Starting in January 2017, there will be 150 Hyundai IONIQ EVs deployed in Los Angeles as part of WaiveCar’s “free” all-electric carsharing program.
The new partnership, which WaiveCar apparently suggested as part of Hyundai’s Project IONIQ open call, will see a further 250 IONIQ EVs deployed by the end of 2017 in conjunction with WaiveCar’s launch in 3 new cities.
To explain the “free” nature of WaiveCar, as we reported in our earlier articles on WaiveCar, the firm utilizes a business model based around 2 hours of free on-demand use, and a surcharge of $5.99 for every hour past the 2 hour mark. The cars in question are heavily decorated in advertising and feature a roof-mounted digital display.
Thanks to the relatively low operating costs of electric vehicles (EVs), the firm is apparently able to generate enough advertising revenue that such a model makes sense. The advertising in question is apparently geo-targeted based on time and location, with the 4G connection allowing for easy control of the system.
Notably, users are able to drop the cars off at a variety of designated spots, not particular ones, making one-way trips an option.
“WaiveCar presents some great solutions for us,” stated Mark Dipko, director of corporate planning and strategy at Hyundai Motor America. “The IONIQ offers emissions-free transportation to on-the-go Angelenos. This partnership allows us to reach potential customers and give them the opportunity to test drive our outstanding IONIQ electric while generating awareness for the IONIQ brand at the same time.”
The press release provides a bit more information: “The program, which will launch in early 2017, is Hyundai’s first large-scale involvement in car-sharing and is aimed at making it easy for those without a vehicle to access short-term, free, and engaging transportation. Customers can simply download WaiveCar’s app for iPhone or Android, find an IONIQ near them, book it and start driving — no cards or keys necessary. WaiveCar then unlocks the door for consumers remotely, where they can find the keys inside. Insurance is also part of the all-inclusive-deal.”
As a reminder, the Hyundai IONIQ EV features an EPA-rated 124 mile range — fairly substantial, but not on the level of the upcoming Chevy Bolt EV of Tesla Model 3. Notably, Hyundai execs have publicly commented obliquely on that, saying that the range wasn’t sufficient over the long term and that the 2018 IONIQ EV would feature a range of at least 200 miles.
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