Electric car sharing on way for Dunedin?

Yoogo Share general manager Kirsten Corson and chief executive David Jenkinson. Photo: Supplied
Yoogo Share general manager Kirsten Corson and chief executive David Jenkinson. Photo: Supplied
Why own a car when you can share use of one without worrying about Wof, insurance, registration and other ownership headaches?

Start-up Yoogo Share, New Zealand's only pure electric car sharing scheme, has answered the call for the ''car version'' of Lime scooters.

The brainchild of former FleetPartners manager David Jenkinson and online retail specialist Kirsten Corson, Yoogo was launched in February 2018 in Christchurch, with 100 Hyundai IONIQ and BMW i3 EVs.

These were mostly leased by large ''foundation partners'' such as Beca, Aurecon and Chapman Tripp, as well as the Christchurch City Council, following the council's decision to drop 55 of its petrol pool cars.

Ms Corson, Yoogo general manager, said the aim of the business was to ''democratise'' electric vehicles. She said the scheme had already grown to 3000 subscribers, with more than 2000 bookings a month.

As with Lime scooters, members book cars via the Yoogo share app and cars are accessed via a share access card.

''The only real difference to the concept is that cars are picked up and dropped off at one of our hubs, rather than left on the sidewalk,'' Ms Corson said.

Priced at $16 per share hour or $22 for 90 minutes EV car sharing, the cost was less than the effective $18 per hour for a Lime scooter. Members also had the option of buying an after-hours EV subscription service at a cost of under $400 per month.

''This means you can book, pick up a car on Friday at 4pm and return it Monday morning by 9am, giving you access to a car for the weekend,'' Ms Corson said.

The company has seven hubs in Christchurch city and the airport, as well as one in the Auckland CBD, where it operates two cars at present.

Ms Corson said the company had already confirmed sites in Wellington and had a ''promising discussion'' with the Dunedin City Council and local businesses.

Yoogo's expansion plans were likely to be stimulated with the help of new shareholder Genesis Energy, which yesterday announced it had bought a 40% stake in the company for $2 million, valuing the start-up at $5 million.

Genesis Energy chief executive Marc England said the investment was in line with the company's focus on supporting the move to a lower-carbon future, ''providing opportunity for Genesis' business customers, many of whom are on the verge of transitioning pool car fleets to EVs''.

While Ms Corson would not confirm the number of cars in the fleet so far, as being commercially sensitive, she estimated the scheme had so far saved more than 200 tonnes of carbon emissions.

''As a concept, car sharing has been around for 20 years in North America and Europe. On a broader scale the sharing economy is really in its infancy, so we do expect a plethora of competitors.''



"rather than left on the sidewalk" err footpath. We are not in America now Ms Corson.