A local start-up created by islanders will be launching an all-electric vehicle club providing cars, vans and bikes in a bid to make transport more sustainable and efficient in the island.
EVie members will be able to find, reserve, lock and unlock any club vehicle using the Evie app.
The app – funded entirely by private investors - is the brainchild of entrepreneur Gavin Breeze, owner of Ruellan's Garage Andrew Ruellan, and Michael Burrow.
Pictured: EVie members will be able to find, reserve, lock and unlock any club vehicle using the Evie app.
Mr Breeze says he was inspired to start EVie after he heard JT’s Chairman, Phil Male, talk about how Jersey should be all electric at a Digital Jersey event 18 months ago.
“I agree with that,” Mr Breeze said. “Then came the question of, ‘How do you make that happen?'”
With electric vehicles being more expensive than their non-electric counterparts, Mr Breeze thought that getting people to experience electric cars might encourage them to buy one in the future.
Pictured: Renting an EVie vehicle will cost £7.50 an hour.
He therefore came up with the idea of a car sharing club that would offer “mobility as a service”, which sees people move away from personally-owned modes of transportation in the same way they are now renting their music from Spotify and films from Netflix.
“The average resident buys a car, then adds the insurance, fuel and parking for a car that is not used 95% of the time,” Mr Breeze explained. “Mobility as a service is about using the vehicle when you want to and only when you want to.”
Islanders will be able to rent the EVie vehicles for £7.50 an hour, which will include the costs of electricity, insurance, maintenance, and parking.
The app will also enable them to find the nearest available car for the time slot they require, book it, collect it, as well as lock and unlock it.
Pictured: The company hopes to have 20 cars on the roads by the end of 2020.
The cars will be equipped with telematics that will enable the EVie team to lock the car, shut it down and ensure the keys have been left in the vehicle for the next user.
The service will launch in early 2020 in St. Helier, where the team has had to work with the Parish to get parking spaces.
“The most critical point has been the parking,” Mr Breeze said. “We had to navigate some entrenched views of transport.
“If people get angry about seeing a reserved space for our vehicles, I say that one car can be used by everybody, whereas a privately-owned car can only be used by one person.”
Pictured: Four spaces have been allocated to the car sharing club in St. Helier.
EVie has obtained four spaces in town so far and further ones should be allocated in the future by the Growth, Housing and Environment department.
Mr Breeze also said private landlords have been in touch to offer space for the vehicles to be parked.
The Jersey Electricity Company (JEC) will be providing the charging points by early 2020.
James Haywood, Business Development Manager at Digital Jersey, assisted the team in the discussions with the government and the parishes.
A former Senior Stakeholder Manager at Zipcar – a pay-as-you-drive car club with over one million members and more than 12,000 vehicles in the world – Mr Haywood said that the EVie project fitted perfectly with Digital Jersey’s agenda.
Pictured: With EVie, half an hour on the road will cost less than a coffee.
“It is a viable alternative to only private cars,” Mr Haywood said, adding that research shows that every car share on the road helps remove 18 private cars.
“If you can get people who have just started in their first job or an apprenticeship, who have a bit of money and are considering buying a car, if you can delay that buying, it’s one less car on the road.
“It’s really important to get people involved. It’s pretty cheap, half an hour is less than a cup of coffee. There are not money things you can get for less than a coffee.”
“Jersey is a small community with such potential,” Mr Haywood added. “This is the best of what car sharing has to offer. Other places have done car sharing but because of the size of Jersey, we can leapfrog and be electric!”
Pictured: Electric bikes will launch in April 2020.
Mr Breeze hopes to have 20 EVie vehicles on the road by the end of next year, and to double this by the end of 2021. The fleet will be mixed with small cars and vans – the first one having been already bought – to suit islanders’ varied needs.
In April, the start-up will also launch 100 bicycles onto the roads using the same booking principles.
“We are starting small,” Mr Breeze said. “We are trying to match demand among club members. We do not want people to hire a vehicle and find there is none available.
“The idea is that everybody can have access to mobility as a service.”
Pictured top: Andrew Ruellan and Gavin Breeze with the first vehicle in the EVie fleet, a BMW i3.
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