fbpx
(0)
Why UFODRIVE may be the company car solution you’re looking for

Why UFODRIVE may be the company car solution you’re looking for

UFODrive rents out electric vehicles including the Tesla Model 3 and Jaguar I-Pace via its app-based booking platform for prices starting at €69 per day 

 UFODrive London 740x520

App-based platforms for on-demand car hire are becoming all the rage in large cities, with several automotive giants launching services – but UFODrive comes with a difference in its all-electric fleet.

The Luxembourg start-up is already up and running in cities across Europe, including Paris, Berlin, Brussels and Vienna.

It recently launched in London, with a list of more locations to follow in the coming months.

UFODrive’s electric cars – which include the Tesla Model 3, Jaguar I-Pace and Nissan Leaf – can be rented from €69 ($75) per day, with bookings made via a mobile app and vehicles using keyless access technology.

They all have ranges of more than 200 miles and can use any of the 100,000 charging points across the UK and Europe.

After launching the London service in January 2020, Irish founder and CEO Aidan McClean speaks to NS Business about the company’s journey so far, the challenges it faces and where it’s heading.

Tell us how UFODrive came to be and how it works?

UFODrive was created out of my personal frustration. I’ve travelled my entire professional career and regularly had to queue an hour for rental car.

These cars were also all damaging to the environment so I created UFODrive, which is a 100% electric vehicle car hire business.

UFODrive founder Aidan McClean 1

We’re mobile only so our customers can reserve and pick up their car in two minutes.

We are on a mission to dramatically reduce air pollution in cities through the use of EVs.

What makes UFODrive different to other car hire platforms already on the market?

All our vehicles are fully electric, with 100 Teslas in prime locations in central London currently, for example.

The business is based around our unique app, which is used for booking cars as well as offering 24/7 support and journey navigation.

This includes co-ordination with charging points throughout Europe, where we offer unlimited free charging.

How has the company grown since its inception and what’s been behind the growth? 

UFODrive members have driven over six million kilometres in just 18 months.

We have grown rapidly to be in 16 locations across eight countries including the UK, Ireland, France, Germany and the Netherlands.

Our cars are either in central city locations or airports, where they are needed most.

We’ve agreed to launch in over 20 new cities in the coming months, which includes growth in the USA.

What kind of difficulties are involved when setting up in new cities?

UFODrive rents out electric vehicles including the Tesla Model 3 and Jaguar I-Pace via its app-based booking platform for prices starting at €69 per day

UFODrive - London

UFODrive launched in London in January 2020 (Credit: UFODrive)

App-based platforms for on-demand car hire are becoming all the rage in large cities, with several automotive giants launching services – but UFODrive comes with a difference in its all-electric fleet.

The Luxembourg start-up is already up and running in cities across Europe, including Paris, Berlin, Brussels and Vienna.

It recently launched in London, with a list of more locations to follow in the coming months.

UFODrive’s electric cars – which include the Tesla Model 3, Jaguar I-Pace and Nissan Leaf – can be rented from €69 ($75) per day, with bookings made via a mobile app and vehicles using keyless access technology.

They all have ranges of more than 200 miles and can use any of the 100,000 charging points across the UK and Europe.

After launching the London service in January 2020, Irish founder and CEO Aidan McClean speaks to NS Business about the company’s journey so far, the challenges it faces and where it’s heading.

 

Tell us how UFODrive came to be and how it works?

UFODrive was created out of my personal frustration. I’ve travelled my entire professional career and regularly had to queue an hour for rental car.

These cars were also all damaging to the environment so I created UFODrive, which is a 100% electric vehicle car hire business.

UFODrive founder Aidan McCleanhttps://www.ns-businesshub.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/11/2020/02/UFODrive-founder-Aidan-McClean-600x437.jpg 600w" sizes="(max-width: 718px) 100vw, 718px" style="box-sizing: inherit; vertical-align: middle; border-style: none; display: inline-block; max-width: 100%; height: auto;">
UFODrive founder Aidan McClean (Credit: UFODrive)

We’re mobile only so our customers can reserve and pick up their car in two minutes.

We are on a mission to dramatically reduce air pollution in cities through the use of EVs.

