Envoy launches in LA aiming to bring EV car sharing to real estate developments

Looking to make EV car sharing the next perk for real estate developers, Envoy, a new Los Angeles startup has launched its first pilot.

Initially, they’re starting with one apartment building and a fleet of two cars in an LA apartment complex. But, what the young startup lacks in reach, it makes up for in gumption.

Founded by two real estate developers, Aric Ohana and Ori Sagie, the company is pitching real estate developers a 5-10% cut of their gross revenue on subscriptions to the car sharing business, which they will offer as a perk to residents of (initially, they say) luxury condos in the Marina Del Rey area of Los Angeles.

It’s either the ultimate expression of a BOHO sensibility (is that still a thing?) or the next wave in ride-sharing… I can’t really tell.

For real estate developers looking to woo prospective tenants, the business seems like a no-brainer. The two partners said their company will eat the initial up front cost of installing chargers, buying the cars, and maintaining the service.

The company anticipates selling in two ways, either direct to tenants as an upsell subscription service on top of rent, or as amenity that residents can access without a subscription at a higher price.

For non-subscribers access to the car costs 25 cents per minute or $15 per hour. For subscribers at $25 per month, the fee is reduced to $3 per hour to use the car.

“We provide the technology, the cars, and the service. We install the electric chargers. We assign the vehicles to the property. We take the brand to the property,” says Ohana.

For the 300 residents at the company’s first property in Marina Del Rey, there will be two vehicles on site that are available to use.

Envoy has raised $500,000 for its business from a number of undisclosed Los Angeles investors and is looking to raise additional capital to deploy another 100 vehicles at properties across the country, Ohana said.

And while the pair is starting its business in one of the pricier neighborhoods in Los Angeles, the two co-owners said they were committed to opening up the service to affordable housing as well.

“We’re actively working with a couple of affordable housing partners,” Ohana said.

Envoy estimates that each vehicle it provides can service anywhere from 50 to 100 users per day. It’s a big range — and the numbers seem fuzzy — but even at the low end that’s the potential for vehicles taken off the street.

And the two said they’re looking beyond the real estate market and potentially looking to partner with specific municipalities. “I think there will be multiple solutions of different transportation options,” says Ohana. “We see this as a way to keep mobility in the private sector.”

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