The Downtown Project is launching Project 100, which aims to be “a complete transportation system designed to let you get rid of your car and be more connected to your neighborhood…"
Many futurists see the EV as one part of a comprehensive network that lets people choose among several transportation options for a particular trip. In Las Vegas, the Downtown Project is putting this idea into practice with the launch of Project 100, which aims to be “a complete transportation system designed to let you get rid of your car and be more connected to your neighborhood – all for less than the monthly cost of traditional car ownership.”
Project 100 recently ordered 100 Tesla Model S sedans, which will operate as on-demand taxis, joining shuttle buses, neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs) and shared bikes in a package that users will pay for with a single monthly membership fee.
Here’s how it will work, according to Project 100’s web site: The customer enters the desired destination in a smartphone app, and the system offers a set of options: “1 – Be picked up by a driver in a Tesla in 3 minutes; 2 – Drive yourself in a low range electric vehicle that’s 0.2 miles away; 3 – Grab a bike that’s 0.1 miles away or 4 – Hop on the party bus that will be near you in 4 minutes.”
Project 100 chose Model S for several reasons: “It’s a beautiful yet functional sedan that’s very fun to drive. It’s also a big computer on wheels which gives us the opportunity to optimize the member experience over time and test a lot of theories about how people use vehicles. Tesla thinks like a startup and our conversations with their program and engineering teams so far solidified that they were the right long-term partner. Most importantly we wanted to replace peoples’ traditional vehicles with vehicles that do less harm to the environment than a traditional gas-powered vehicle. Since Teslas are 100% electric with excellent driving range, the choice was clear.”
The project acknowledges the challenges of using EVs as taxis: “It’s one thing to build a 100+ car system with traditional cars you can park anywhere. Electric vehicles require power so we’re working hard to build the infrastructure to support a system of this size. We’ve been working with our local utility partner NV Energy for a while now to do that the right way so our system respects our environment.”
Project 100 projects that a membership will cost around $400 per month. Cheaper options for the occasional user will also be available. The next few months of beta testing will help determine the optimal pricing structure.
“We are excited to be partnering with Downtown Project and Project 100,” said Tesla CEO Elon Musk. “I am a big fan of their innovative efforts to help revitalize and transform downtown Vegas.”