What makes UFODrive different to other car hire platforms already on the market?

All our vehicles are fully electric, with 100 Teslas in prime locations in central London currently, for example.

The business is based around our unique app, which is used for booking cars as well as offering 24/7 support and journey navigation.

This includes co-ordination with charging points throughout Europe, where we offer unlimited free charging.

How has the company grown since its inception and what’s been behind the growth? 

UFODrive members have driven over six million kilometres in just 18 months.

We have grown rapidly to be in 16 locations across eight countries including the UK, Ireland, France, Germany and the Netherlands.

Our cars are either in central city locations or airports, where they are needed most.

We’ve agreed to launch in over 20 new cities in the coming months, which includes growth in the USA.

What kind of difficulties are involved when setting up in new cities?

One of the challenges most car hire businesses have is that airports run very restrictive tender processes.

It’s often difficult for any new companies to work with them. However, we’ve been able to overcome that hurdle as we’re 100% electric and help towards their environmental, social and governance goals.

Our model has allowed us to work as partners with airports across Europe, becoming the first new car rental business at some locations in over 20 years.

The other challenge is the electric requirements for each vehicle within our car park locations.

This requires significant investment and regular management to ensure the best support for our users.

Is there enough EV charging infrastructure for your operation and what’s your view on the best way to improve this?

As EVs grow in popularity, naturally there will need to be more – specifically fast charging – points installed.

However, right now the infrastructure available is perfect for anyone who wants to drive cars like a Tesla or Nissan Leaf as 90% of journeys are less than 100km per day.

Nissan LEAF Charging 1 source

With vehicle range now up to 400km, often our customers don’t have to charge at all during a two or three-day rental.

There’s been a lot of talk about car consumption models moving from ownership to on-demand renting. What needs to happen for car clubs to really take off and displace ownership as the primary consumption model?

I don’t think that car hire and sharing schemes will replace ownership in the near future, as certain people still like the freedom of owning their own vehicle.

However, many others have realised they don’t need a permanent vehicle. Maybe they live in a city and it would just be a hassle.

This is where tech has combined with the industry to become part of the mobility solution.

As well as buses and trains, there are e-bikes and e-scooters for short, inner city trips; and car-sharing platforms if you just need to move around for a few hours or car rental services, like ours, for a few days.

We’re all playing a part in helping the world travel easier, cleaner and with less congestion.

The key is awareness – knowing that all these solutions are available and the difference they can make.

How much research are you doing into autonomous cars and what impact could these have on your business model?

Autonomous cars are very interesting and like anyone in the sector, we’re keeping an eye on how we could use this technology.

But I believe we’re still a long way from a fully-adopted autonomous solution.

For us, there are many exciting new developments in electric vehicles, primarily around battery and range that we’re focused on.

UFODrive

From our research, these are key for further continued and sustained growth in our market.

By working with some of the biggest names in manufacturing and production, we want to continue to innovate and offer the best solutions available.

A lot of car-sharing businesses are already in London but others have dropped out, including Daimler’s DriveNow. Does this make entering such a crowded market more daunting and what do you need to do to ensure you succeed?

There are a number of companies but no one who is doing what we are so we actually believe we have an advantage.

All of UFODrive’s vehicles are 100% electric and in major city centre or airport locations. This is a key differentiator for us.

We’ve seen in our growth thus far that our proposition is unique and people want the flexibility of a car without the negative consequences.

As a result, we encourage as much exploration as possible, hence why we offer unlimited free charging across Europe.

We also know that our customer service is a big part of our success. With our app and in-car service, we ensure that the driver always feels comfortable with their driving range and charging management, both vital if it’s your first or 100th time in an EV.

https://www.ns-businesshub.com/transport/ufodrive-car-hire/

 

Share:
UFODRIVE all-electric car hire platform expands into London

UFODRIVE all-electric car hire platform expands into London

UFODRIVE has expanded its exclusively electric car hire solution into London, offering 100 fully electric cars to rent across the capital.

The platform already provides a fleet of Tesla Model 3 and Model S hire cars in cities including Paris, Brussels and Berlin, and is now available from two central London locations – Oxford Street and Park Lane – while vehicles will also be available from Westfield Shepherd’s Bush soon.

