At some point in the future, we’re pretty sure someone, somewhere will look back on our current decade and remember it as one where society finally started to turn its back on fossil fuels, finally moved away from personal car ownership, invested heavily in disruptive technologies and of course, paid for it all with crowdfunding.
So when we heard about vukee Car, a new crowd-funded startup looking to combine the super sexy Tesla Model S and car sharing, we had to find out more.
The brainchild of Meik Lindberg, vukee Car operates like any other car sharing service, allowing users to locate their nearest car, book it, and unlock it all from a smartphone app. But where it differs from services like Car to Go, and Hertz On Demand is the car it uses: a top of the line, high-spec Tesla Model S.
Lindberg, who already owns several successful mobile-centric companies under the vukee brand name wants to revolutionise the fledgling car-share community by taking the usual boring, base-model yet functional cars they traditionally offer and offering something a little more special instead.
With a range of more than 250 miles per charge — even if you’re a little excited about your first time behind the wheel — the Tesla Model S does seem a little unusual choice for a car share service, where users typically borrow a car for a few hours or maybe a day.
But, says Lindberg, the draw of this service is that those who use the service can hire a Tesla Model S for as long as they like without worrying about insurance coverage, visiting a rental office, or having to worry about fuel charges. The last one of course is down to the fact that Tesla’s proprietary network of Supercharger stations are completely free to anyone with a Tesla, rented or otherwise.
It also means of course that people who would ordinarily never be able to afford a Model S could, if they wished, get to find out what it’s like to own one, if only for a few hours.
With a background in software from the rest of the vukee empire, vukee Car already has a large part of the software and connectivity it needs to make vukee Car a success. What it needs now is $250,000 to help it fund 25 cars.
Like many other tech startups, vukee Car has turned to crowd-funding to help it set up the service in and around EV-friendly cities in California like San Francisco, Palo Alto, San Diego, San Jose and Los Angeles. As its IndieGoGo campaign details, those who donate to the project can choose a variety of different perks depending on their donation. These range from having your name written on a sign-wrapped vukee Car along with all the other backers for just $5, to a 1-hour ride in your local vukee Car if you donate $35, a tour of the Tesla factory for $500, or a franchise license if you stump up $7,500.
With rates expected to be around $44 per hour, taking a vukee Car for the day isn’t exactly going to be a cheap option. But if you’re looking for something extra special as a gift for that special someone, we think it could be a lot of fun.
What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the Comments below.
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