ZEV — startup not afraid of ambitious goals
A ride-hailing service working with zero-emission vehicles only — doesn’t this sound like the future? ZEV (“zero-emission venture”) is a mobility service in Taiwan that aims at saving the planet by providing “green” transportation.
As air pollution is a major concern in Asian countries, ZEV decided to tackle it locally. The team came up with an idea to offer Uber-like mobility services using the Tesla-only fleet. This initiative became a part of the public plan to ban the sale of gas-powered motorcycles by 2035 and cars by 2040.
Now anyone can take a convenient Tesla-ride for a fair price — and help save the planet.
About the company
ZEV has launched with 20 vehicles in several cities: Taipei, Taichung, Taoyuan, and Hsinchu. The company started operating as an airport shuttle. Jerry Wang, the CEO of ZEV, explains:
“Our target audience is the general public as well as business people. Everybody needs to move around efficiently. Most of our drivers speak several languages — for the traveling public, this is a great advantage. Besides the comfort of a Tesla, our environmental concern is a good reason for customers to choose ZEV over any other Uber-like app.”
First challenges on ZEV’s way
The first obstacle on the way to success was rather unexpected. There were not enough Tesla cars for commercial use in Taiwan. It took quite a lot of time to increase the number of cars from 5 to 20. With 20 vehicles, the company was ready to launch as an airport transfer. Dreaming big doesn’t mean you can’t start out small!
Attracting qualified drivers was another issue to solve. The service was initially mostly used by business travelers, so ZEV needed drivers who could answer the questions, tell about the bigger goals of the company, and assist passengers if required. ZEV used an elaborate marketing strategy to attract employees — and was very consistent in hiring only the drivers who’d meet all the requirements.
By the end of the first year, the company expanded the fleet to 100 vehicles.
Differentiate and get to market top
Being unlike anyone else is a clever brand positioning strategy. For ZEV, this was easy. As a planet-friendly startup aiming at changing the way Taiwan moves, they only had to articulate their unique selling proposition well.
⚡️ Only electric cars. Only Tesla.
Working with new, technologically-advanced vehicles helps to bring sustainable transportation to Taiwan and minimize life-cycle emission from energy sources to vehicles.
🌱 Zero-emission, zero street pollution.
No engine exhaust during a quiet and luxury journey. Working with Tesla Model X, ZEV contributes to the reduction of local air pollution and reduces the direct impact of air pollution on passengers and drivers.
♻️ Making more clean energy.
The main goal of ZEV by 2021 is to generate the same amount of clean energy as their vehicles consume. All the company’s profits are reinvested into green power sources.
🤝 Client-oriented service.
Every trip completed gives passenger discount points they can use for the next journey. This is a way to show clients you care — but also to keep them loyal.
Technological partnership driving innovation
Being innovative requires reliable technology. Working with Onde, ZEV was able to make sure the mobile apps for drivers and passengers are really functional and easy to use. ZEV needed the booking system to work stably, the UX/UI design to meet the highest standards.
Working with Onde, ZEV got an all-in-one white-label solution completely living up to customers’ expectations. The apps are available for both iOS and Android devices, while the system endures huge workloads.
The company’s significant difference to competitors (the apps’ swiftness, the comfort of Tesla cars, environmental focus) helped ZEV to market its service efficiently. The company’s first profits were immediately reinvested into green energy ventures.
Always make time for bigger goals
CEO Jerry Wang explains the ambitious goals of ZEV.
“The whole enterprise is not only about making electric cars mainstream. We care about the future and saving the quality of life on this planet. With global climate change, the problem of air pollution is personal to everyone, to you and me.
There’s yet no perfect, immediate solution. So at ZEV, we try to address the problem using new technology. In addition to promoting electric vehicles, we’ve decided to convert all surplus of the platform into green energy — and return it to the passengers in the form of dividends.
Thanks to the Onde platform, we know for sure our fleet always chooses the shortest, the most optimal routes — this is how we address small-scale street pollution, too. Each car is equipped with an advanced air data collection tool, which can directly respond to street air pollution concentrations and visualize the rather complex data through the map, making it easier to read. This data is public so that academics and research institutes can use it in research, and our users can see how much their trips really matter.
By working together, using the power of people, we can survive. The more people join our project, the more we can do.”