Zevvy Wants to Make Driving EVs More Attainable

The company offers an EV leasing solution and operates in several places throughout California.

Written by Ashley Bowden
Published on Nov. 02, 2022
Zevvy Wants to Make Driving EVs More Attainable
Andrew Krulewitz, founder and CEO of Zevvy, poses for a photo.
Andrew Krulewitz, founder and CEO of Zevvy. | Image: Zevvy / Built In

Sure the latest initiatives from the Teslas, Apples and Googles of the industry tend to dominate the tech news space — and with good reason. Still, the tech titans aren’t the only ones bringing innovation to the sector.

In an effort to highlight up-and-coming startups, Built In has launched The Future 5 across eight major U.S. tech hubs. Each quarter, we will feature five tech startups, nonprofits or entrepreneurs in each of these hubs who just might be working on the next big thing. You can check out last quarter’s San Francisco round-up here.

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The Golden State is rich in eco-friendly initiatives, quite notably within the electric vehicle space. In a place where millions take to the road every day, a Bay Area startup is working to lessen the impact these trips have on the environment. Zevvy is an online marketplace where users can lease EVs at more affordable price points than typical lease deals or loan contracts. 

Transportation was the largest contributor to greenhouse gases in 2020, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, accounting for about 27 percent of the U.S.’ total emissions that year. Light-duty vehicles like sedans, SUVs and pickup trucks made up about 57 percent of this amount. Zevvy wants to offset these emissions by converting consumers who depend on gas-fueled cars for their everyday commutes to eco-friendly EVs.

Andrew Krulewitz, Zevvy’s founder and CEO, got started in the greentech space by developing consumer financing strategies for solar energy products and energy storage solutions. Krulewitz learned that while these environmentally conscious products tended to be pricey upfront, they can be more cost-effective for users in the long run as compared to nonrenewable energy sources like gas or coal. 

This mentality could also be applied to the automotive sector. Combining his greentech proficiency with his lifelong affinity for cars, Krulewitz secured an innovation job at a nationwide automotive organization where he undertook a long daily commute using a workplace-provided EV. The experience showed him that if he could live with an EV without dedicated parking or at-home charging infrastructure, others could do the same.

“I began to take greater notice of all the other people driving around, particularly those who were driving into San Francisco. I noticed all the other traffic coming in day in and day out, bumper-to-bumper traffic, and there were very few EVs in that lineup, very few hybrids, even,” Krulewitz told Built In. “I started to do the math myself — where are these folks coming from [and] how much could they be saving on gas and maintenance.” 

Ultimately, he found that drivers could save up to 20 to 30 cents a mile while driving an EV instead of a gas-fueled car, and these calculations led him to create Flux EV, which recently rebranded to Zevvy.

On the platform, consumers can find EVs that suit their needs and lifestyles. Users can select a monthly mileage package, set up billing and payments and pick up their car. At the end of a lease term, drivers get the option to renew their lease or purchase the car. If a user opts to purchase the EV they’ve been driving, they pay a low, per-mile fee on every mile they’ve driven that accrues against the vehicle’s purchase price. 

I noticed all the other traffic coming in day in and day out, bumper-to-bumper traffic, and there were very few EVs in that lineup.”

Zevvy’s main concern is making EVs more accessible to consumers. Typically, moderate-income drivers shopping for their next ride avoid getting electric cars due to their higher initial price tag, according to Krulewitz. Zevvy’s platform targets the millions of U.S. drivers who drive more than 13,000 per year and aims to equip them with EVs for a manageable cost, both upfront and down the line.

While the state of California has ambitious goals in place for EVs in the near future, there’s more work to be done across the broader automotive space to encourage EV adoption. Rather than matching consumers with whatever car their credit says they can immediately afford, Krulewitz believes it’ll be more beneficial for financiers to consider longer-term benefits.

“Our whole hypothesis is if there is total cost of ownership saving in a deal for a consumer — even if the car is more expensive to purchase — you should absolutely put that consumer in the more expensive car,” Krulewitz said. “They will save money … and for the financier, you’re putting more money to work with greater certainty that you’ll get repaid, and you’re doing so into a green asset.”

Working with distributors like Nissan, Hyundai, Mitsubishi and Tesla and corporate partners like Uber, Zevvy currently has a fleet of about 100 EVs with services in the Bay Area. Over the next 12 months, it plans to expand its fleet to 1,000 and establish new partnerships with GM and Ford dealerships.

Its recent seed funding from MaC Venture Capital will help with these endeavors, in addition to expanding Zevvy’s tech capabilities and geographic reach. Zevvy is on the lookout for additional corporate partnerships as well as internal talent for its engineering, sales, product and finance teams.

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