Published underIndustry News
Climate-conscious business travellers to Melbourne can book an electric vehicle to and from the airport following the expansion of Sydney-based Evoke, a Tesla-only limousine service, to the southern capital.
Evoke, founded by Pia Peterson, has been running in Sydney for four years. Its entry into the Melbourne market was delayed until last September by changes to hire car licensing rules, which no longer require limousine operators to buy a $40,000 licence for each vehicle.
The Melbourne fleet started in September with two Tesla Model S vehicles and will add a third next week, followed by a Model X SUV mid-year.
Peterson was working as a business analyst in Westpac Banking Corporation's mobile apps division four years ago when the opportunity to start an electric-only limousine service emerged with the entry of Tesla into the Australian market in 2014.
"Personally I felt like I could make a greater impact starting this business than in banking," Peterson said. "I could see things weren't being done in the environmental space and running a zero-emissions fleet certainly felt to me like I could make an impact and lead the way in electric vehicles.
Hire cars and ride-share vehicles travel the most kilometres by a long way over private vehicles, so starting a shift to electric vehicles in that field would have the greatest impact. Australia's take-up of electric vehicles has been slower than comparable nations, hampered by "range anxiety" and a lack of government subsidies compared with European and US markets.