Hyundai partners with WaiveCar for free, ad-supported EV car sharing

Next Story

Voice recognition technology is expediting the race to frictionless retail

Every automaker seems to be partnering up for car sharing, and Hyundai is no exception. The carmaker is teaming up with WaiveCar, a startup offering ad-supported car sharing with a pilot program currently operating in Santa Monica. The team-up will see Hyundai’s first EV, the IONIQ, incorporated into WaiveCar’s fleet, beginning in LA.

Hyundai is offering the IONIQ to WaiveCar users for up to two hours per trip on-demand for free, with ads displayed on the car’s body and on a roof-mounted display as a way to recoup the costs of driving for WaiveCar. WaiveCar’s top-taunted displays have their own built-in 4G data connection, and change the advertising they show to onlookers based on where the car is traveling and the time of day. After the initial two-hour period, the car can be kept for an additional $5.99 per hour, or returned to a designated WaiveCar drop-off point.

For Hyundai, it’s a double-dip marketing campaign: the cars display IONIQ advertising, and they also offer drivers a chance to take one for a spin totally free of charge, with fewer restrictions and more real-world use opportunity than if they’d come into a dealership for a test drive. To start, Hyundai is deploying 150 cars for use with WaiveCar, with availability beginning in early 2017.

It’s a smart partnership for Hyundai and WaiveCar both, as it gives the former a car-sharing partner with a unique model that’s a great fit for promoting its EV strategy, and the latter a steady inventory supply with vehicles that are less expensive to maintain than fuel-based cars. Show-rooming vehicles (giving users a chance to see what ownership would be like) is part of every automaker’s strategy with car-sharing services and partnerships, but this one, given the market and the EV angle, seems particularly apt.