Consumer behavior is changing automotive commerce, prompting several brands to eye the car sharing model as a future profit source. GM has partnered with Lyft, BMW’s ReachNow service continues to expand globally, and Ford has announced its own car sharing service is coming soon.
Now it appears Hyundai wants in on the action. The Korean automaker has announced a partnership with WaiveCar, a car sharing program that runs on advertising dollars. Hyundai’s part to play is that it will offer its new Ioniq EV for free … with one little catch.
Customers will be able to reserve Ioniq vehicles for two hours at a time through the WaiveCar app, but every vehicle will be outfitted with geotargeted advertisements. Yes, you’ll be cruising in a rolling billboard, but at least it will be free. Ads will be displayed via full car wrap and a roof-mounted digital display.
“WaiveCar presents some great solutions for us,” said Mark Dipko, director of corporate planning and strategy at Hyundai Motor America. “The Ioniq offers emissions-free transportation to on-the-go Angelenos. This partnership allows us to reach potential customers and give them the opportunity to test drive our outstanding Ioniq electric while generating awareness for the Ioniq brand at the same time.”
Hyundai and WaiveCar will kick off the program early next year. Interested customers need only to download the app for iPhone or Android, find a nearby Ioniq, book it, and drive off (just like most ridesharing apps). Insurance is included in every booking. As mentioned, the first two hours of driving are free, and anyone who wants to continue the short-term loan can pay a flat fee of $6 per hour.
At launch, WaiveCar will use 150 Hyundai Ioniqs throughout Los Angeles, with 250 more cars coming, in three additional cities, by the end of 2017.
“We are extremely excited to be working together with Hyundai,” said Zoli Honig, WaiveCar’s CTO and co-founder. “Providing low cost, eco-friendly transportation alternatives to consumers is our core mission and offering the Ioniq will accelerate that goal. We believe this partnership will be tremendously beneficial for Hyundai, WaiveCar, our customers, and the environment.”