August 23rd, 2023
evee is a car-sharing platform with a unique selling point: all their vehicles are electric.
The company has Australia’s largest fleet of electric vehicles available for rent and ensures the vehicles’ usage is maximized.
To date, evee have completed over 18,000 rental days, preventing over 200 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions from entering the atmosphere. They have also enabled over 150 car owners to purchase an electric vehicle, which would otherwise be unaffordable.
Despite the concept of car sharing and renting building momentum in Australia, the use of petrol, diesel and other fossil fuel-powered vehicles persists. And while uptake of Electric Vehicles (EVs) is important to move towards a clean energy future, EVs are often not the most accessible and affordable option for many.
Enter evee - Australia’s 100 percent electric car-sharing platform - enabling people to rent and borrow electric cars from existing EV owners and accelerating the overall use of EVs nationwide. By making electric cars an accessible option, evee are showing that while transportation is indispensable to our way of life, compromising the health of our planet should not be.
We sat down with Slava Kozlovskii, the founder and CEO of evee, about his passion to build Australia’s clean energy future by combining EV accessibility and the sharing economy.
“evee’s primary role is to accelerate electric vehicle adoption and to support a cleaner future for all. Our peer-to-peer (P2P) car-sharing platform does this across both sets of our customers, renters and car owners (or hosts).”
“On the host’s side, we are speeding up EV uptake by reducing the barriers to ownership. At present, electric cars can be very expensive to purchase, however evee allows car owners a chance to rent their vehicle out and bring down the costs of ownership, making them more accessible. It’s simple - the cheaper EVs are to own, the more people will be able to buy them.”
“On the renter’s side, EVs become more present in the market and often cheaper to rent. In our experience, this exposure and increased accessibility to electric cars often act as the catalyst for renters to like these cars and buy their own. In this way, evee acts as a positive feedback loop, accelerating EV uptake in Australia.”
“It’s great to be supporting electric cars and we absolutely want more of them on the road as a replacement for internal combustion engines, although we recognise EVs still have their own environmental footprint and a clean environment for future generations is not one in which every person has their own vehicle. It simply isn’t sustainable and causes a huge drain on resources, which isn’t necessary given that nobody is driving their car 100 per cent of the time – about 95% of the time a car is usually parked. It’s about maximising what’s already in circulation.”
“The world is moving towards a more electric global fleet, but we need to pick up pace; particularly here in Australia where EV uptake is moving at a painstakingly slow pace.”
“evee is about circulating products and materials, keeping cars in the system and using them to their highest value and fullest amount.”
“While there are other companies in Australia who do car sharing, evee is proud to have a 100 per cent electric focus - an extra step towards a clean future. We’ve been this way since being founded in 2016 and will remain steadfast in our mission moving forward.”
When resources are limited, it is paramount that the idea itself must possess greater significance to withstand the challenging periods of uncertainty and financial constraints. Building strong relationships is a critical part of this, and although time-consuming, I have come to appreciate its value.
“While the wider public was coming to know EVs as the safer and sustainable option, they remained extremely expensive and inaccessible to so many people. So, my (now) wife and I bought our Tesla in 2016 and started a car-sharing company with a mission to make EVs more affordable and accessible and ultimately accelerate the uptake of zero emission transport.”
“When evee started there were fewer than 1,000 electric vehicles in Australia, accounting for a mere 0.005% of the country's overall fleet. Understandably, the industry held strong reservations regarding the future adoption of EVs, including concerns about their safety. Main concerns were received from the insurance industry and this continued over the years. Overcoming this necessitated engaging with over 100 insurers before finally securing our first underwriting contract, which only permitted coverage for company-owned vehicles.”
“To launch, it was necessary to acquire a fleet due to the insurance limitations surrounding car sharing. Gradually, we expanded our fleet to validate the concept before transitioning to a fully decentralised P2P model. This brought about significant operational changes, particularly with our online platform, as we shifted from a booking platform to a comprehensive two-sided B2C marketplace. Consequently, we had to adapt our customer relationship management strategies to cater to both EV owners and renters.”
“Free from the constraints of fleet and brick-and-mortar operations, our P2P model has successfully established in key cities across Australia and New Zealand and can swiftly start operations in any new location.”
“When resources are limited, it is paramount that the idea itself must possess greater significance to withstand the challenging periods of uncertainty and financial constraints. Building strong relationships is a critical part of this, and although time-consuming, I have come to appreciate its value. It was also crucial for us to involve investors and advisors right from the start, as well as to bring software engineers and designers on board.”
“One barrier that we came across was people’s unwillingness to share their vehicle with a stranger at the start. Having a strict verification process through a third-party verification system checking people’s driver's licence and ensuring their record was clean helped tackle this.”
“It's ideal to incorporate circularity into the business model right from the start. However, if you already have established operations, there's room to reconsider how you source materials and resources and enhance the value of your current products. In our case, instead of following the conventional practice of buying brand new fleets from the manufacturer, we embrace older and second-hand EVs for rent.”
“We also generate income by leveraging an electric car already being used for personal travel needs and maximise utilisation, effectively offsetting tailpipe emissions. Another crucial aspect is the end-of-use process. It's essential to have principles in place to ensure that your product or service retains value even after customers have used it. In our case, we've seen many vehicles being purchased because of a rental and then placed up for rent again by the new owner.”
“We have completed over 18,000 rental days so far, preventing over 200 tonnes of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. We have also enabled over 150 car owners to purchase an electric vehicle, which would otherwise be unaffordable”.
“We succeeded in raising 1.6 million dollars through an equity crowdfunding campaign. We know people support what we do, but seeing the backing from our community in this way was incredible and reaffirmed that people do want change and what we are doing matters.”
“Ultimately, the people who are doing good for the planet should be rewarded too (in evee’s case, through rental earnings) - this incentivises EV ownership and renting it out. From a resource extraction perspective too, cars are very resource-intensive products and having a car sharing marketplace helps lighten the impact on the earth, especially when you consider how often cars are used as a percentage.”
"evee has helped foster a sense of community. Our hosts are very passionate about this movement and their cars and this is passed on to the people who rent from them. Our hosts never shy away from answering questions or providing support. This warm reception undoubtedly creates a good impression of electric cars for renters, to the point where they may be more likely to buy one and pass the enthusiasm onto others.”
"Ready to experience an electric car during your next business or leisure trip? Or perhaps you're exploring the idea of sharing an electric vehicle with others? Visit us at evee.com.au - your gateway to the world of electric car sharing."