Iván Luarca: eccocar was developed to create a more sustainable world
Iván is the CEO and Co-Founder of eccocar, a sharing mobility startup beneficiary of ICCar first Open Call
His flatmate Daniel had a car that he didn’t use and Iván was interested in using, but not owning, a car. They both understood that if people started sharing cars, we would reduce the number of vehicles in the streets and we would create a more sustainable world. So they developed a solution for this problem, and that is how eccocar was born. At the beginning it was a P2P platform, but now they have put their focus on B2B and B2B2C to develop car-sharing solutions for companies, rent-a-cars and dealers.
This way they have ended up working with companies like Ferrovial, Endesa or Prosegur to convert some of their cars into car-sharing with the objective of reducing by 30% their fleet, but also the fuel consumption and expenses.
We invited Iván Luarca to a Q&A session with IMPACT Connected Car (ICCar) Community members. He shared with us his knowledge as an entrepreneur in smart mobility and sharing economy, as well as his experience as an ICCar beneficiary. In case you missed it, we have gathered the members’ questions here:
At eccocar you have worked with the Endesa fleet? Was it difficult to convince them that your solution was more efficient?
Our experience with Endesa was great. It is a perfect example of how a big corporate should work with startups. They paid us the pilot, and they were very patient at the beginning when our product was no so robust. Then we had a very good communication channel with them, so we could prioritize the new development to benefit both parts.
Which type of fleets is eccocar targeting: worker vans or vehicles that are used by workers to commute to their work? Are employees not interested in using those vehicles privately outside the working hours?
They are vehicles that employees are using for their work. Salesforce, maintenance, inspection, etc. Our first results are that company cars are not used at the weekend. If these cars could be used by employees, companies would have a higher ROI. We are fostering this kind of uses and we have some customers that want this, so we will develop functionalities in this way soon (where you can choose between personal or professional use).
Car-sharing service providers are increasing. Is this diversity good or is it counterproductive?
I think it is positive, as competition fosters imagination. Car-sharing brings a lot of benefits to the city and it is expecting a huge increase. The car-sharing providers are early births, but many more will appear soon. For instance, in Spain we only have car-sharing solutions in a few cities. We have to reduce drastically private cars to have a more sustainable mobility system. My conclusion is that it is necessary and good for the whole society.
How will you adapt to electrical vehicles? You will be able to suggest locations for connection points using your big data analysis, I guess.
Our solution is great for electric vehicles. Firstly, because with car-sharing you can do more km with the same car (the more km you do with an electric car, the more profitable, as the variable cost is lower). Then if you share electric cars, you don’t need to have in your parking one charger per car (this implies a higher cost for more power contracted), and last but not least, with our solution, people can see in real time the percentage of battery of the car before using it, and the fleet manager can see if cars are charging or not.
About the charging point, it is in our roadmap to give this kind of info to the driver, but it is not a priority as we don’t have yet a real time navigator. You open then car with our app, and then you open Google Maps, Waze…
Still speaking about electric vehicles, which do you think is the biggest impediment to its deployment and what solutions would you propose?
We have done a study in which we analyse which are the stoppers for electric mobility in Spain and Mexico. The most important issue is profitability, but it is also relevant the charger infrastructure. However, autonomy is not a real issue in most of the uses, but companies are worried about this anyway.
How will companies like eccocar face the inevitable arrival of the autonomous vehicle?
We are aligned with autonomous vehicles. At this point car sharing and ride sharing will converge. It will be a natural evolution for us to work with autonomous vehicles.
About ICCar acceleration programme: “Use your mentors as much as you can”
Regarding ICCar open call, which tips would you give an applicant who is filling now the application form?
To do it with care. Evaluators are looking for innovation, so it is important to include the roadmap you have in mind, with technical details and why your solution is innovative -and profitable, of course.
And to a beneficiary? How can a beneficiary get the most out of ICCar acceleration programme?
I think using your mentors as much as you can. They are in the industry and they want to help.
Would you tell us which have been the three best things of ICCar acceleration programme?
- Mentorship. You have two mentors: one in business development and another one in technical development. In my case, I was closer to the business development mentor (my partners were more in contact with the technical one). We were assigned Guillermo Barth ex-sales manager in Tesla Spain, and he really helped us to define the sales strategy and he opened doors to some important clients. We have a very good relationship; in fact, we are thinking to include him in our advisory committee.
- The relationship with other startups in the same field, because you can learn and find ways to close partnerships.
Iván Luarca’s background
Iván Luarca is an Electronic Engineer and MSC in Electric Technology. He worked one year in HP as IT Service Specialist, five years in Endesa as Procurement Specialist and Energy Planner and one year as Business Analyst in Enel, where he led digital transformation projects of the thermal generation business in several countries (Russia, Spain, Italy, Colombia, Peru, Chile and Argentina). Then, he says he became mad and founded eccocar with other 3 friends.