A big change within the new Pure Planet app, built in partnership with bp, is the ability for Members to connect their petrol or diesel car to understand its carbon impact, and to see how much carbon and cash they could save switching to an electric vehicle.
The electric vehicle market is growing by the day, with one in ten new car sales now electric. But what about those of us who aren’t ready or able to buy an EV right now, or are reluctant to lock themselves into a long leasing contract?
elmo offers access to EVs on subscription, with no deposit and a rolling monthly contract, all for the price of a lease and with insurance, maintenance, breakdown cover and more included. And as a Pure Planet Member you’ll get an exclusive £50 discount on your first EV subscription.
We spoke to co-founder Olly about elmo’s mission, his personal motivation for preventing climate change and why he thinks our new app is a great step forward in the fight against climate change.
Tell us about elmo’s mission
We’re on a mission to make electric cars accessible to more people sooner. Transport accounts for about 26% of UK carbon emissions (the largest contribution of any single sector). If the UK can find a way to help more drivers switch to electrified transport sooner, it can have a meaningful impact on reducing carbon emissions — not to mention air and noise pollution.
Many car drivers are still sat on the fence about switching to an electric vehicle. They are put off by higher costs — EVs tend to be about £5k-10k more expensive than equivalent petrol and diesel cars; by a sense of unfamiliarity with charging; by fear of having their day-to-day inconvenienced by range; and by a concern that the technology is evolving quickly and the costs are coming down so perhaps switching will be more affordable in a year or two’s time.
By offering access to an electric car on subscription we aim to persuade people to switch today.
What makes elmo special?
We’re totally redefining the buying and owning experience for car drivers. The problems and inconvenience of buying at dealerships or locking into long lease contracts disappear when the experience is tailored to the flexibility and convenience needs of modern customers and made 100% digital. And when you marry that with a genuinely warm and human customer service experience, you give people something really special.
We’re also the world’s first net zero car subscription platform. We deal exclusively in 100% electric vehicles which produce zero tailpipe emissions. We also include, as standard, a carbon offset donation through our partnership with Climate Care in the monthly price to account for emissions produced during the manufacturing process.
Customers increasingly care about the impact of their purchase decisions; and while value is still the most important factor for many people (which is why we make sure our prices compete with lease deals but without the deposit and long-term commitment), people also want an easy way to be greener.
What can Members interested in an EV subscription from elmo do next?
Our service is designed for convenience and simplicity. If people fancy trying (and hopefully keeping) an electric vehicle on subscription, they can sign up and make a booking on our website in 5 minutes; our team will verify the booking within 24 hours; and then we can deliver to their door after 4 working days.
The subscription is all-inclusive of insurance, maintenance & servicing, congestion charge, road tax, breakdown cover etc., so there’s no set up work required beyond the initial booking. People can hand it back after the first month — we’ll come and collect — or keep it for as long as they like.
Why do you personally want to prevent climate change?
I come from a rural background in Dorset and was brought up with values that embraced sustainability and awareness for the environment. Before launching elmo, I supported entrepreneurs in raising early stage investment at Angel Investment Network and hosted a podcast — ‘The Startup Microdose’ — where we interviewed some of the most promising and successful UK scale-up founders. In both roles, I spent time with inspiring entrepreneurs whose product/service had been designed around solving a specific market problem, but with the added dimension of impact and sustainability playing a central role. And they all seemed to me to make compelling cases for the importance of building a business with sustainability at its core.
In the face of this, I felt as though no business was worth starting unless its ability to generate revenue was married to its ability to create a meaningful and positive impact on the world. So, when Luke approached me with the initial idea for elmo as a way of accelerating mass adoption of electric cars (which he had formed during his time at Octopus Energy and a cleantech consultancy called Element Energy), I jumped at the opportunity to try my hand at making a difference.
How do you think the new Pure Planet app helps Members on the road to zero?
Helping people understand the cost (both financial and environmental) of their purchase decisions is key to empowering them to make good choices both for themselves and for the planet. The app makes the right information easy to access, easy to understand and, importantly, easy to put into action.