RelayRides Can (Literally) Get You Amped for Your Commute


RelayRides blogger Nick Pell introduces an owner who is literally amped (well his car is) about peer-to-peer car sharing and electric vehicles

Tim Hebb is a 62-year-old entrepreneur living in the Koreatown area of Los Angeles. He’s currently starting a new business called eCourier that aims to be the first zero emissions courier service in Los Angeles. Hebb is an ambassador for electric vehicles and uses RelayRides to get the message out. He’s also making a healthy second income that covers his monthly insurance payment on two cars with a little leftover to spare.

Making Extra Money the Green Way

Hebb barely needs to drive either his Nissan Leaf or his Audi A4. He chose his current residence based on its proximity to the LA Metro, bus lines and local grocery stores. “Sometimes I go a week without using a car,” he says, adding “Why not put it on RelayRides and give someone the opportunity to learn about electric vehicles?”

He’s surprised that more people don’t use the marketplace. “If you have a car you aren’t using very much you have a steady source of income that you’re not taking advantage of.” Indeed, Hebb is able to conceptualize this in very practical terms. “You can get free car insurance every month and put gas in your car,” he says.

An Electric Vehicle Evangelist

It was the money that first attracted Hebb to RelayRides. “I wanted to make some extra money and RelayRides sounded like a great opportunity.” “Once you get an electric car you won’t want to drive anything else,” says Hebb. He had a 2002 Audi A4 sitting in his garage that he never drove. “Why not make some money off of it?,” he asks.

However, like many early adopters of fully electric vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf, Hebb is also acutely interested in alternative forms of transportation. “I’m a big supporter of alternative transportation. Public transport. Car sharing. Ride sharing. Anything that helps hold down the pollution and the greenhouse gasses that are put into the air.” He gets a double whammy by listing an electric vehicle on the RelayRides Marketplace. It’s estimated that every RelayRides car takes 14 cars off the road; What could be better for the environment than replacing them with an electric vehicle?

Because Hebb is in such close proximity to public transportation and local businesses, he often goes a whole week without using his car once. Putting his car on RelayRides allows him the opportunity to make extra cash, but also to educate people about electric vehicles.

“Educating people about electric vehicles is a huge motivator for me,” he says. “There’s still a stereotype in some circles that they’re glorified golf carts. Once people drive a Leaf they realize that’s just not true.” In fact, the Leaf has 100 percent torque immediately, with Hebb likening it to a gigantic slot car.

Rent an Electric Vehicle For Less

RelayRides has a couple of advantages over a traditional fleet-based car rental service for people looking to try out an electric vehicle. First, these fleet-based services often don’t have many electric vehicles on hand. Second, the price is far above what you’d pay at RelayRides, with Leafs renting in Los Angeles for just above $30 a day.

If you’re an electric vehicle owner looking to spread the good word and make a little extra money, today is the day to list your car on the RelayRides Marketplace. If you need to go grocery shopping, take flat packs home from IKEA or just want to know what an electric vehicle can do, check out Hebb’s or any number of electric vehicles on the Marketplace today. Either way, you’ll have the way you think about car ownership changed forever.