An Australian startup called Outbound has made a shared mobility app for hourly all-inclusive rentals of Tesla electric cars – starting with guests at a Gold Coast hotel.
In so doing, it claims to be “electrifying the Australian tourism industry”.
In a nutshell, Outbound wants to install Tesla Model 3s (and plans to include other EVs) with chargers at hotels, for guests to use much like a pool or gym or any other amenity.
The Queensland company has cut a deal with a Mantra hotel in Southport, parking a Model 3 on site as a pilot.
“This is a really exciting development for the Australian tourism industry,” claims Outbound CEO Luke Rust.
“The app is really easy to use – guests just sign up, reserve the car and unlock it using their phone. It’s really handy for anyone wanting to go for a day trip, say to the theme parks or out to [the] hinterland.
“… Especially with fuel prices going up, a road trip to the Coast is becoming increasingly expensive – with Outbound, tourists can perhaps jet into Coolangatta, stay at the hotel, and still go anywhere they want using the EV.”
At $30 per hour including insurance and power, the app-based rideshare scheme could in some instances actually work out cheaper than grabbing an Uber.
Mr Rust said he is in discussions to roll the scheme out in other hotels on the Gold Coast, as well as in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.
Shared mobility of this type is different from traditional car sharing because rather than private vehicle owners renting out their personal cars, vehicles are attached to a property and are available for communal use, exclusively for those who are staying there.
Outbound also signposted the potential for uptake in residential and commercial buildings, where owners and tenants could have access to one or several EVs and reduce their dependence on private vehicle ownership.
“If communal EVs were available for use, and that could just be included in your body corporate fees, you could cut a huge chunk of that expense. Not to mention, save on parking space and improve local air quality,” he added.
MORE: How Uber is pushing Australian drivers to go electric