EV Sales Brokering

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EV Sales Brokering

Evolve or die is the way of life as well as business. So, we have decided to sell our fleet of i-Mievs. Rentals will become a thing of the past, since the shift of reducing the amount of cars on the island has been sidelined by hurricane Irma from September. Interest has always been steady regarding sales, but we shied away from it for fear of the uninitiated damaging the cars irreparably.

Now we will fully direct our efforts in acquisition of EVs (with liquid cooled batteries) to anyone of interest. Our service will be expertise, specifically:

  • in finding EVs new or used
  • inspection of vehicle
  • transportation
  • education of ideal use of vehicle

There is still no sign of EVs being legitimately sold by any of the manufacturers dealerships in all of the Caribbean. The auto industry has chosen to turn a blind eye to this small but affluent population. The 70-100 mile range of low-level EVs fits most of the region's driving habits. I-Mievs were designed by islanders (the Japanese) for urban environments, not highway use. They should have been heavily marketed in the tropics once it was found that they were doing poorly in the USA.

Contact us by email or by phone or twitter

  • +590 690 775086
  • songha@sharexmobility.com
  • @sharexmobility

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Accepting Credit Cards When you aren't in North America, Asia or Europe

As an American expatriate in the Caribbean, repeated blockages of establishing entrepreneurship is a bit mystifying. It isn't a problem creating a US based bank account to accept funds. Of course, US state & federal taxes go along with it. Unless you choose a state like Delaware with favorable corporate tax structuring, the choice to do so is a mathematical cost benefit analysis. We recently found Stripe Atlas that does (starting at $500) all of the heavy paperwork lifting to open a US account, which may not be for the near zero budgeted business. Transferwise offers free borderless accounts that allow you to exchange currency at 10% of the price of standard rates. Combined with Stripe services you could freelance across the globe, according to their website  We also found a fellow tropical IT blogger discussing their Payoneer solution which is more low cost than Stripe's Atlas, the global payment processor. Reviews have been mixed regarding Payoneer debit card withdrawals in varing amounts. Great options for the global consultant.

We established in the Caribbean and would like to use what we have locally. Share X mobility is established on both sides of St. Martin. But local banks don't seem to have interest or authority from their EU parents to offer the same options mainland consumers receive. Excuses of fraud prevention or administrative challenges are bogus since accepting cards online requires a billing address unlike card purchases in person. There is definitely second class status regarding bank features, just like we found with local automobile purchasing. We will consult our accountant to see whether to open an office in France proper to gain the digital advantages (at Stripe.fr) afforded to businesses there. Or does it pay to deal with the more complicated taxes of having a bank account outside of our borders like Transferwise offers with virtual local accounts. There are many similarities to buying an EV for use in SXM.

If you were expecting the same choices at a St Martin Nissan dealership as in the EU, you would be surprised to find out that car companies cut up the planet into portions that don't care about government boundaries. If you are south of Texas, then you are in the South American / Latin market. (Brazil has its own market). Meaning, in 2016-2017, no one in the tropics could buy an EV directly from a dealer in our region, since they don't sell them here. Dealer catalogs simply didn't have them. GPS & Bluetooth features weren't even included on any vehicles here either. The whole tropical region seemingly has no GPS.

Back to credit card acceptance in St Martin. On either side of the island, the banks do not offer the full suite of amenities of their continent based counterparts. As a person with technical knowledge, it is a simple keystroke to receive funds to any given bank account. Obviously wire transfers are the prime example. Cryptocurrencies are in fashion now for a reason. It is easy to find alternate means of generating revenue whole bypassing established currency controls ie: banks, exchangers, & credit cards. But since we are not all leap-frogging to new technology together, we need reverse compatibility.

Our service of renting EVs by the day & the hour hinges upon quick payment acceptance. We lease & help locals broker EV purchases as well. We see a great entrepreneurial future for the whole island of St Martin. Especially if the information of how to embark in online payments catches on in our community. Maybe the local banks will catch up. Maybe it won't matter. 