As well as the Teslas, the fleet is being expanded to cover other makes and models such as Audi’s e-tron. Rental costs from £90 per day, which includes unlimited free charging as well as full insurance and roadside cover. Each car can access any of the 100,000 charging points across the UK and Europe, with in-built real-time automated navigation technology to help eliminate range and charging concerns.

Bookings are made via the UFODRIVE mobile app with drivers able to use the car immediately through keyless access technology

CEO Aidan McClean said: “All travel will become emission-free. It simply has to happen; however, most people still believe this will only be in the future. The technology exists today for all cars to work perfectly without the environmental impact

“Since launching UFODRIVE, our users have driven over six million kilometres across Europe on electric alone, and we’re now incredibly excited to bring our solution to London, where there is a significant need to reduce the city’s emissions for the health and wellbeing of its locals and surroundings.”

 

https://fleetworld.co.uk/ufodrive-all-electric-car-hire-platform-expands-into-london/

https://evfleetworld.co.uk/ufodrive-all-electric-car-hire-platform-expands-into-london/

 

Share:
UK’s First Electric Car Hire Platform Launches In London

UK’s First Electric Car Hire Platform Launches In London

The UK’s first electric car hire platform has launched in London, allowing users to rent 100 zero-emissions cars across the capital.

UFODRIVE is now available in two central London locations, including Oxford Street and Park Lane, and will launch in Westfield Shepherd’s Bush soon.

Rentals cost £90 per day and include unlimited free charges at any of the 100,000 charging points available across the UK and Europe. Each car comes with a built-in, real-time automated navigation system to eliminate range and charge concerns.

Founded by Aidan McClean in 2018, UFODRIVE is on a mission to provide the world’s fastest and easiest car rental experience while reducing paperwork, queues, fuel, emissions and hassle for its users.

The service is already available 24/7 in a number of city and airport locations across eight European countries and has seen 487,000 liters of fuel avoided. 

Speaking about the launch, McClean said: “All travel will become emission-free. It simply has to happen. However,  most people still believe this will only be in the future. The technology exists today for all cars to work perfectly without the environmental impact.”

Drivers can quickly make bookings via an easy-to-use mobile app, and they’re able to use the car immediately as a result of keyless access technology. 

Currently, users can choose between Tesla Model S and Model 3 vehicles. But the company revealed that it’s planning to bring other models, such as Audi’s E-tron, in the near future.

These cars, which come with full insurance and roadside cover for the entire rental period, are 100% electric to reduce the carbon footprint of the driver and sport a driving range of 200 miles before they need to be charged.  

McClean added: “Since launching UFODRIVE, our users have driven over six million kilometres across Europe on electric alone.

“We’re now incredibly excited to bring our solution to London, where there is a significant need to reduce the city’s emissions for the health and wellbeing of its locals and surroundings.”

 

Link --> https://www.forbes.com/sites/nicholasfearn/2020/02/01/uks-first-electronic-car-hire-platform-launches-in-london/#281226aa5358

Share:
UFODRIVE: On The Way To Change Car Rental For Good

UFODRIVE: On The Way To Change Car Rental For Good

Since its inception in 2018, UFODRIVE quickly became one of the most intriguing startups in Luxembourg. With a recent fundraise and ambitious growth plans, the car rental company is ready to roll in the upcoming year, as CEO Aidan McClean told us.
For the ones who do not know UFODRIVE yet, what is your startup all about?

UFODRIVE is really about solving all car rental pain points you experience today in airports and city centers. It is an easy, fast, and simple way to rent a car in prime locations. Instead of the 45-50 minute wait you typically experience in an airport, it takes just two minutes with UFODRIVE. Every aspect from booking to opening the car is handled via our app with just a few clicks.

We offer only electric cars and premium electric cars, which is for two reasons: To help to protect the environment from air pollution and to provide an overall better customer experience as we take care of charging the car, including covering the costs for that and monitoring our cars’ ranges 24/7.

“We had some phenomenal 12 months.”

