We love an innovative kiwi business, especially when they pop up in our home town. Mevo is a car share company helping create beautiful and more liveable cities by offering a better alternative to private car ownership.
We’re always looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint and Mevo's offering provides a way to do just that — utilising Mevo’s fleet of cars, rather than simply adding vehicles to our own, feels like a good idea.
We caught up with Mevo's founder, Erik, and asked him our classic need to know questions.
Q. Hey Erik, tell us about Mevo. What is it, why is it so awesome?
Hey, I love this blog, so thanks for having me on.
We’re on a mission to build more beautiful and liveable cities by providing a better alternative to private car ownership. Using Mevo is pretty much like living in the future. Once you’ve downloaded our app and signed up, which takes about two to three minutes, you never need to own a private car again. Our app lets you locate, reserve, and unlock our network of cars parked all around Wellington, Auckland, and Hamilton, including at the airports. Like the scooters everyone knows, our cars are almost everywhere in our zones, and you can just grab the closest one when you need it. You’ll have the car entirely to yourself, and our cars can be used for any period you like, be it five minutes to pop across town, five hours for a day trip, or five days for a big roadie. Fuel and insurance are included, and the pricing works out to be super cost-efficient for all of those options. Then when you are done, you can park in almost any parking spot, end your trip in the app and walk away — we keep it simple.
Q. What led you to start Mevo? And how did you land on the name?
Okay, so here’s a fact I think is completely crazy: on average, your car is sitting unused 96% of the time, but it is the second-largest purchase you’ll make after buying a house, and you only use it 4% of the time! To me, that is mind-blowing. Until we launched, though, people didn’t really have an option. You needed access to a car which meant buying one. We knew there was a better way, and now tens of thousands of Kiwis have ditched their private cars or are selling down their work fleets to use Mevo’s network. We surveyed our users with Wellington City Council and found out that for every Mevo out there, 11 private cars have been sold or not bought. So we have directly influenced more than 1000 cars taken off the roads. This means we are genuinely redesigning the way people choose to move — this is where the name came from, swapping the ‘e’ and the ‘o’ in the word ‘Move’ to get to ‘Mevo’.
Q. Who and what do you look to for inspiration?
Honestly, too many to list, so I’ll give you some highlights. There is so much incredible work being done all around the world.
For just being exceptional and some crazy hustle, the founding story of 42 Below Vodka is great. It’s not like they invented Vodka, but they saw an opportunity to go out and make the best damn Vodka in the world, and they did — they have the prizes to show for it! Plus, they started on Oriental Parade (a few doors down from Mevo’s first office — my old living room). We are working on the same, delivering the best damn car share globally.
For thinking outside the box to create the cities of the future through crazy inspired projects, Kate Orff and her studio’s Oystertecture project are a massive inspiration. They used oysters in the NYC harbour to begin restoring the ecosystem. Isthmus is an Architecture firm in NZ I love, who are doing equally inspired projects all around NZ.
I’ve been really reading and enjoying learning from indigenous cultures worldwide for a while now. I think a blend of modern technology, ancient values and wisdom is the way forward.
Finally, I have said this publicly before, so you know I’m not just making it up, but Coffee Supreme has been my ‘brand crush’ for a long time!
Q. What’s your coffee setup at home or office?
Home: Chemex & Ethiopian mostly, but some variations in there.
Work: Mocamaster & we have revolving glass jars we take down to Tim and the team at Customs, which they fill up for us a great selection of delicious beans.
Tramping: AeroPress for the win!
Q. Got a favourite Supreme coffee?
Anything from Ethiopia.
Q. Smooth or crunchy?
100% Crunch town.
Q. If you could take a drive with anyone for the day, who would it be?
I recently had the pleasure of spending a bunch of time with my coach Linda Jenkenson, at the South By South West conference in Austin. She is from Palmerston North, was the youngest woman to list on the Nasdaq with her company DMS which changed the courier industry across NZ and the US completely in the late 90s (they also started on Oriental Parade). She has built a number of incredible companies from an idea to massive scale. We didn’t drive much, but she is awesome.
We have recently launched in Auckland at close to the scale we are in Wellington, so I am really excited to see the Auckland network take off! We have two different battery electric models, the Polestar 2 and the Tesla Model 3 launching soon. We are making some good progress into moving the NZ Government from owning a fleet to have another city in NZ we are preparing to launch this year, and we are also working on our entry into North America which is super exciting. Honestly, I just can’t see a reason why we couldn’t grow Mevo to have 10s or millions of members and make mass private car ownership a relec of history.
Also for the month of May, we'll be hiding (placed on the front seat for you to see) boxes of Supreme goods inside Mevo cars. So if you grab a car and find one, help yourself.
You can sign up at mevo.co.nz.