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Auto Pro Express Is An Affiliate

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Auto Pro Express Is An Affiliate

Rawlly "Young" Edwards owns a car repair shop in Marigot. He usually has more than one car he owns. But he recently was without a vehicle after selling his. So, while working on a family member's SUV we showed him our fleet of electric cars. He decided to rent one of our cars TWICE for his family to use before buying another vehicle! He also decided to make our cars available for rent to his customers in similar need. That means, even if your car needs work you'll still be able to get around town without sweating at all. Thanks to Young and Auto Pro Express

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Iconic Bikes That Will Electrify Your Visit!

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Iconic Bikes That Will Electrify Your Visit!

We have procured two wheeled electric fun for use in Saint Martin! Strictly for selfish reasons, we decided to get some really exciting vehicles that can be rented with insurance coverage. Vintage Electric Bikes is in California, making a few of these great devices by hand every year. Speeds fast enough to keep pace with traffic. So you don't have to worry about riding on any roads.

We have plans to get scooters to add to the fleet. However, we have not yet found the perfect electric powered version for the island. But we are doing testing with Genzee by Mahindra.

NOTE: We are talking to an electric vehicle mechanic that is reviving 15 year old Ford Ranger EVs with modern batteries and plugs. Some of his work is on the island of Hawaii. If you think your business on the island would be interested, please contact us.

June UPDATE: We have taken ownership of one Vintage Electric Cruz bike, seen below. Saint Martin can expect to see it whizzing around in the fall of 2016. We are considering a second one. Maybe we will try more than one type of two wheeled vehicle, if demand surfaces for them.

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Working Both Sides of the Island

Summer is coming. We incorporated on the French side of Saint Martin first, because you have to start somewhere. The ease of establishing the business is not the ease one finds in the USA, but if you are born here, and you have a bank account then things are less difficult. Getting a bank account is what we had to do first since my partner and I had neither worked or lived there for over 15 years.

Now we have a physical address, accounts and licenses after going through the bureaucracy with a plan for a service not seen in the Caribbean. Car sharing is worldwide, but not yet tropically known. The smartphone era is global, but most use them for sharing photos and checking responses after sharing the photos and videos. The phone in an average Saint Martiner's hand has more computer power than what got men to the moon. It is capable of performing bank transactions, broadcasting video live, organizing your agenda, or monitoring your home away from home. It IS a computer in your pocket and making calls is the smallest of its abilities.

We hope to show inhabitants our service works with something they're already familiar. Apps make internet actions easy. Correction: They make life's actions easy...or so they should.

Back to electric car sharing in Saint Martin. We have 7 cars on the island, registered and ready to drive. On the French side, we are finalizing the payment processing agreements. It appears not many businesses on thew island handle online payments. Also, the status of being French, but not in France makes for confusion with some of the providers.

The great thing about the internet is someone does what you want somewhere. They usually have competition too. Borders are an inconvenience when it comes to any online business. But it is a hurdle a bit of research can overcome. On the other side of the island, we are patiently waiting for the approval of our business application. We would not want to drive across the open border to find out that we cannot share our cars with everyone on the Friendly Island. We have to make sure what is seamless online is also so IRL (in real life).

We look forward to chatting with the banks on the Dutch side for expanding our transportation alternative to owning a car. I think everyone knows a good idea when they see one. The tipping point has arrived for electric vehicles. The world finally sees it. Car sharing is also the future of multimodal transportation in any urban environment. Driverless cars are within 10 years of dominating the market of moving people where there are no trains or trollies. We hope to be around for all of it throughout the Caribbean.

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Our Fleet Is 7 Strong! Want To Help Us Grow?

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Our Fleet Is 7 Strong! Want To Help Us Grow?

Our system is being checked and confirmed for easy use everywhere on the island. We are making sure all forms of electronic payment are compatible. We want the process to be as smooth as our vehicles on the road. We are making sure the upcoming soft opening later this month will be spectacular!

All of the effort to bring a new way to transport yourself in Saint Martin is eagerly anticipating all input and questions our future participants may have. So, if someone sent you this link, please check through the whole site. Read our previous blog entries for history on our creation. Send photos if you see our cars. Send requests of what you hope to accomplish using our service.

