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Tesla moves in rental and limo businesses

Next top Model: Sydney-based Evoke will add three Model X SUVs to its fleet of existing Model S sedans next year after technology investor Simon Hackett purchased a share in the business.

All-electric Model S soon available to rent as Tesla chauffeur service expands

21 Oct 2016

Tesla’s all-electric vehicles are expanding into the rental car business in the ACT, while experiencing growth in the private chauffeur service in NSW.

From mid-November, car-rental company Thrifty will make available a Tesla Model S luxury sedan to hire in Canberra, which will be used to highlight the region’s green vehicle incentive.

The Model S will be the first Tesla available in NRMA-owned company’s rental-vehicle fleet and will only be available at the Canberra airport location.

NRMA Group CEO Rohan Lund said the Model S will preview what will be available to drive on Australian roads, and the type of vehicles available from Thrifty, in the future.

“Tesla opens the door to what the future of mobility in Australia will look like and we are thrilled to be making this available to our Thrifty customers in the ACT soon,” he said.

“While owning a Tesla Model S might be a tad out of the price range of many, driving one should not. It’s an enjoyable experience and I’m proud that Thrifty can deliver that to our members in the ACT.

“It also gives an insight on how an organisation like Thrifty will adopt developing autonomous technology to meet our customers’ needs in the future, especially those who face mobility challenges, such as older Australians and those living with reduced mobility.”

Thrifty also highlighted the ACT government’s incentive for electric vehicles, abolishing stamp duty for green vehicles which has meant the Model S is almost $7500 cheaper in the ACT than in NSW.

Mr Lund said the incentive should be adopted across the rest of the country to allow emerging vehicle technologies to reach the masses.

“The NRMA Group of businesses, which includes Thrifty, has embarked on a new strategy that focusses on using technology to solve the mobility challenges of our members and customers,” he said.

“Part of that approach means using the NRMA’s advocacy voice to call for the removal of any barriers to the fast tracking of this technology. Indeed, we call on other state and territory governments to remove unnecessary red tape, fees and charges that might hold this technology back.

“We are also very much committed to investing our own capital to achieve these goals and today’s announcement is just the start.”

Meanwhile, a luxury chauffeur service in Sydney named Evoke – which deals exclusively in Tesla vehicles – has announced an expansion of its business.

The growth comes on the back of technology investor Simon Hackett purchasing a 10 per cent stake in the company, allowing it to add three Model X SUVs to its existing range of five Model S sedans by mid-next year.

Evoke allows customers to hire Tesla vehicles for point-to-point transportation needs and airport transfers, as well as special occasions including weddings and events.

Evoke founder Pia Peterson said the inclusion of the Model X SUVs to its fleet will allow the company to be more flexible with its customer base.

“We plan to add three Model X SUVs to our Sydney fleet by the middle of next year, which will be fantastic for transporting larger families in comfort and providing more flexibility for our corporate partners,” she said.

“We’re also looking to launch our business in Melbourne next year, so Simon’s support will greatly assist with our expansion plans.”

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