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TENANTS of a Sydney residential complex are the first to access shared vehicles through a new partnership between commercial real estate company Knight Frank, EV share service Ohmie Go and car subscription firm Carbar.

The partnership has its first exposure this week to tenants at The Parkside building in North Sydney – who are offered the use of two Tesla Model 3s – but more upmarket buildings will be added in 2021 including those in other cities.

Through Carbar, other EVs including Hyundai Kona Electric and a range of e-bikes are available depending on the requirements of the building. Additional vehicle choices will be available as new EVs enter Australia.

The availability of vehicles from the partnership is not limited to residents. In commercial office spaces they will be available to office workers.

Through the use of the Ohmie Go app, tenants will be able to book, access, and pay for an electric vehicle at an hourly, daily or weekend rate.

Users pay from $15 an hour for the service. The building has a dedicated bay within its car park and the car is picked up and returned to that bay.

The partnership will see Ohmie Go manage the service from end-to-end via its mobile app and Carbar will provide Ohmie Go access to the latest EVs and maintain the vehicles tied to the service.

Ohmie Go CEO and founder Kyle Bolto said sustainable mobility was the future.

“Our fully managed model provides access to this technology to so many more people while significantly increasing the appeal and sustainability of a building for the asset owners and managers,” he said.

“We believe this service will give property owners an edge in securing and retaining high-quality tenants in what is already a tough commercial real estate market.”

The opening of the service at The Parkside in Sydney follows Ohmie Go’s pilot in 2019 at the EQ Tower in Melbourne’s CBD.

Mr Bolto said that based on that pilot “we know there is also very strong demand for our service in the high rise residential and build to rent markets.”

“We are currently in discussions with many of the large-scale residential property developers to bring this service to developments in the near term,” he said.

Kyle Bolto

Knight Frank Australia head of asset management services Lisa Atkins said the partnership “accentuates Knight Frank’s premium customer service offering and perfectly aligns with our commitment to innovation and sustainability”.

“As more employees begin to return to the office, it is imperative that the workplace experience is enjoyable and engaging,” she said.

“Providing great customer experiences will be an essential point of difference for landlords and Ohmie Go is an important part of that strategy for us.”

Carbar CEO Des Hang said the partnership was a unique application of its subscription business model.

“Through a subscription arrangement, we’re able to scale the program to the needs of building managers,” he said.

“We’re incredibly bullish on the rollout of EVs in Australia, the appetite is there. A recent study we commissioned found that one in five consumers would prefer to drive an EV this year.

“More broadly, subscription and on-demand services such as Ohmie Go will play a massive role in giving consumers ongoing access to an EV without the upfront commitment of purchasing a car and the ongoing hassle of running and maintaining it.”

Ohmie Go is a sustainability-focused e-mobility company based in Sydney that offers the service to the property industry and with plans to provide embedded electric mobility to large-scale buildings across the world.

The company, founded in Sydney in 2016 as energy management company Symbiot Technology, is now looking to raise capital in 2021 to fund expansion in other markets.

Knight Frank LLP is a London-based global property consultancy operating in 57 markets. It advises clients ranging from individual owners and buyers to major developers, investors and corporate tenants.

Carbar is a leading mobility technology provider that offers customer-centric alternatives to traditional car ownership.

Founded in Melbourne in 2016 as a virtual car dealership, Carbar claims to be the first to market in Australia with car subscriptions and says it has maintained its leadership position.

Australia’s largest general insurer, IAG, recently acquired a majority stake in Carbar.

By Neil Dowling

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