We expect personal use and business use alike will benefit sharing EVs. Everyone needs to get around, but not everyone wants to buy a car. Everyone travels, but only for a moment. We aren't all taxi drivers and couriers, but they can use our service too. Our locally grown service will employ citizens are interested in making island transportation more productive, pleasant and prompt. In cities where car sharing exists, for each car in the fleet 10 people give up owning. That means 10 less cars on the road causing traffic, polluting, and taking up parking spots.

With the phone in your hand and a credit card, we will make life more convenient than ever before in Saint Martin. Imagine less traffic while having access to set of different types of clean, quiet and quick vehicles. Need a van today and a compact car tomorrow? A 7 seater during Carnival? Make you reservation early and you are set! We will expand our fleet to other vehicle sizes as they become available on the market. Check our previous posts about those models.

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If It Was Easy, Everyone Would Do It!

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If It Was Easy, Everyone Would Do It!

Western nations have decided to move on the one hand toward cleaner ways of doing business. Renewable energy, non-petrol powered transportation and a move towards paperless versus paper filled government & workplaces. There is a realisation of limits to growth and resources. Economists now agree. Ecologists agree. The Pope agrees. So, why is change across all industries not a global phenomenon? Why are they only selling EVs in certain markets and not others? Why not offer subsidised solar in the tropics where it would be most effective? Why is fast internet only available in certain places?

We wondered for five years about these questions and more. It should be so easy to shift the market where it is small. Its easy to educate a few people. If the citizens decided that they wanted better for their community, all they needed to do was get their representatives to listen. Corporations would follow the lead of the market and government.

On the other hand western society is afraid of letting go of the past. It is more difficult to consider a better future than it is to fear a worse one. "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush." French version is: "Un tien vaut mieux que deux tu l'auras." This 16th century proverb that works well for those in time of famine, before penicillin with less than a billion global population. Those were the days. Today is different.

We live in the Google era. It is easy to find and create information as well as cheap food. It is easy to compare, study and communicate. Opportunities abound for those who challenge the status quo. Research pays off in the end. Risk brings reward, if you know where to look. No matter what industry, if you pay attention to your surroundings as they change, you can benefit. The risk is actually in your head. It was put there in the 16th century.

Saying this out loud helps us realise that bringing EVs to an island where there has been no support by the industry is not actually risk. It is a calculated measure to kick start improvement for the people sharing the island. Share X Mobility is born from brainstorming using the 3 letter airport code. The X can be said as an "x" or considered a multiplication symbol or not said at all. Share mobility is what we are here to do with our best effort. It wont be easy. We are trying. We are excited to learn with you.

 

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Commercial EV rentals, here we come!

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Commercial EV rentals, here we come!

While looking for an electric pick-up truck that was on the market 15 years ago (Ford ranger EV),  I stumbled upon an interesting find. The vehicle is used by FedEx, UPS & Coca-Cola. It's called a Navistar EStar. A 16 foot van that can travel 100 miles per charge. Located in San Raphael California, it would take more time and money to bring it to the island than our other vehicles.

We believe this addition to the fleet will be an incredible asset to our mission of the electrification of transportation in Saint Martin. Our hope is to bring a more peaceful, less traffic snarled, cleaner shift for the people of the island and beyond. The neighbouring islands can use our template.

We decided to put the Kia Soul EV on hold until later in the year when we believe the availability will increase, the price will drop a bit, and we may have more capital. It is our luxury option for tourists in the fall. But as a company that will be shouldering total risk of bringing EVs to an island with no servicing available for them, we are relying on the fact that they need less than the ordinary. Actually EVs are not appealing to dealers for the specific reason that they need almost nothing in terms of maintenance.

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Five Car Start Up

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Five Car Start Up

Inspecting the cars before we put them on the boat as of this is posting. We are so excited to get rolling now that we have some initial funding and expectant customers ready to rent long term two of the five cars.

We are sourcing used i-Mievs from the USA. But we are also looking to France, the side of the island we are established, where they offer great incentives for buying new electric vehicles. Some EVs in Europe are not found in the USA. We hope to educate the island community with the pleasure of electric vehicles. Currently, no dealership here offers or services them. We hope to make connections with them in an effort to have servicing in the future.

