Australian EV sharing platform Evee has launched an equity crowdfunding campaign to help fund its next stage of growth into overseas markets.
The AirBNB style EV only platform founded by Slava Kozlovskii allows drivers to rent EVs directly from owners. Evee has cars available across the country and claims to have the largest fleet of EVs in Australia.
Evee says its business model of connecting EV owners with people wanting to rent EVs will help accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles.
“We are all extremely passionate about the future of electric transport, sustainability and encouraging the sharing economy.” said Kozlovskii.
From humble beginnings, Evee now expanding to overseas markets
Kozlovskii founded the company in 2015 in Canberra and started out by renting out his own Tesla Model S in 2016. Evee originally provided one-way rentals between Sydney and Canberra as well as multi-day bookings. Following the initial success, the company transitioned to a peer-to-peer car sharing model in 2017 in order to support the growing demand.
Kozlovskii says that he was inspired to start the company after he and his wife decided to have children.
“My thoughts turned to creating a better future for them. And instead of buying a house, (my now wife) Lorena and I bought a Tesla! And we started a car sharing company with a mission to make EVs more affordable and accessible and ultimately accelerate the uptake of zero emission transport,” he says
Evee grew to become the leader in EV rentals in Australia with many people using the platform to test drive an electric vehicle for the first time. Kozlovskii says that since the first Tesla, the platform now has almost 200 EVs listed on the app.
In 2019 prohibitive insurance costs of up to $12,000 per vehicle per year threatened to stall the startup. But Koslowskii was able to secure a fleet insurance deal which enabled the company to keep growing.
Evee vehicles including the newest models of Tesla, Polestar, Kia, Mercedes and MG and are available in most major cities in Australia. The company has recently launched in New Zealand and is planning to expand its offering to the UK and Europe.
Crowdfunding the next stage
Evee is now looking to fund its next stage through though retail crowdfunding platform Birchal.
Evee’s business model takes a 35% fee from confirmed bookings. Access to the platform is free for hosts and renters. To date EV has had over 8000 users and 16,000 rentals days. The company claims it has just reached over 3 million km driven through its platform.
“We have built such a strong and loyal community, who were there from the start, it felt like the right thing to do, get them in as investors and keep growing the family” said Kozlovskii.
With Australian EV market share hitting almost 7% in February, interest in electric vehicles is set to grow exponentially for years to come.
“We are looking to keep up with the huge increase in electric vehicles entering this market, allowing access to a bigger audience and further dampening the environmental impact of owning a car,” says Slava “our plan is not to just provide the cars but ensure renewable energy to power them is always a part of the equation”.
“The community focus has been essential and I can’t emphasise enough how grateful I am for all the EV owners who’ve joined the platform over the years.” said Kozlovskii. “We’ve found that often the hosts’ desire to join the platform goes beyond the financial return, but is linked to their passion about EVs.”
“Sharing the EV experience with others allows them to directly contribute to the transition to zero emission transport and get more people excited about a cleaner future.” he said.
Evee says funds will enable them to expand to take on the multinationals entering the space and support their year-on-year growth. Expressions of interest are open through their Birchal campaign page.
Daniel Bleakley is a clean technology researcher and advocate with a background in engineering and business. He has a strong interest in electric vehicles, renewable energy, manufacturing and public policy.