We waive the fee, you drive for free is the no-nonsense tagline for WaiveCar, a first-of-its-kind car-sharing venture that combines free, on-demand car rental with smart, environmentally friendly vehicles. Founded in 2015 and based in the Santa Monica area, WaiveCar has disrupted the car-sharing industry with its impressive fleet of free-to-drive electric cars funded through 4G-connected rooftop-mounted electronic billboards and trendy car wraps that push location and time-specific advertisements, as well as regular content from WaiveCar’s sponsors, such as the technology-focused Oscar health insurance company. With its signature green and white thunderbolt logo, WaiveCar is revolutionizing driving and giving public transportation a well-needed facelift—not only reducing the number of cars on the road thereby cutting down on traffic and harmful emissions, but also increasing overall mobility for engaged communities. It’s a win-win for drivers and advertisers alike.
A creative blend of real estate and tech, WaiveCar is an ambitious startup that’s determined to have a broader social impact, not only on the green energy front, but also in terms of innovative transportation initiatives. A partner of Hyundai Motor America, WaiveCar provides the ideal marketing scenario for Hyundai’s newly unveiled plug-in hybrid, the IONIQ. Drivers have the unique opportunity to essentially test drive the vehicle after booking a ride through WaiveCar, while Hyundai benefits from having a 24/7 “showroom” for potential EV consumers. WaiveCar co-founder and CEO, Isaac Deutsch, sees “anyone as an ideal customer … as long as our cars are moving.” Currently in a pilot program within a twenty-mile radius of Santa Monica, CA, WaiveCar had over 3,000 users and over 1,000 bookings in its first month of launch, an unprecedented feat for any startup, not to mention a 100% emission-free car rental service.
Deutsch and CTO Zoli Honig, originally from New York and co-founder of the e-learning tech startup Chalkable, founded WaiveCar on the principal that “… there are smarter ways for communities to benefit from cars.” Free for the first two hours of driving, “Waive-ers” (another name for WaiveCar’s trend-setting users) must first download the iOS and Android-supported app. Activation takes roughly ten minutes and requires an active driver’s license (international licensed drivers are also welcome), a debit/credit card and a good driving record without any major violations like DUIs. Users must be at least 21 years old and have a smartphone with GPS capability to qualify as well. The entire fleet of Bluetooth-enabled electric vehicles are fully insured and loaded with today’s top safety features and technology perks. Drivers simply locate a WaiveCar via the app, get to it within 15 minutes—or it will become available to the next Waive-er—and then unlock it with the app (the keys are inside the vehicle). The first two hours are free with an hourly charge of $5.99 thereafter, the lowest in the car-sharing market, as compared with rivals like Uber and Zipcar. With an average trip of 80 miles per electric charge, WaiveCars can either be dropped off at a charging station or parked in a designated space, and drivers can even earn rewards in the form of points to be used toward future driving time if they drop off the vehicle at certain qualifying spots.
Cost efficient and environmentally progressive, WaiveCar’s sustainable business model just might signal the “wave” of the future of transport.
UPDATE: WaiveCar is no longer in business.