Spending an afternoon at Movin’On Summit, the international event on sustainable mobility organized in Montreal by Michelin was very enlightening, here are a few impressions, from this first day.
Applying circular economy to mobility
This year, talking about sustainable mobility is associated with circular economy, which is quite innovative. Indeed, we usually think of recycling when we hear about circular economy, but it can be so much more than that.
Putting circularity at the core of new mobility products and services, we realize that it has to do with shifting behaviours.
For example, being circular can translate into finding solutions to commuting and therefore, working from home can be a solution to decreasing traffic jam while increasing quality of life and well-being of workers in urban areas.
Embracing climate constrains to design urban spaces
Thai architect Kotchakorn Voraakhom designs parks, gardens, green roofs and bridges that address the city’s flooding problem while also reconnecting residents to their natural environment. She has designed a stunning park in the center of Bangkok where rainwater is collected, cleaned and reduces urban heat. Considering the recent Montreal flooding, this project was truly inspiring.
Making the automotive industry greener
Did you know that there were cars working with hydrogen instead of CO2? Did you know that in Quebec, there was a 100% electrical dumpster? That Michelin is developing an air-free tire, Uptis, that was connected and 3d printed? All these innovations are happening to make the future of mobility greener and more efficient.
The solution to making mobility more circular lies in technology.
Movin’On is happening in Montreal, from 4 to 6 June 2019. More information here.
As Uber continues to infuriates taxi drivers in Quebec, and Teo Taxi files for bankruptcy, two entrepreneurs in their twenties are fine-tuning a different business model for a ride hailing app based on the social economy: Eva.
An improved and socially responsible version of Uber
Dardan Isufi and Raphael Gaudrault are 22 and 23 years old and both still studying, but they are also full-time entrepreneurs and co-founders of a young startup: Eva.
It all began in the Fall of 2017 as Uber was once again making the headlines in Montreal. The two friends started thinking of the ride hailing economy.
“The problem with Uber is not the concept of ride sharing but its implementation.”
Uber creates a precarious environment for drivers and an economy that does not invest benefits in the local economy (with 25% of revenues collected by the company).
From the old capitalism to the new sharing economy
Eva has completely shifted the economic model and offers a decentralized solidarity cooperative. Drivers and passengers are part of a community based on the redistribution of wealth (a great interview with Crypto Tim is available here)
When it comes to revenues, the driver members earn 85% of the total ride fare. While the rest does not go to any shareholder’s pocket but instead, 10% is used to provide funds to the cooperative and 4% goes for ecosystem treasury, and the rest goes to the Eva foundation (technical maintenance, communications).
“The idea is to maximize the profit for the driver members who often have to pay for the car, the maintenance, a driver’s license, fines, and energy costs.”
This is made possible by blockchain: based on the decentralization of data, this technology avoids the cost of stocking data on servers while offering more security and confidentiality. Everything is explained in this White Paper.
A taste for risk and for impact-driven values
Both students are invested in impact-driven organizations and deeply believe in values of cooperation, respect, and social justice. Dardan is studying Political Science and handles operations, i.e. legal constraints and authorizations. Raphael is studying Computer Software Engineering and handles the tech part of the work, i.e. blockchain. Both have a deep interest in solving problems and getting out of their comfort zone.
“A crazy idea will become realistic when it is embraced as a team.”
The co-founders have surrounded themselves with a team of technical ninjas and communications aurors who are getting ready to make their crazy idea a reality. As for the general public it can become part of the coop by joining as a rider, as a driver or as a support member.
A harsh market with high barriers to entry
Building sustainable innovations is not easy, especially in a market dominated by a giant like Uber. Some players have learned this lesson the harsh way: less than three years ago, Teo Taxi had brought a fleet of electric cars to the taxi industry in Montreal (we have written about them here) but it announced the shut down of its operations on 29 January 2019.
“Teo Taxi was a strong player in the transport industry. It provided a green alternative and had made the idea of electric transportation realistic”.
Hopefully, Montrealers will continue to embrace socially responsible innovations when it comes to ride hailing, and Eva will provide a highly differentiated alternative to Uber that can attract a community that believes in impact-driven initiatives.
Eva is more than a ride-sharing application, Eva is a movement empowering people with automation and inclusion.
After receiving legal authorization from the Quebec Ministry of Transportation, the Eva App should be launched in Montreal by the end of February 2019. Download the app and find out more about it.