Europe’s electric car rental company UFODrive landed in San Francisco, making the city the first foray into the United States. Their US launch follows the company’s rapid growth in European cities, including London, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam and Dublin, since its founding in 2018.
UFODrive is also planning separate launches for New York and Austin in October. The move had been preceded by Hertz leading a 19-million-dollar funding round in February. UFODrive already then announced focusing on the US as its next step.
UFODrive offers a combination of classic daily or weekly rentals and monthly subscriptions but will initially provide only pure rentals in San Francisco.
Bookings can be made on the company’s app. After registration, customers may visit one of two vehicle bays in downtown San Francisco on either side of Market Street. The app grants keyless access to their vehicle.
There are around 20 Tesla Model 3 and Model Y available at launch with financing from Inspiration, an EV asset financing firm. UFODrive plans to lead with Tesla for the first locations as it did in Europe. The company may also include Ford EVs in the line-up upon expansion, as CEO Aidan McClean told Tech Crunch.
In Europe, the fleet predominantly comprises Tesla Model 3, Model S and Model Y, with Volkswagen ID.3 and ID.4, Hyundai Kona EV, Cupra Born, or Polestar, said McClean.
“From Day 1, our platform was built to identify issues before they happen. The team is notified if a customer hasn’t completed any of the pick-up stages, fails to start the vehicle, is driving with a battery level below 30%, struggling to charge at a station, etc. In those cases, our team can proactively reach out to make sure the customer is OK if they haven’t already reached out to us. As a result, we have never had a range or charging issue in over 20 million km driven,” the CEO told the blog.
In other news, the UFODrive CEO had summoned up the business model as a “Radically Better Car Rental”.
The company’s currently claiming EV rentals in ten countries and 19 locations on our count, including the USA. UFODrive’s total fleet size remains undisclosed.
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