Additionally, the experience of collecting your car is completely different than with a normal car park. It is more like a rental store with high-intensity lighting, chargers onsite, and screens explaining how the whole process works. So it is also kind of a special experience when you collect your car at one of our stations, which we call “UFOBAY”.

What progress did you make in 2019?

Since we started the company in May 2018 at Luxembourg’s Findel Airport, everything went kind of into “fast forward” mode. This year, we had some phenomenal 12 months. We offered our service only in three locations at the beginning of 2019. Now, by the end of the year, we are present in eight countries with a total of 15 locations.

After opening first in cities relatively close to Luxembourg, we started to offer our service in places that are further away. For example, our service is now available in Vienna and as of lately also in Berlin.

What are your plans for 2020 after recently closing a new funding round?

After raising the first part of our seed round in 2018 to get started with our business, we now basically closed the second part of it. We raised 2.6 million Euros from Dublin-based Business Venture Partners (BVP), which will help to fuel our growth next year.

We plan a rapid increase in expansion and to build on our momentum in 2020 to have a truly global footprint by this time next year. We signed more than 20 new prime locations in 2019 that will be opened all over Europe and even beyond next year. I can’t share any specifics yet but we will also go across oceans, to say the least. We kick 2020 off by opening several locations in London.

“The quantum of our Series A will be significant.“

Despite our growth ambitions, we are planning to stay as lean as possible. We are 16 people now and when we will hire new employees, we will do so very consciously. In this regard, we will fill positions primarily in technology, sales, and marketing.

After all, it is also our goal to do another round of fundraising next year. The quantum of our Series A will be significant. Hopefully a multiple of what we just raised.

What would you recommend to other founders with regard to raising venture capital?

I can recommend to other founders to not go out cold when trying to raise venture capital. I probably wasted a few months when I initially tried to approach VCs that way. Many ideas look great on presentation slides but it is never just about the idea. You have to demonstrate that you are able to execute with your team.

For our initial funding, it helped a lot to have a great network in Luxembourg and to be able to show that my co-founder and I had lots of experience with large scale IT and transformation projects in our previous jobs. Thanks to that we could get the first investment and start UFODRIVE.

Founders should try to go with the simplest way to get their business off the ground in the beginning. This could be with the help of business angels. Once you can show traction and revenue, everything changes. Then you can start and try to go down the VC route.

 https://www.siliconluxembourg.lu/ufodrive-on-the-way-to-change-car-rental-for-good/

 

Share:
Meet Aidan McClean, the CEO who took down the GVS pitch battle

Meet Aidan McClean, the CEO who took down the GVS pitch battle

Last week, Silicon Valley came to Luxembourg! The Global Venture Summit (GVS) consolidated the Grand Duchy's position as a leading start-up nation. One of the event's highlights was the pitch battle. Meet the CEO who took it down.

Numerous entrepreneurs and founders of start-ups took part in the much-anticipated GVS pitch battle, competing for a chance to win $50,000 in investment and a trip to Silicon Valley to meet with investors.

It was ultimately Aidan McClean's pitch that took down the battle.

We had a chat with the CEO of UFODRIVE. 

Congratulations on winning the pitch battle! Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and about your company?

My name's Aidan McClean, I'm from Ireland but I've lived in Luxembourg for the past seven years. I'm a former financial services executive specialising in big digital transformations in banking, insurance and wealth management. I'm passionate about electric mobility, great customer experience, and the environment. After many frustrating car rental experiences, I decided to create a radically better approach: an "out of this world" customer experience. The result is UFODRIVE.

So what exactly is UFODRIVE? Was makes it so innovative?

It is a 100% digital car rental experience via a smartphone. The entire process takes just 2 minutes - compared to traditional car rental which takes on average 45 mins from arrival at a rental desk to driving away.

UFODRIVE solves all the pain points of car rental with a simple 'Arrive & Drive' process. No key, no paperwork, no queuing, all-inclusive insurance and with free fuel (we have premium electric cars only) making UFODRIVE not just a great experience but also the best value in class.

