Have you ever wondered what it’s like to drive an electric vehicle? What if we told you that you could, indeed, drive one on a daily basis without having to buy one?
Enter, Yoogo Share, winner of the 2018 NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards Smarter Transport Award. What started out in 2014 as a vehicle leasing and fleet management business, Yoogo Share saw an opportunity to start a pure electric car sharing company.
“We were this tiny little New Zealand leasing company against big multinational leasing companies, and one of our points of difference was putting GPS into every single car,” says Kirsten Corson, Yoogo Share’s General Manager.
“We could see that we were leasing all these cars and managing fleets that were sitting in carparks all day. And for us, we thought ‘well that’s pretty stupid… it’s a huge waste of money’ so we looked at some smarter ways to optimize a fleet. We looked internationally, and could see that car sharing had been around for decades in Europe and North America and we thought; well maybe there’s an opportunity in that.”
Yoogo Share saw that businesses found it hard to make leasing electric vehicles stack up financially, because of the high capital costs of EVs, as well as the additional costs to purchase and install their charging units.
They started working with Christchurch City Council in 2016 who committed to exiting 55 of their combustion pool cars out of their fleet.
“In 2017 Yoogo Share was appointed to implement a shared fleet across Christchurch by the City Council. We launched in February in 2018 with 8 hubs around the city and 100 electric vehicles. All pure electric vehicles with zero emissions. That was how we started Yoogo Share. And so now we have 2 sides of our business – Yoogo Fleet which still does vehicle leasing and fleet management and Yoogo Share which is the pure electric car sharing side."
Sustainability is obviously at the core of their values and for Yoogo Share, sustainability is all encompassing.
“Obviously a business has to have financial stability and sustainability but we think it’s important to deliver an environmentally sustainable service that gives back.
“In 2018 when we hit 50 tonnes of carbon savings, we partnered with Meridian Energy and Hyundai to plant 1000 trees in the Port Hills in Christchurch with the help of some of our business members, as well as the Air New Zealand Green Team. That was our way of also giving back to Cantabrians. Currently in Christchurch, we’ve just hit 150 tons of carbon savings for the city which is a really good feeling.
Really, it’s our customers have reached this milestone – just by driving our cars! We’re making sustainability accessible to everyone in the Christchurch region and in time, to everyone in NZ too.”
So what’s next for Yoogo Share? There’s definitely a plan to expand to more cities around New Zealand, with Auckland already starting to see an increase in Yoogo Share cars. There’s no doubt that Yoogo Share is going places and paving the path for a more sustainable New Zealand.
Watch the full story here.