Car share companies like Evo and Modo are seeing a spike in users.
“We had our first weekend that was pre-pandemic numbers,” said Dave Wharf, senior manager of business operations at Evo Car Share. “We had a really strong weekend last weekend. Is it all due to gas prices? Probably not.”
Factors like warmer weather and the pandemic easing are all playing into the ‘sharp increase’ in users, but gas prices are certainly playing part in driving up demand.
“Every time there is a change in the relationship between the cost to own a car and the cost to car share, that drives more interest and more joining,” said Patrick Nangle, CEO of Modo Co-operative.
At Modo, the skyrocketing price of gas has forced them to implement a fuel surcharge.
“It has flexibility. It’ll come and go, the value of the surcharge, as fuel prices increase or decline,” said Nangle. “Every 10 cents that the actual price at the pump rises over $1.60, our users will pay another 1 cent for every kilometre they drive.”
The surcharge, which comes into effect on April 1, will mean that Modo users will pay four cents more per kilometer only on cars that run on gas. So far Evo has not made any changes to its pricing.
Both companies say in the long run, you’re still saving.
“You don’t have to pay for parking, you don’t have to pay for gas, and you don’t have to pay for insurance,” said Wharf.
All of Evo’s fleet is hybrid. Modo is aiming to be a fully electric fleet by 2030. Both are in Victoria and are encouraging people to look at different options for getting around the city centre.
“Get rid of your car is my sales pitch,” said Wharf. “I think if you look at the sunk costs you have in that vehicle, and you start to compare with using things on-demand, you’ll find that economically it’s a great choice.”