New AT policy sees Wellington car-sharing king Mevo hit ‘go’ for Auckland launch

Wellington car-share outfit Mevo is poised to enter the Auckland market after an Auckland Transport policy review fell in its favour. Its key rival Cityhop has its nose out of joint, however.

Mevo co-founder and chief executive Erik Zydervelt was hoping AT would allow “free-floating” car-share parks – giving a lot more freedom over where a vehicle can be picked up and dropped off; more public car park spaces designated for car-share vehicles; and subsidised spaces.

Forget, say, picking up a car-share vehicle in Hobsonville Point (to take a random example) then having to drop it off in the same area. You’ll soon be able to pick up car-share vehicle in a far-flung suburb .. more info .. then drop it off in the CBD or at the airport.

Mevo always had broad plans to expand into Auckland. Zydervelt says AT’s new policy crystallised its intentions, and has seen it set a timeframe – the first half of next year.

The CEO says his company will also undertake a major capital raise in the New Year as it gears up to enter the city.

Mevo’s largest investor is Z Energy, with a 32 per cent stake as part of a diversification play. Zydervelt expects a mix of current and new investors to participate.

And in August, Genesis paid $2 million for a 40 per cent stake in Christchurch EV car-share start-up Yoogo, which launched last year with 100 pure EVs.

Mevo and other car-sharing outfits let you rent a car by the hour – unlocking, booking and paying for the vehicle via an app. If you’ve used a Lime scooter, it’s a similar deal – only with cars (and a need for a licence scan and check before your first ride).

In Mevo’s case, it charges Wellingtonians $15 an hour for a petrol-powered Volkswagen Polo, or $23/hr for an Audi a3 e-tron electric car. Auckland incumbent Cityhop charges from $9.50 an hour (for a petrol-powered Toyota Yaris) to $15 an hour (for a VW e-Golf). Both operators’ hourly fees are inclusive of insurance and refuelling – or recharging – costs, and there are no monthly fees.

Mevo began life in Wellington with a “return to base” model, meaning you had to drop off a vehicle in the same carpark as you picked it up. You rented your car from a space near Te Papa and you had to return it to space near Te Papa.

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