We recently caught up with Tai Silvey, the Vice President of Evo Car Share at BCAA, to get his perspective on how Evo, the Vulog-powered carshare has achieved success. Currently, Evo's fleet of Toyota Prius Hybrids provides affordable travel with a lighter environmental footprint and all the space users need to enjoy the best of British Columbia.
1. Vancouver has been dubbed the ‘carsharing capital of North America,’ what is the lesson we can learn from the relationship between the city government and carshares – how could it be applied in other cities across North America?
There are many different factors that help explain the exponential growth of carsharing in Vancouver. High urban population density, good public transit systems and a young, environmentally conscious urban population have all helped drive carsharing demand. That’s being met by skilled local operations like Evo, working in conjunction with municipal governments. A strong working relationship between carsharing operators and city governments is critical to the success of carsharing. City officials need to understand and buy into the benefits that carsharing brings to the table, especially those that align with the city’s stated objectives, such as reducing private vehicle ownership and vehicle miles traveled. Topping the list of the most critical success factor for carsharing is convenience around accessing and parking a vehicle. City governments can nurture and grow carsharing in their city by creating the most flexible and adaptive parking regulations possible.
2. With four major carsharing services operating in the city, how does Evo differentiate itself on the market and how have you taken the lead?
Evo is a one-way free-floating car share service. This model allows for maximum convenience helping people get from A to B wherever they happen to be.
Evo was also designed with Vancouver in mind. With a 100% hybrid fleet of 1,500 vehicles, Evo helps people move around in an economical and environmentally friendly way. Every single Evo vehicle is equipped with bike/ski racks to help our members live the BC lifestyle. The bike racks also encourage multi-modal trips, creating more flexible travel options for members.
Applying valuable local knowledge as a local operator rooted in Vancouver, BC, Evo can leverage its unique advantage in serving the mobility needs of its members. In fact, Evo’s parent, BCAA (British Columbia Automobile Association), has been serving the mobility needs of British Columbians for well over 100 years.
3. You’re a role model in marketing & communications for any operators considering launching a service: can you highlight specific marketing activities that contribute to your success (i.e branding, cross-marketing partnerships, social networks, gamification, discounts, etc?)
Right from the start, Evo understood the importance of connecting with the local communities it touches every day. In a very short period, Evo has built a great deal of awareness, being named the #1 Carshare in Vancouver 3 years in a row as voted by readers of influential local media title Georgia Straight.
Evo’s marketing tactics have focused on building a brand that resonates with Members. Our goal is to help people realize that Evo makes their lives better and is an enabler that lets them do all the things they want to do in their unique day to day lives.
Evo is a digital purchase, and online is where we do most of our talking. We use social media as a storytelling tool, where we can engage in conversations with our Members. Events and strategic partnerships are also important to building the Evo brand. Examples include the Evo Summer Cinema – a summer-long staple event in Vancouver, and the Vancouver Pride Parade. Evo street teams are continually deployed in the market, signing up new members, educating the public and building connecting with the community.
4. Was BCAA an asset in enabling your success (if so how) and vice versa, did BCAA benefit from your activities?
BCAA has deep roots in British Columbia, with a long history of serving the mobility needs of its Members. BCAA’s local operational expertise and complex understanding of existing market dynamics has been critical to the success of Evo Car Share. BCAA identified existing consumer mobility demands and responded with Evo. Being created by one of BC’s most trusted companies has allowed Evo to connect directly with consumers and grow rapidly over the past few years. In return, Evo has further enabled BCAA to meet the demands of a younger and more urban consumer and charted a course to be a leader in the future of mobility.
5. What use cases does your service see the most of – short trips, long trips, both?
As a free-floating one-way carshare service in a dense geographic region, Evo provides the perfect mobility option for short trips around Metro Vancouver. It’s an affordable, sustainable and highly convenient way for people to move from point A to B in town. Because Evo is built for the BC lifestyle, the service also enables British Columbians to adventure further and explore all that BC has to offer.
6. One last word of advice, what is the key to success when launching a shared mobility service?
Know your market, know your members, and focus on delivering a highly convenient way for those members to move around.
More about Tai Silvey
Tai is a founding team member of Evo Car Share and a senior leader at BCAA. Tai is also the co-founder of Moss Dental Studio, owned and operated by his wife Dr. Neri Moss. In his spare time, Tai serves on the Board of Directors at HUB Cycling in Vancouver. Throughout Tai’s career, he has played key roles in the launch and explosive growth of businesses from Red Bull to Dyson Vacuums to Evo Car Share.