapter two of that story panning out now.
Specifically, Evercar will exclusively utilize the Nissan Leaf EV at launch, which allows drivers to drive 80–90 miles on a charge as they cart their passengers around town. Additionally, the service includes the cost of fast-charging during a rental and goes so far as to include charge cards for popular fast-charging networks (though drivers would be paying the rental cost during the time the vehicle charges). From their press release:
“We know electric vehicles are more efficient and environmentally friendly, and we’ve seen how they can save taxpayers in places like Indianapolis, Colorado and Atlanta, but we haven’t fully unleashed how they can be used to democratize access to our ondemand economy,” said Vision Fleet CEO Michael Brylawski. “Evercar provides vehicles at a low hourly rate to ride-sharing drivers who want to become urban entrepreneurs.”
Upon signing up, Evercar adds drivers to its insurance and requires them to attend an in-person demo where Evercar provides training on the cars, its process, and the like. The FAQs on its website provides a fairly comprehensive overview of what the service offers. It also notes that drivers can take the cars home overnight, though they will have to pay the hourly rate for the car through the night, which, at $5/hour, isn’t cheap — but at least it’s available if needed.
On top of this flexibility, they don’t have a membership fee or require contracts, meaning drivers can just start and stop using the service as it suits them. This sounds great and really speaks to Evercar’s commitment to supporting these ad-hoc drivers. The service is currently set up to serve the greater Los Angeles area and has vehicles to reserve in three locations:
- Downtown Los Angeles
- Marina del Rey
- Santa Monica
The company plans to expand further in the Los Angeles metro area in early 2016 with a full nationwide expansion by the end of 2016, as long as the initial pilot goes well:
“Our success with this pilot and the enthusiasm of our drivers tells us that we’ve found a way to match up environmentally friendly technology with a willing workforce in an economy that’s shifting toward more and more on-demand services,”Hirsch said. “We’ve introduced electric vehicles to a brand-new group of drivers, and they love the experience.”
For more information on Evercar, check out myevercar.com/sign-up
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