An Australian start up company Ohmie has launched what it says is Australia’s first residential electric car-sharing service that its backers say point to the future of mobility and energy storage.

The “Ohmie Go”  initiative has been launched in partnership with car manufacturer Hyundai (it uses its newly released Kona electric SUV) and Australian EV charging company JET Charge.

The launch – made on Thursday – will two Konas installed in the parking area of EQ Towers, one of the largest residential buildings in Melbourne that is owned by ICD Property.

The Konas will be available for rent – by the hour or by the day – only to the residents of the building, via a smartphone app. Ohmie says the rates are less than budget car rental offerings found outside the building.

Ohmie plans to take the model to other property owners. In fact, it wants to take the model to every large residential building.

“ Personal mobility is undergoing the most significant shift since the invention of the car, including entirely new ownership models, multi-modal transportation methods and eventually vehicles that drive themselves,” says Kyle Bolto, the CEO of Ohmie.

“The convenience of having a service like this in the car park of the building you live in is the closest thing to owning your own car without all the traditional costs of car ownership.

“By deepening ties between buildings and mobility there is an opportunity for property owners and operators to deliver increased amenities, reduce costs and significantly improve the sustainability rating of the building.”

What also attracts of the The Driven’s editorial team is the intention to use the EVs and their charging facilities to support the grid.

“We have been waiting for years to team up with a company that recognises EVs as being both a mobility and energy asset,” says Tim Washington, the founder of Jet Charge that will provide the charging stations.

“Kyle’s team … share our vision of offering a leading car-sharing business using 100% electric vehicles and also using the same vehicles to support our electricity grid, maximising that vehicle’s utilisation.”

Washington told The Driven that Jet Charge was interested in the future of vehicle-to-grid opportunities, where the EV batteries could be used to shave the building’s demand at the peaks, and even provide grid services.

“Once V2G technology becomes cheaper and more mature,  what we’d like to see is we can utilise batteries in buildings in peak times to shave demand, and also offset periods of low utilisations.
“That’s why we are involved. We will help Ohmie go through that journey – both the car rental business and the energy management business. That’s the long term vision about where we want to be, but first we have got to get the car share right.”

‘Ohmie Go’ says it will use the data collected from its first deployment at EQ Tower to validate the business model, refine customer experience and ensure value creation for its developer clients.

In the longer term, Ohmie Go intends to experiment with additional forms of electric transport, such as electric scooters and motorbikes, and scale the service beyond residential buildings to co-working spaces, holiday resorts, and dedicated commercial tenancy settings.

The company, formerly known as Symbiot Technology, has raised $1 million in a seed funding round, including angel investors Artesian Venture Partners and the EnergyLab Angel Syndicate. It also specialises in smart home technology.

 

 

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