UFODRIVE was launched in Luxembourg last May (2018) and has grown successfully and rapidly to 8 countries and 15 locations in just 18 months. We operate in the best, most convenient airport locations (e.g. Brussels, Hamburg, Vienna, Luxembourg, Cologne) and prime city centre locations (such as Dublin, Amsterdam, London, Berlin and Paris). Our collection facility is called the UFOBAY and is more like a high end car showroom than a carpark. We have developed a unique e-mobility platform that monitors and supports 24/7 the customer journey to ensure they never have to worry about range and charging. UFODRIVE eliminates range anxiety.

Any next step or plans for UFODRIVE?

We are now finalising our SERIES A funding round which will help us expand globally in addition to further exciting technology developments on our unique e-Mobility platform.

What did you hope to get out of GVS?

I hoped to learn from and connect with established experts in Global Venture Capital with a view to taking UFODRIVE global.

I'm sure you came closer to that goal by winning the pitch battle! How did you prepare for that?

We prepared a few simple messages, mostly images and - just told the story of UFODRIVE and our ambitions to rapidly grow internationally while helping to encourage electric mobility.

What did you pay particular attention to? Any tips for other entrepreneurs who pitch an idea or project? Any mistakes they should avoid?

1. You have to get the audience's attention in the first 20 seconds or else it's lost.

2. Your solutions needs to relate to a problem the audience can understand immediately.

3. Keep the messages simple and non-complicated

4. Be passionate and genuine

5. Smile and enjoy it!

Did it ever happen to you that a pitch did not go according to plan? Can nervousness become an issue?

I'm always nervous before a pitch /speech - even the most seasoned music stars get nervous after thousands of performances - it gives you the adrenaline and makes it real.

I'd say don't take it too seriously - half the audience are not listening to you anyway and the rest probably can't understand my fast-talking Irish accent!

I once got the giggles many years ago when speaking in front of a big audience in the US that included Bill Gates - couldn't stop smiling and giggling - think I scared the audience!

Thank you for your time, and good luck!

 

Full article -> https://today.rtl.lu/news/business-and-tech/a/1436702.html

Share:
UFODRIVE — The Tesla & EV Rental Company Of The 21st Century

UFODRIVE — The Tesla & EV Rental Company Of The 21st Century

This is a short overview of a standard car rental story that you have probably experienced yourself more than once with varying degrees of severity: We went on vacation and landed at the destination airport after midnight completely exhausted. After the security check and baggage claim, we started looking for the signs leading to the car rental desk. It turned out to be on the other side of the airport and on a different floor. When we got there, we found a line of around 6 other people, and for some reason only one person working behind the desk. When it was finally our turn, they needed to print the paperwork in the back, which was taking forever. We needed to make a decision on what insurance options we want and then put our signature on at least 6 different pages not even knowing what on earth we were signing. Then we needed to go pick up the car and we found out that the car parking lot was 5 km away and there was a shuttle/minibus that would take us there. When we finally got there, the guy with the keys was not where he should have been. Eventually, we got the key and went looking for the car, which was at least another 5 minute walk away. Then, we couldn’t seem to find the car because … they had given us a different model than we ordered.

 

One man has had enough, and his name is Aidan McClean. After enduring a story similar to my story above for the 50th time, while on the airplane ride back home, he wrote a business plan that will one day revolutionize the industry. That is the story of how UFODRIVE came to be. The short summary is: He and others at the new company wanted to create a rental service that was out of this world, and they succeeded. Most importantly, they made an app for it.

The experience is entirely app based. Whether you order in advance or just arrive and see what’s available, its very easy to “arrive and drive,” as the company likes to call it.

People who are trying the experience for the first time have to register, which in some ways is similar to the registration of a new generation of banks, like Revolut and N26. In the app, you use the camera of your phone to take a picture of your ID and driver’s license and then fill in some basic info. They validate it within the next 24 hours — although, from what I have seen, it usually happens within an hour or two.

In the app, you choose a city, the car, and the dates and times and you want to go. There are also some very intuitive options, like adding 3 additional drivers for free or choosing between free insurance or an insurance option without an excess fee that costs €24. There’s an option for lowering the price if you know how many kilometers you will drive throughout the trip — although, the differences are not huge since it’s electricity we are talking about, not petrol or diesel.

