Smart Energy Challenge

15 July 2014

Crowd-funding has paid dividends for the three winners of our Smart Energy Challenge and one of them is on the move – literally.

shyft directors Tom Pettit and Kate Beecroft with one of their cars.

Directors of start-up car share company shyft – Tom Pettit and Kate Beecroft

Start-up car share company shyft is calling for local designers and artists to submit their most stylish designs for shyft’s two Toyota Prius C hybrids – the first cars in the fleet. The winner will see their work being driven around Wellington and receive a $750 ‘third gear’ shyft membership.

The Smart Energy Challenge invited social entrepreneurs to come up with community-led projects that help to change the way households and businesses use energy – to reduce energy use and encourage clean energy. Participants used crowd-funding for their ventures with the Council matching them dollar for dollar.

The other two successful participants in the challenge – Aro Solar and Solair – are also making great progress. Aro Solar aims to install solar power in community centres, and Solair plans to make space heaters available to low income households, schools, student flats or community buildings.

The Council’s Senior Policy Advisor for the project, Nigel Taptiklis, says the Smart Energy Challenge has strong social, environmental and economic benefits for the city.

“The best way to bring these projects to life is to connect the know-how and networks of businesses, communities and entrepreneurs and the Council can help to achieve this.”

Shyft directors Kate Beecroft and Tom Pettit say their business provides affordable car use for people when they need it, and is similar to car-shares in other countries.

“In Wellington most people walk, cycle or use public transport rather than their private car to get to work. This means cars sit empty most of the week, costing money.

“People could save as much as $500 a month by using a car share instead of owning a car.”

Kate says car shares also reduce carbon emissions and the number of vehicles on the road. “Even better, reducing the number of cars puts more money back into the local economy.”

Keen artists can submit their work to kate@shyft.co.nz by 5pm, Thursday 10 August.

The shyft cars will be around Oriental Bay and The Terrace from September.