FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark, June 22, 2015 – SUMO (aka Sustainable Urban Mobility) has launched a carshare and dealership based in Fayetteville, Arkansas. SUMO sells Low-speed Electric Vehicles (LEVs) and shares a fleet of LEVs among its members. SUMO is the first carshare and dealership in the Western Hemisphere focused solely on sharing and selling LEVs.
An LEV is an ultra-compact, 4-wheel, electric, street legal vehicle designed to transport passengers a few miles across town. SUMOs LEVs (aka. Sumobiles) are capable of a top speed of 25 miles per hour and allowed on roadways with a posted speed limit of 35 miles per hour or less. SUMOs service area sits within about a four mile radius which covers downtown Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas campus. SUMO provides access to a fleet of fifteen (15) street-legal LEVs, as well as one (1) Toyota Camry Hybrid for members to share.
The service area includes thousands of urban housing units and scores of apartment complexes. These Sumobiles are an efficient way for one or two people to drive short distances across town or to the UA Campus through a pay-as-you-go service.
SUMO has developed proprietary telematics to enable booking and geo-specific start/stop via member’s smartphones.
Sumobiles can be found scattered across about a dozen PODs (Point-of-Discharge). These PODs are located at relevant destinations throughout the service area. PODs provide free, convenient, miniature parking stalls exclusive to LEVs. Reserving a Sumobile from within the fleet, as well as the full operation of a single LEV can all be performed from the convenience of a members own smart phone.
SUMO has set-up the service to encourage one-way travel between the network of PODs. It generally takes between five and ten minutes to drive POD to POD, and costs between $1.50 and $2.90. Through group rates and ridesharing, a ride can cost as little as 65 cents. Members are charged a flat utilization rate based upon usage, or a pay-as-you-SUMO. There are no monthly or annual fees.
SUMO addresses many of the inherent inefficiencies associated with owning a car. The traditional American automobile is underutilized - less than 5% percent for a typical automobile owner. In other words, 95% of the time their car sits idle. For many college students, the idle rate is even higher. Carsharing can dramatically increase utilization rates for shared vehicles, and has the potential to save members money over time by deferring depreciation, financing, insurance, maintenance, parking and fuel costs.
SUMO founders Bob Munger and Mikel Lolley believe that the future will see much more low speed electric transportation within dense urban cores, along with shared transportation provided through mobility service providers such as SUMO.