So, in any case, you ordered the car, and the app is your key. The company has a bunch of EV models available. (For our review, they gave us a 2019 Tesla Model S Standard Range.) You unlock it with your phone, you disconnect the charger the car is connected to, and you get going. The only person involved in the process is you. Aside from the coolness factor and the tech, there is one little detail that I really loved. It’s a really nice gesture — there is a free bottle of water waiting for you when you get in the car. This is really like no other car rental experience I have experienced before.

What is interesting is that UFODRIVE has several additional business cases that regular car rentals don’t have. A lot of people who rent their vehicles simply want to experience a Tesla (or another EV) for a day or for a weekend. In the Netherlands, the waitlist for getting a Tesla test drive that will last for all of 15 minutes is 3 months long. By renting a Tesla like the Model 3, you can experience the car for a whole day, or even a week.

At first glance, UFODRIVE’s prices may seem slightly higher than the competition, but that is until you deduct the cost of traditional fuel. A full tank of gasoline can cost as much as €100, while charging the car at a Supercharger is less than €15. Also with a regular car, you need to return the car fully refueled or incur a ridiculously high surcharge. With UFODRIVE, you can return a totally depleted car since by the time it’s cleaned and ready for the next customer it will be fully charged again anyway.

UFODRIVE gives you a handy universal card that you can use to charge the car at almost any public charger. Also, if that card doesn’t work — for example, if your trip takes you to a neighboring country — there are a couple of extra ones in the glove compartment and at least one of those should work. (In my experience, the main one never failed me.)

The way UFODRIVE operates is really impressive. They try to do everything in a green way, and that even includes cleaning the cars. They are cleaned in the bay either using a special green process that doesn’t use water at all or a steam method that uses almost no water, depending on the country you are in. You also get bonuses like credit for CO2 saved, and the company is now trying to help offset CO2 in other ways, like donating a percentage of earnings from each rental to a sustainable energy fund. It really is remarkable how much the startup resembles Tesla in mentality. Just take a look at the email I got from them after the rental was closed:

This is not to say that UFODRIVE is entirely perfect. It has a few minor limitations that might pose a problem for some use cases, and in the case of non-Tesla EVs, there could be a bit of a challenge for the EV uninitiated. While their handy card does let you charge at any charging station, finding those stations is an entirely different matter. There are a couple of handy online tools that help with this, but if you are just driving and need the nearest location, you are not going to have a great time looking for one on a nearly depleted battery. The other issue is that you can’t pick up the car in one place and drop it off in another — you need to return it to the same place. To their credit they say that both are things they are working on and some might even be fixed in an update coming “soon.” Update from UFODRIVE on this:

“With our latest app release we now show nearby chargers directly through the app; no need to download or browse other websites. And if someone ‘forgets’ to charge and the battery level drops below a certain level, we’ll proactively contact the customer to advise and guide them towards a nearby charger. We saved a few customers like that. And after thousands of journeys, we can proudly report we had no single battery breakdown.”

One thing is for sure: the company is still new and is pushing out software updates even faster than Tesla. When I was originally doing the review, there was no way to see the charging status of the battery from the app, and they have since already updated it with that exact function. I really see a lot of potential in this company and the very capable people who run it.

So, whether you are looking to try the Tesla Model S, Tesla Model 3 (Long Range or Standard Range Plus), Hyundai Kona EV, Audi e-tron, Jaguar I-PACE, or Nissan LEAF, you for sure might want to give UFODRIVE a try.

While the company did not share its exact expansion plans, we should for sure see it enter many new European markets in the next few years, and it is definitely also interested in a US expansion.

The competition is totally left in the dust, but if they do manage to catch up to UFODRIVE, the whole world will be all the better for it. 

Make sure to watch our UFODRIVE review video and our interview with CEO Aidan McClean, who provides a lot of interesting information about the company.

Watch the interview with CEO Aidan McClean -> www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQYaLMd0G3c

Watch the UFODRIVE review -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YregH5CgeA

 

Share:

Stay informed
News, cars, locations...

SUBSCRIBE TO THE NEWSLETTER

Download UFODRIVE