The more you use a vehicle, the cheaper each mile becomes. And, when you get people to share vehicles, you're potentially taking cars off the road, reducing both traffic and pollution.
The idea of Green Commuter is to combine car pooling and car sharing, maximizing vehicle use across as many hours a day as possible. It leases Tesla Model X all-electric SUVs for morning and evening commuting, then rents out the same car for hourly sharing during weekdays, or daily sharing at the weekends.
"The plan is to keep using the vehicle as much as we can and keep generating revenues from different sources and lower the rents of the services," says CEO Gustavo Occhiuzzo. "The more e-miles we put on the vehicle, the less gasoline miles are put on other vehicles."
Individual employees can rent the Teslas by the month, or companies can lease the vehicles as a replacement for their own fleet. Either way, users access the SUVs, which seat seven people, using an app. Occhiuzzo says the sharing service is 25% cheaper than Reach Now, BMW's sharing service in Seattle and Portland, Oregon.
"The van pooling component pays for most of the operating cost, then the car sharing is almost the gravy, going directly to the bottom line," he says.
Green Commuter currently operates in Los Angeles. Typical van pools go from Lancaster, in northern LA county, to downtown—about a 66 mile trip one way. The company also operates 20 Nissan Leaf car sharing service in Chattanooga, Tennessee—the country's first and only all-electric vehicle-share program. It hopes to add the van-pooling component there soon.
Reducing single-occupancy car commutes and promoting ride-sharing has a lot of potential to help the environment and cut everyone's transport costs. Companies like Car2go and Zipcar are already taking cars off the road, and discouraging new vehicle purchases.