The most robust battery technology currently in production is the i-Miev (since the 1999-2003 RAV4 EV is no longer manufactured). Since 2009 Mitsubishi has offered the car to various markets across the globe. Used as police cars and more, they are built for city driving. The extent of maintenance is cabin air filter and wipers. Not even rotating tires are needed!

Update: Feb 2016, we find that purchasing takes at least a month from inspecting to being placed on the boat at the port of Miami. Car dealers aren't familiar with exporting cars or wiring money. Nor do they assume you might be serious unless you have all of the info to complete the deal. If you try this on you own, be knowledgeable. 

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Filling out the Fleet & Your Pockets

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Filling out the Fleet & Your Pockets

We have begun raising funding. The acquisition of the fleet begins in January. We are looking forward to bringing the electric vehicle transition to the island. Clean, quiet transport adding to the appeal of the island as a destination. Building the charging system and parking options will coincide with the added EVs on the island. If you know of an ideal spot to place chargers, please contact us. We are searching for plug-in partners.

We will also facilitate those who want to purchase their own vehicles. The assistance will be with identical vehicles to our own, because we trust that they will be ideal for island life. Some EVs have maintenance or technical issues based on our expertise, that will pose problems to this locale. Of course, you can say that about any vehicles. Our technicians will be able to aid in charging installation and such if the need arises for our buyers.

Ideas are easy to come by. Execution of those ideas are why you will want Share X Mobility to help you get around easily in Saint Martin. We can make your rental process smooth, paperless, and fun. We can also show you a great to car to replace your current gas guzzler and keep the $80 to $100 weekly in your pocket. In one year and 7000 miles of driving, we spent $159. When we get solar panels, that will drop to $0 in a few years!

We have even made connections to electric bus and truck suppliers. We hope to create a driving experience where you only hear the kind greetings of the Friendly Island and the music of the ocean wind. We want SXM to be one of the first places to completely transition off of oil. New opportunities are ahead. Thanks for riding with us.

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Reservations Start in December!

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Reservations Start in December!

Starting tomorrow, Share X Mobility will be offering the 4 door, 4 seat Mitsubishi i-Miev electric car, capable of over 70 miles of travel per charge, on the 30 mile isle of Saint Martin! It includes air conditioning, bluetooth, reverse camera, CD/DVD player, fold down rear seats and a recharge time in less than 5 hours. Its faster than any gas car from a stand still, but traffic on the island is generally no faster than 50 kph (or 30mph). If you are tall, you'll have no problems in the front seats. Baby seat available upon request. 

Reservations can be made by phone or online form on the home page. We offer hourly, daily and weekly options with a minimum of 4 hours. Delivery is included in the fee structure. 

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November is Coming, Cars are too

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November is Coming, Cars are too

We appreciate the words of encouragement from our friends and family in establishing a new spin on an old service. We hope to improve things for the citizens of the island as well as set an example for others to follow, which is why this blog exists. A diary of the creation of a business.

Our next step is fund raising to acquire the fleet. In 2015, there are more than a few options. However, our experience is limited in this regard. So, we prepare to chat with VCs, loan officers and campaign organizing sites. This means our fleet could be anywhere from 3 to 30 cars of varied models selected based upon quality, utility and features.

Anyone that wants to know more about EVs should be aware that all batteries are not alike in operation. This plays the biggest factor in selection. Liquid cooled versus air cooled systems. Carbon fiber body panels and proprietary dealer installed software updates. Which cars have gotten recalled? Is leaving the car constantly fully charged or near empty harmful or beneficial?

If you are interested in assistance for your own purchase, then we will answer these questions as well as guide you in further analysis of the right choice. Until the dealers on the island begin to offer electric options, we wish to accelerate the access of knowledge in bringing the island into the post oil paradigm. The stone age didn't end because they ran out of stones. They found something better.

