Financial Fridays: Bringing Carsharing to Properties

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Welcome to movmi’s Financial Fridays micro-webinar series. Every other month, movmi’s Venkatesh Gopal will be inviting an exceptional panel of experts to join a discussion on shared mobility operating financials and business models. The series will explore key financial aspects of a diverse range of business models from sharing to subscription and even integrating MaaS along the way. The goal is to get a deeper understanding of operational management, utilization, electric vehicles, customer loyalty, technology, insurance and much more.

For the fifth session of our Financial Fridays series this year, movmi is joined by Thomas Martin, Director of Business Development at SWTCH, Judith Häberli,Co-Founder and CEO at Urban Connect AG and Galina Russell, a mobility and tech expert who has helped startups such as REEF and Envoy. In this webinar, the panel discusses bringing carshare to your property and sheds light on how carsharing, especially EVs, can help:

  • Reduce costs for developers and have proven to provide a great mobility service to residents/tenants.
  • Operators manage more efficiently and benefit from cost savings and a captive user base.
  • Tenants/residents hugely in reducing monthly expenses, utilize assets better (if p2p), experience the joy of EV carsharing.

 

Watch the micro-webinar below! Keep reading to learn more about each guest panelist and for a brief summary of our fifth #FinancialFridays discussion!

Financial Fridays: Bringing Carsharing Services To Your Property with Thomas Martin, Judith Häberli, Galina Russell and Venkatesh Gopal

Financial Friday Session Five: The Panel

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Thomas Martin

Director of Business Development at SWTCH

SWTCH provides end-to-end EV charging and energy management solutions. Their innovative platform optimizes EV charging usage to benefit EV charging station operators and drivers. Platform features include charger usage enforcement, simple billing, smart energy management, and open-standards compliance. SWTCH are committed to improving EV charging accessibility in order to realize the social, economic, and environmental benefits of widespread electric vehicle adoption.

Judith Haeberli 500x500 1

Judith Häberli

Co-Founder and CEO at Urban Connect AG

Judith is a purpose-driven entrepreneur with a passion for designing innovative, sharing-based solutions to urban mobility challenges with a clear focus on developing seamless, inspiring user experiences. Judith believes that (e-)bike fleets for corporate customers can be a powerful factor in alleviating urban traffic congestion, improving employee satisfaction, and promoting a forward-looking firm image.

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Galina Russell

Senior Vice President at REEF

Galina is a senior executive serving as an expert in designing and implementing strategy & operations from the ground up. Over the last 10 years, she has led projects for multiple fortune 100 companies, including McKinsey & Company and Sixt. Galina has served as an executive at technology start ups within various stages of growth, where she’s built the company’s foundation & launched new business lines or helped scale its operations & revenues.

Financial Fridays Session Five: Bringing Carshare To Property

What are the benefits of hosting a carsharing services in a residential property? How does it benefit the users, operators and developers?

Private car ownership is one of the biggest expenses on an average household income, so there is a cost reduction within monthly expenses which enables the user to reallocate some of their income. Many of the property/carsharing programs have many different types of vehicles which allows the user freedom of choice and extra flexibility.

Operators will see an increase in utilization because they will have a designated user base. Risk will also be reduced, for example the theft of vehicles will be reduced in this setting, and therefore there will be lower insurance costs. Tenants and residents will also be more invested in the vehicles and are more likely to take care of and maintain them, which is a great benefit to the operator. There are also marketing benefits for operators that comes with developer partnership.

Cities have increasingly been reducing their parking minimum mandates. Develops stand to save as much as $50,000 per parking from this if they offer shared mobility services as part of their development. There is also an increase on return of investment on the reduction of building parking spaces and that money can be used to build out more housing units, for example. Developers can capitalize on the financial and tax benefits, infrastructure grants and energy cost savings by including these electric shared mobility services on their properties. Developers and bigger companies, are also wanting to include more green electricity/energy, so they are introducing solar panels to their buildings. However, there is no way to store solar energy, except of course for electric vehicles which opens up a big potential.

What more do EVs bring to this business model?

Generally, when developments decide to offer shared mobility services, the general consensus is that those vehicles will be electric. As an operator, this is a benefit, as they won’t need to worry about making sure there is fuel in those vehicles – it’s a cost that can be eliminated altogether. Rolling out public infrastructure is an important step in the success of these systems as residents may need to charge their vehicle outside of their property. However, this station-based model makes it much easier to include electric vehicles in a shared fleet. Operationally, it is much harder to have a free-floating EV fleet as the infrastructure isn’t quite there yet.

How are cities supporting shared mobility services and EV charging at properties?

