Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea’s largest automaker, will start to offer a car-sharing service with only electric vehicles (EV) in April in hopes that the new service would boost EV use in the country.
Hyundai Motor and Hyundai Capital Services Inc., the auto financing arm of Hyundai Motor Group, have recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to collaborate to launch an electric vehicle (EV) car-sharing program, according to the two companies on Tuesday.
A car-sharing service is increasingly popular among young drivers as the service allows users to drive cars without owning a car, which means no additional costs related maintenance and insurance. Under the program, a driver can rent a car at unattended locations for short periods of time, often by the hour. The service started first in the United States and European countries in 2000s and has become very popular across the world with Car2Go, Zipcar and Hourcar that are major global car-sharing companies.
Existing car sharing companies are increasing the number of EVs in their fleet, and Hyundai Motor will start its program with its EV IONIQ Electric and add more EV models later.
The new electric car-sharing program is expected to contribute to expanding eco-friendly car market in the country, Hyundai Motor`s director of domestic sales Chang Jae-hoon said. Hyundai Motor and Hyundai Capital will launch various services in line with car-sharing, director Chang added.
Hyundai Motor and Hyundai Capital said their service will come with the so-called on-demand service that will allow users to pick up and return cars at their desired location. In addition, they will improve the general condition and cleanliness of cars and strengthen a safety system to prevent from using stolen licenses.
Users are rewarded Hyundai’s Blue Members points whenever they use the new car-sharing service, which can be later redeemed as cash when they purchase Hyundai car.