Electrifying the car rental market: Joulez introduces an innovative electric car rental company to transform the rental industry and promote an electric vehicle future
Determined to ease the transition to electric vehicles and revolutionize the car rental industry, a new company, Joulez, has launched an innovative electric car rental company.
Joulez is a New York-based web and mobile car rental platform designed around the unique needs of electric vehicle renters looking to transform the rental industry and create the foundation for a comprehensive network built around the support for electric vehicles.
(Photo: Conservaco/The Ignite Agency)
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The company is the brainchild of CEO Micah Bergdale, a former Apple engineer who was one of the first Mac Geniuses hired as part of Steve Jobs’ launch of the Apple Retail initiative in 2001.
Bergdale is a lifelong believer and proponent of EV technology and his experience working at Apple, as an Apple fan, and later a Tesla and EV enthusiast played a huge role in his decision to launch Joulez.
Joulez has an active and successful StartEngine campaign to help bring its services to market, (https://www.startengine.com/joulez)
“The car rental industry has yet to catch up with the growing demand for greener transportation,” Bergdale said. “As it stands, EVs only represent about 2% of cars in the rental industry. We are creating an ecosystem to deploy and support EVs across New York City, and ideally in North America and around the world. I don’t know of any companies that are looking to start an EV-only rental company. The EV industry is poised for significant growth, and Joulez is poised to deliver an experience one-of-a-kind car rental.
The company’s on-demand system will allow customers to book cars through its mobile app or website with support available through Zoom video conferencing and the booking management interface. Joulez also intends to build customer loyalty through a rewards program that will be similar to those of major hotel brands and airlines – while bundling curbside vehicle charging and delivery as part of its offering. unique.
Although they follow a traditional car rental model with daily, weekly and monthly electric vehicle rentals, Bergdale emphasized that they are looking to do things very differently at Joulez.
“We recognize that renting an electric vehicle may require some adjustments for those who are used to gas-powered cars, and therefore we are committed to providing our customers with the most user-friendly experience possible. Our first rental confirmed the process required of car rental companies that we’ve never seen before,” he said. “Drivers who have never driven an electric vehicle need an extra level of support, including training base and the assurance that the vehicle will work well for them. Our service will provide everything the driver needs from the moment they get in the car, including a toll pass (recharged to the customer based on consumption), access to thousands of charging stations (with charging included), delivery and collection of the vehicle at the request of the customer… Joulez develops not only an EV rental fleet, but an entire support infrastructure to help customers throughout their journey as they discover the power of driving an electric vehicle. »
Key potential benefits for Joulez investors include:
- The car rental market is expected to reach $214 billion by 2027, and as Millennials and Generation Z become the largest consumer demographic in the United States, demand for green services such as rental of electric vehicles will only continue to grow.
- The resale value of electric vehicles has exceeded the performance of traditional gasoline cars, and the company expects this trend to continue, providing a stable funding mechanism to support the expansion of operations.
- The founding team of Joulez previously launched Bytemark, the leading provider of mobile software platforms for mass transit, which is now owned by Siemens.
Two personal incidents involving the car rental industry also shaped Bergdale’s idea of starting his business. These experiences represent two opposite sides of the customer service spectrum. The first explains his general frustration with the big car rental companies.
“A few years ago while on a rental in Rapid City, SD, where I have family, I received a brand new car that was just delivered from the factory,” Bergdale said. “This great company location replaced their entire fleet with brand new vehicles. For some reason the cars delivered had something inside that caused me an allergic reaction. My eyes were burning and I had a severe headache. I returned the car after one day. Instead of charging me for just one day, they demanded that I pay for the whole week that I originally booked. They ignored that I had an allergic reaction to the vehicle that could have impaired me while driving.”
When he refused to pay for the whole week, the rental company decided that, despite years of customer loyalty, he put him on their no-rent list.
His second crucial customer encounter happened when he rented a Tesla from a major car-sharing company. Bergdale was struck by the personal care the individual owner took to enhance their EV driving experience.
“I had been a passenger in a Tesla several times on previous trips, but nothing quite compares to the experience of being a driver and learning to control the vehicle. When I got into the Tesla I I had rented, I needed about 5-10 minutes of hands-on instruction and time with the owner of the vehicle. It was enough training to start with, but took me a bit of getting used to. to the vehicle,” he recalls.
While driving the Tesla for a road trip along the East Coast, Bergdale encountered various issues and asked questions about the vehicle’s software, charging, and operation. He said none of the issues were serious break-ins, as the car owner gave him a contact number and he was able to contact him for advice and tips on how to operate the electric vehicle.
“I realized at that moment that for electric vehicles to succeed as rental vehicles, and eventually as primary vehicles for everyday drivers, we need to rethink our relationship with cars to be like more to how we look at computers, especially Apple,” Bergdale said. . “We need easily accessible and user-friendly support and maintenance. The days of handing a car over to a driver and saying ‘Good luck’ is not something that works well when you’re driving. a complex computer system on a road.”
Bergdale also credits the successful launch of Bytemark with providing him and his founding team with invaluable knowledge about the transportation industry that they will apply to the development of Joulez.
“The Joulez team worked with me at Bytemark. They held various roles in software development, project management, marketing and sales. We all worked together because we had this passion for making transport work more user-friendly and transparent. We all have the same passion to see a major transition to electric vehicles.”
Bergdale said they face a similar challenge in updating the rental car industry.
“There are also a lot of dinosaurs in the car rental market. This market is ripe for innovation and a new way of thinking. While many of these traditional car rental companies will undoubtedly bring more electric vehicles in their fleet, we believe their customer service experience has been historically poor, so there is a huge opportunity to build a car rental brand whose customer loyalty is closer to what we have seen with companies airlines, hotel brands, Apple and Tesla, says Bergdale.
As they prepare for its official launch, the company currently has a beta test group of customers renting their Teslas, and they are working on designing and developing the mobile app that customers will use to reserve their cars. . Joulez will also offer rentals at competitive rates for the New York City market with prices ranging from $75-$200/day.
The majority of funds raised from the first installment of their CF campaign will go towards increasing the number of vehicles in the company’s fleet.
“We are starting in New York because rental demand is high and can easily absorb hundreds of additional rental vehicles. at some point in 2022,” he explained.
Looking ahead, Bergdale added that he wanted to partner with electric vehicle manufacturers, airport authorities, airlines, electric vehicle charging companies, cities and anyone else who wants to facilitate progress towards a future of electric vehicles.
“We all know this won’t happen overnight, and it won’t happen without a joint effort between many partners who all have an important role to play in making the transition to electric vehicles a success,” he said. he declared.
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