Zero-emission car service rolling out in SA

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By Melissa Keogh

South Australia’s first zero-emission car service is rolling out across Adelaide, in support of the city council’s push for the southern capital to become carbon neutral.

The chauffeur service myCar, based at Tonsley Innovation District, aims to help reduce transport emissions and promote electric vehicle technology.

myCar founder and director Mark Harrington says the zero-emission vehicle service began in 2017 with a fleet of luxury hybrid Lexus and Mercedes cars, as well as electric Tesla vehicles.

However, he says the company is now shifting towards adding less expensive car brands to its fleet, including the Mitsubishi Outlander, a hybrid vehicle that services “at taxi prices”.

myCar still uses its luxury Tesla vehicles the ‘Model S’ and ‘ Model X’, which have a range of about 400km before running flat.

Mark says myCar will soon release new software, including an app, allowing passengers to choose their preferred type of vehicle and their favourite driver.

myCar founder and director Mark Harrington is the brains behind SA’s first zero-emission car service.

“Not only are we the first zero-emission car service in SA, but we are the only,” he says.

“It’s new technology like this that will enable drivers to become your affordable personal concierge on wheels so the experience feels like being in your own fancy car, only better.”

Mark says he envisages the app to also include information on public transport services such as trains and buses, and also flights.

“I can imagine a day where people don’t own their own cars at all, but it’s all about ride sharing and using transport through an app,” he says.

He can also see the day when autonomous vehicles in SA eventually become less of a novelty and more of a reality.

“At myCar we’re already running Teslas in auto pilot mode (with backup drivers of course), but I think that we’ll still have drivers for a while,” Mark says.

“For now, I expect that the sharing economy and autonomous driving will make it less important for more people to own their own vehicle.”

Mark has taken inspiration from successful trials in Holland and is now collaborating with Flinders University and local business Gelco to export electricity from car batteries to power households.

“Collaboration in business will enable us to realise our potential and make Adelaide the world’s first carbon neutral city,” he says.

“At myCar we’re not just using the safest electric cars on the road, we’re supporting SA’s transition to sustainable energy by investing in electric and autonomous vehicle research.”

One of myCar’s Tesla vehicles.

myCar is a founding partner of Carbon Neutral Adelaide, an Adelaide City Council driven ambition to make the southern capital the world’s first carbon neutral city.

Carbon Neutral Adelaide aims to increase the proportion of hybrid and electric vehicle registrations to 15% by 2021.

Emissions from transport contribute to 35% of Adelaide’s total emissions with 90% of that coming from private passenger cars, according to the Adelaide City Council.

The myCar fleet is charged on electric car charging infrastructure set up across the state including regional areas and at locations across the city.

Mark grew up in the Adelaide Hills, becoming a global finance advisor overseas before moving home to run his own Adelaide-based firm, Infrastructure Finance Australia.

His decision to branch out into the transport industry carried on his family’s history in personalised chauffeur services, with his grandfather Jack Harrington running a horse-drawn carriage business in the Hills for many years.

Adelaide’s movement in the renewable energy space plus its strong entrepreneurial ecosystem made the perfect launchpad for myCar, Mark says.

“There is a great entrepreneurial spirit in Adelaide and myCar is proud to be part of this growing, dynamic business community,” he adds.

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