Evie Carshare Test Drive and Review

Last year HOURCAR launched a new service called Evie, an all-electric, free-floating carshare service. While many publications had written articles about the service, including some excellent reporting here on Streets.mn, there weren’t any videos online depicting actual usage of the service. So I decided to fill this gap with my own test-drive and review.

Evie Carshare Test Drive and Review YouTube Video

My drive was back in September 2022, and a few things have changed since then:

  • First, Evie has expanded their fleet with over 20 Nissan Leaf Plus vehicles.
  • Second, thanks to the Disadvantaged Communities Carshare Act (SF 671), which was signed into law and took effect July 1, Evie rentals are no longer subject to the 9.2% car-rental tax.
  • Lastly, at the time this video was filmed, I owned one car and one bike. I’m proud to report that I now own no cars and four bikes, including a Brompton, which I use frequently to get to and from Evie rentals.

If you haven’t yet taken a spin in an Evie, I hope this video provides all the info you need to get out and try one for yourself!


[0:51] Alright, so away we go! Let me get going here. What you didn’t see is that it took me quite a while to find one. Normally there are a ton of cars at my local charger; a couple there were both reserved so I rode around a little bit and I found a few other cars, also reserved, until I finally came across this one.

So the note here would be: Don’t rely on the GoTo Card to just walk up to any car and tap on it and go. In fact, I tried to get in this car and it failed with the Evie-linked GoTo Card. So before you go to a car, it’s worth just going on the app, looking where one is on the map, reserving it, and then you know when you get there the car is not going to be taken.

[1:50] Just driving around, I realized, these cars are a ton of fun. Don’t kid yourself; it’s no Tesla, it’s not going to blow your mind with its speed. But it’s quick, and it never gets old putting it in sport mode and passing cars on the freeway. I just can’t help but smile when driving one of these things. It’s a lot more fun than a gas car.

[2:12] You can use CarPlay or Android Auto if you plug in with a wire. So that works just fine if you want navigation on your dashboard. But it’s also worth noting that aside from the OnStar package, which is included here, there are no other safety features that you might expect on modern cars. So no lane keeping assist, no adaptive cruise control, no blind spot monitoring. You do have a backup camera, of course, but coming from my [former] Subaru, which had all those things, it took a little bit of getting used to — to have to remember that the car is not going to keep you in the lane or keep you at the right speed in traffic. My understanding is the 2023 model year of the Chevy Bolt has those things as standard [this video was recorded in September 2022], so in all likelihood as these fleets are upgraded, we will see those features as part of the base package.

[3:10] The pricing for these is pretty competitive. It’s actually cheaper to rent one of these per minute then it is to rent one of the e-bikes or scooters in the city, so that’s pretty good. But in the future it would be nice if there was some kind of discounted rate while the car was parked and your trip was paused. The reason I say that is, with the bikes and scooters you are usually just stopping in somewhere quick running an errand; with this car it would be nice if I could visit friends or family outside of the Twin Cities and not be constantly thinking in the back of my head, “Oh, I’m spending all this money just having the car sitting there parked.”

Of course, it can’t be too cheap. You don’t want people taking these cars and keeping them all day long, but some kind of discount would really encourage more people to use these cars full time rather than owning their own car. I did the math, just estimating my usage, and granted I don’t drive very much. I take my bike most places, but for the little bit that I do drive I think I would actually save quite a bit of money renting Evie carshares all the time rather than owning my own car.

[4:23] All in all, it’s a pretty convenient service, but do I think that electric car-share is the future of travel within cities? Of course not. No, I think everybody knows at this point that more investment in public transit, better walking and cycling infrastructure — those are the ways you make cities nice to get around in. But sometimes you do need a car, and it’s certainly a lot cheaper to rent one for $15 an hour than it is to buy one for 10, 20, 30 thousand dollars and then pay to park it, and then pay to maintain it, and then pay for insurance. You get my point.

[5:09] Alright, so I made it back home. I was able to park at my local charger here, but I forgot to mention something about the car. You don’t have to park in a charging spot. In fact, you can park almost anywhere in the city for free. Now there are exceptions to that, so check the map before you park somewhere, but that’s pretty convenient — to not have to pay for parking.

[5:29] The trip in total was about an hour and a half. I went about 30 miles just driving around, and it came out to $25. So again, pretty reasonable pricing.

[5:38] I would say it’s a pretty great service, and if you haven’t yet, I would definitely recommend giving it a try. So if there’s anything I forgot to mention or any questions you had, just leave them down in the comments section of the YouTube video and I’ll do my best to answer what I can. Other than that, have a great day!

Kyle Jones

About Kyle Jones

Pronouns: He/him

Kyle is a software developer and transportation enthusiast currently living in Loring Park. Though you will often see him out and about on one of his many bikes, his true passion is in public transportation and traffic management. He also loves cats.