Electric vehicles (EVs) are on the rise. While there is debate as to whether that’s a good thing or not, since sustainable electricity production is still under 30 percent, there’s one thing that is undebatable.
Electric vehicles cause a cultural shift in how we plan our journeys, and that makes access to charging stations critical.
Go To-U has announced its answer to the problem with an app that pairs drivers with eco-friendly businesses.
So how does it work?
Go To-U lets drivers book time at a charging station located at a business, such as a restaurant, hotel, or spa. Users can book and pay for the services available at the charging spot, which gives drivers a chance to enjoy local facilities while waiting for the car battery to refill.
That’s smart, because not only does the driver gain access to thousands of new charging spots, they can use their time wisely while they wait. And for local business owners, Go To-U represents a new way to attract consumers to their respective businesses while showing they’re forward-thinking and ecologically minded.
“The Go To-U platform generates revenue through an agency model by charging a commission for every service or product purchase made during the charging session,” Go To-U CTO Denys Kravchenko told me. “Additionally, we are charging licensing fees for our SaaS management platform. Lastly, we are selling KEBA AG charging stations as the official distributor.”
It’s a well-thought-out business plan, which has more breadth than many existing solutions.
“What is important, is that the bottom line of all competitive solutions is simply selling electricity,” Kravchenko said. “None of the existing charging network operators provides the solution for EV-friendly businesses to get beyond selling the electricity. They are trying to monetize parking facilities of the hotels, restaurants, and shopping malls by simply selling kilowatts per hour (kWh).”
The difference for the hosting business? Instead of making up to $10 per charging session, Go To-U estimates the average partner will make up to $100 instead.
While it doesn’t make sense for every car to be electric at this time — since the majority of electricity production is still based on fossil fuels — sustainable electricity production is constantly on the rise. The cultural shift of changing from “fill and go” to “stop and recharge” however will take a while to become commonplace.
Go To-U maintain that this shift is healthy for drivers.
“There are more exciting things to do rather than visiting gas-station,” Kravchenko said. “Over 80 percent of EV drivers charge their cars home or at the workplace. While traveling, EV drivers prefer to charge up at restaurants and hotels. We can see that more and more hospitality businesses are interested in providing the best charging experience to increase the dwell time of their customers.”
And while, right now, people still drive their vehicles from A to B, that status quo is shifting too.
“We believe that in the near future there will be more and more autonomous transportation,” Kravchenko said. “In this paradigm, we’ll become an all-in-one assistant for travelers. Standing by the three pillars of simplicity, reliability, and convenience, we envision that the journey will no longer be associated with merely getting from point A to point B, but with the driver’s experience and services along the way.”
The Go To-U app is the driver-side experience, while Back-Office To-U is a platform that lets its partners manage the EV charging stations, measure impact, and send offers and promotions to drivers.
“With Back-Office To-U, businesses already can calculate the amount of the CO2 emissions they help to reduce thanks to powering electric vehicles,” Kravchenko said.
Founded in 2017 in Lviv, Ukraine, Go To-U is expanding rapidly and has plans to take its solution worldwide. It offers hundreds of charging spots in over 13 countries, including the U.S., UK, Ukraine, Germany, France, and Spain.
“The company is growing fast and we plan to double our team by the end of the year, expanding business globally and opening an office in California,” Kravchenko said.