Australia’s first electric car-sharing service has arrived in Melbourne with a small fleet of Hyundai Kona Electrics available to a select handful of CBD residents from today.
Like relatively conventional car-sharing services, of which there are a growing number around the country, Ohmie Go offers the independence of a car without the cost and commitment of ownership. The key difference is that members have access to zero-emissions mobility and easy fast charging, compared with the combustion-powered vehicles offered by all other car-sharing models.
The milestone car-sharing evolution will appeal to high-density housing inhabitants that may have felt petrol and diesel car-sharing is contradictory to the cause, or not suitable to inner-city living.
Ohmie has not released subscription or rental rates but says the service is “cost-effective” although many car-share customers are more attracted to the convenience, over any potential money-saving advantages.
For now, Ohmie Go will only be offered to EQ Tower residents but, with the backing of Hyundai and Jet Charge, the company is growing its EV-sharing fleet in partnership with other new developments across Australia.
Ohmie CEO Kyle Bolto said the advent of electric vehicles and the way consumers chose to use them will not follow the same trends as traditional vehicles, and the EV car-sharing movement was part of an entirely new motoring landscape.
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“Personal mobility is undergoing the most significant shift since the invention of the car, including entirely new ownership models, multi-modal transportation methods and eventually vehicles that drive themselves,” he said.
For the Ohmie Go initiative, Jet Charge provided the battery charging hardware and the EV charging authority said it had been exploring partnerships to deliver a project of this nature for some time before finding Ohmie.
“We have been waiting for years to team up with a company that recognises EVs as being both a mobility and energy asset,” said Jet Charge founder Tim Washington.
“In Ohmie and Kyle’s team, we have found that company. They share our vision of offering a leading car-sharing business using 100 percent electric vehicles and also using the same vehicles to support our electricity grid, maximising that vehicle’s utilisation.”
Interestingly, Washington told WhichCar that the company is busy installing “dozens” of wall-box chargers each day to both residential and business locations, quietly building Australia’s EV infrastructure.
Data collected from the first Ohmie Go installation will be used to improve the service and the company is already considering diversifying the options with scooters and other vehicle types offered for work places and even holiday resorts.
It’s just the latest development in the growing electric vehicle cause and proof that the advancement of clean motoring and emissions-free care will continue regardless of governmental support, which continued to languish compared with the rest of the modern world.
If you’re an EV sceptic, it seems resistance really is futile.