Business is Boring is a weekly podcast series presented by The Spinoff in association with Callaghan Innovation. Host Simon Pound speaks with innovators and commentators focused on the future of New Zealand. This week he talks to Erik Zydervelt, founder and CEO of Mevo.
In a few years people will probably be looking back and thinking it was absolutely bananas how many people had cars, and how little they used them. Having an asset that you use less than an hour a day – but for which you are responsible for every bit of depreciation, servicing, insurance, risk and upkeep – doesn’t seem the brightest model. And as cities begin to price in all the free space they are given in the form of road parking; as automation advances; and as urban density increases, the days of every family having two cars are looking pretty much numbered.
But the thing is, cars can be really handy, and although you may not be best owning one, having access to them can be a real win. So around the world car-share and on-demand services are springing up. In Wellington, a particularly interesting home-grown one is in operation.
With Mevo, users can open the app, find a nearby plug-in hybrid Audi, hire it by the hour, unlock it with their phone – and then, when finished, park it in any council-run metered park in most of Wellington central. And then you just walk away. It’s the convenience of a Lime scooter, except sanctioned by councils and cutting down road clutter instead of adding to it. The idea has launched with some impressive backers on the board, with investment from Z and Audi NZ, and with a novel carbon positive approach to offsetting emissions – they sequester 120% of the carbon you produce and put the offsets into rainforests that will actually retain the carbon.
It’s a cool idea with thousands of users, many ditching their cars altogether, and it is fast becoming part of the transport mix in Wellington. To talk the journey, where it could go from here, founder Erik Zydervelt joined the Business is Boring podcast.