In Switzerland, you have to pay for any free-floating, publicly available vehicle per month, which can be quite a big some. This has scared away many micromobility providers. More and more governmental institutions are providing charging infrastructure, making it easier for privately owned and shared EVs to charge.

There are many EV drivers in the US and Canada living in multi-unit residential properties, who haven’t be able to convince their landlord to put up the upfront costs to install a charging unit, and are therefore making use of public infrastructure. So there are barriers that are hard to overcome as an individual. Electric vehicle charging doesn’t always rank high on a list of priorities for property owners. However, in the United States, for example, because of the volatility of the grid, there are a lot of programs are discounting energy cost for buildings. Its incentivizing communities to implement charging infrastructure.

One thing that has come out of pandemic, is that developers are looking at how to future-proof their buildings and looking at the changing need of their residents, so the momentum is picking up in the EV charging space. People growing up in the COVID-19 world, also have a different outlook on transportation. Instead of working to pay for a car, you can make use of the tools around you, like shared mobility and public transportation and instead use your money to pay for experiences.

What are the things that property developers should consider when trying to set up shared mobility services on their property?

They need to think about how they are going to repurpose current parking spaces. Perhaps they can be allotted for the transport goods and services/deliveries. There has already been a shift to repurpose parking spaces since the pandemic. Traditionally conservative property owners have repurposed parking spaces for green space and also for TNCs, like Uber and Lyft to complete trips/deliveries for example.

In terms of energy utilization, how does this tie in with providing efficient energy management solutions?

In terms of EV charging, it propagates. As it grows and scales (the number of chargers within a building) it starts to propagate into a wider energy discussion. For the first handful of chargers, it doesn’t really make an impact on the building – assuming it’s mid-size to large. But as we grow, we reach a problem where buildings were not designed for this additional load, so we need to be smart about it.

We need to look at the data, to understand what solution is right for you property. For example, a building in a downtown core, will consume less energy that a building 30-40km in the suburbs. This is because the driving habits are different. People can walk to work or take public transit, whereas in the suburbs, almost everybody is driving. This is now influencing the electrical design on the developers end. One new policy coming through with regards to utilities is that they want to see an accurate prediction of how much energy your building will consume. If the engineers in the design phase are way off, the developer will pay a penalty two or three years after occupancy. This has forced developers to think long-term and how to predict the scaling demand in their property. Energy management is constantly involving, but now everybody, from the beginning to the end of the project, is thinking about the same thing – which creates smoother conversations about the future.

What has your experience been with the EV carsharing fleet you have just launched with Urban Connect AG?

It’s been very successful. The client is in the Pharma space in the Swiss alps. Within in the first 2 months, each car has driven almost 5,000km. The employees are loving it. Within the app, you can only make three bookings at a time within the next three months. Whenever the new day starts, within minutes it’s booked up. They are constantly analyzing the fleets and are able to remove vehicles when they aren’t being used (for example during Covid-19) and have also implemented smaller vehicles like cargo bikes and e-bikes – which are also fully booked out.

What is the potential growth in bringing shared mobility to developers and corporations?

“It can only go upward. An additional trend to the vehicle-to-grid is service living. We often don’t own our apartments and for example if our washing machine does not work, we make a call and someone comes to fix it. More and more we will see developments with a mobility solution. I hope it won’t be just the car, but the right kind of mobility at the right time. I think the potential growth is immense – everyone needs a house and everybody is using mobility in some form. There is almost unlimited potential for that.”

Judith Häberli

“We are still in a very heavy trajectory towards mega-cities because the population is just growing at tremendous rates worldwide. Millennials and Gen-Zers are remaining in cities much more than our parents did. I think, compounded with the on-demand economy, last block deliveries, micro-logistics and the on-demand services that we have now come to expect, so that we can utilize our time more efficiently and conveniently – it’s now putting more modes of transport at more frequent time blocks on city streets. I think this will help to accelerate the growth of carsharing and away from single occupancy vehicles.”

Galina Russel

“To keep things high level, each stage of growth will come with different problems. From the EV perspective, getting from 0% to 1% of vehicles on the road is a very different problem from 1%-5% and 5%-15% etc. At each stage it requires different stakeholders to provide input and use leavers to continue growth. For example, we could have a scenario where policy does not evolve and then we plateau on EV sales because it’s not quite adopted nationally or provincially. From the EV charging perspective, I think we’ve done a really good job holistically to change policy and influence that long-term vision in the new development space. Buildings being thought about today will be built in five years from now. Five years from now the EV charging landscape is going to be very different. Getting to that next stage is going to require more thought and if we can do that, I would argue that EVs are already part of our culture and it’s only a matter of time before they develop roots.”

Thomas Martin

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