Photo: Sitra

Published May 15, 2019

Taxi service using second-hand electric cars

With the help of Ekorent’s Nopia service, second-hand electric cars can be used as taxis in developing countries. The solution improves the air quality of growing cities and substantially reduces the cost of driving for taxi drivers.

Problem

Many rapidly urbanising countries suffer from congested traffic and transport emissions. The cars on the roads in these countries are old, and the public transport is generally insufficient. Public transport is often based on individual transport operators and taxi entrepreneurs. Their biggest challenge are high fuel costs, which may account for between 30 and 50 per cent of turnover. On the other hand, in Western countries there are already a lot of used electric cars with a limited resale market. Western consumers usually prefer to buy new electric cars with better operating characteristics.

Solution: taxi service using second-hand electric cars

EkoRent buys used electric cars from Western countries and sells them to taxi companies and individual taxi drivers in big cities in developing countries (e.g. Nairobi). The cars bought through EkoRent are branded in accordance with the Nopia service. Taxi drivers are given access to a tailored Nopia Drive management application through which they find their customers. Customers order and pay for the taxi journey using the Nopia Ride application. EkoRent is responsible for ensuring a sufficient number of charging points in the operating area.

EkoRent’s revenue logic and benefits

EkoRent receives 25 per cent of the revenues from the drivers using the Nopia service. Brokering second-hand electric cars is not the company’s key source of revenues. In the future, EkoRent may also use the batteries of the electric cars included in the Nopia service as points for electricity storage, providing electric power to hospitals and other vital services during power outages, for instance.

Benefits to customers and end users

Nopia drivers using electric cars charge their cars at Nopia service points for free, which significantly reduces taxi drivers’ expenses. In addition, they have access to quiet and safe zero-emission cars. For final users, the service enables competitive prices and zero-emission trips, which also improves the air quality in cities. For example, in Africa, electric cars can also serve as storage places for renewable energy, which gives cities an opportunity to use solar power at night-time.

Facts

EkoRent Oy in brief

Main business: Transport

Year of foundation: 2014

Turnover: Less than €1 million

Launch of circular economy solution: 2018

Share of the circular economy solution of the total business: 90% (estimate for 2019)

Employees: 1-10

Based: Espoo/Nairobi

Website: www.nopiaride.com

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