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Quest for Knowledge

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Quest for Knowledge

The season is soon coming. Looking forward to new experiences, connections, and partnerships. The creative juices are flowing. We want bring in the high-tech while keeping it simple and green. Funding is in its initial stages and we appreciate those who assist us in the endeavor. Whatever the circumstances, we will have EVs ready to rent. Fleet size is the only variable. 

Which leads to the reason for this post. Humbly we ask for a bit of your time to tell us what we can bring that would make our service your choice whenever you visit.

Driving on the island *
Driving on the island
Use neutral if you have no idea what to answer.
It is easy driving on the island
Traffic is tolerable
It is easy to navigate the island
It is easy to get around even without a car
We wont share any info. We promise. No answer is required here.

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Rewritten Plans & Possible Competition

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Rewritten Plans & Possible Competition

One of our partners is about to return from the island of St. Martin, pushing the business for an input of capital this summer. We are giving details on our vision to local accountants, investors, and executives, as well as government officials from neighboring islands. Good impressions made all around during carnival. We hope to speed up the creation of a sun powered headquarters along with a charging station on the opposite side of the island. We also noticed the possibility that Tesla's foray into battery sales may be useful to our cause.

During this short trip a fleet of 15 cabriolet EVs, by Bollore, were spotted. Called BlueSummer, they go really far each charge! They use different battery chemistry than all other car companies, which create the distance increase. But there's a catch; they MUST be kept plugged in when not in use in order to keep the batteries cool. A tropical use car that can't keep cool without constantly using energy!?! Well, this info still needs to be corroborated, but they haven't made too many of these vehicles for anyone to review yet. We wonder if they are being dropped everywhere in the Antilles. Please note: it may not be a good idea to drive onto the beaches as seen in Bollore promotional image above.

We look forward to having more EV exposure on the island. Comparison will give opportunity to differentiate ourselves from other services and features; like being able to start the air-conditioning from outside of the car! Imagine pre-cooling your car BEFORE getting in it! Our vehicle offerings will be diverse also. We've learned one size does not fit all.

UPDATE: May 11, 2015, we have found out that the BlueSummer fleet is headed for St. Barts. The shadow of competition is too far to cover us but still needs an eye on it. There's nothing stopping anyone's expansion anywhere except for lack of imagination.

They are also putting cars in Martinique.

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The Repair Factor

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The Repair Factor

As my partner plans for returning to St. Martin in less than a day, I research the financials that investors would want to see. I rewrite what may be the final version of the business plan. My parner finishes scheduling the events for our stateside business as well as our dinner plans for the first half of the week.

I internally debate if the Ford Transit Connect EV is fleet worthy versus importing a Nissan E-NV200 from Europe, since both are capable of carrying 7 passengers, with some minor modifications on the former. If an electric or battery issue shows up in either vehicle, the repair will be almost impossible in the Caribbean unless we do it ourselves. But the appeal of a 7 passenger vehicle will be hard to deny in the fleet. 

The wait for Kia Soul EV's release on the east coast is unbearable. Why they cautiously expose this car to regions of the US, I don't know. So many other EVs they should have learned from by now to know where people would buy them quickly. It makes me "compliance car" concerned. If you aren't sure of what that is, then Google this decade's RAV4EV and where it is sold and serviced. Hint: It isn't the whole of the USA. Just California. Drive it anywhere else and it's warranty is void. Non California Toyota dealerships won't touch it. It had its share of problems as well.

EVs are very tough cars and require little to no maintenance. The remote chance that any battery service would occur is a lottery winning chance. The long term battery replacement is 3 to 5 years away. We will plan it to be a DIY event as well.

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Sega & Tiana on TV

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Sega & Tiana on TV

Caribbean Life Season 3, Episode 9 is our story of moving from DC to St. Martin. We had to hide our involvement until it aired, which was last Sunday. We are so excited to bring something new to the island Tiana calls home. A better way to get around. A proven technology, that we use in the USA for work and personal driving.

Governmental licensing is complete on the French side. Having assembled our business plan and financials with professionals on the island, we're now looking at possible ways to gain capital for a small, five car start or a major establishment of 30 EVs of various types.

For those who are reading this hoping to rent a car, then please send any questions to songha@sharexmobility.com. Thanks for your interest.

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