As the cost fuel continues to climb for Vancouverites, car sharing companies are adamant the rise in gas prices is good for their business since more people may turn away from private ownership and shift towards car sharing. However, Modo, a car sharing co-op warned their members that if gas prices continue to rise, they would see a fuel surcharge on their bills. Car2Go already stated that their rates are going to go up due to gas prices. Selena McLachlan, marketing and business development director at Modo, admitted this is the the first time Modo has considered a fuel surcharge, which will need to get approval by the board of directors.
"We haven't felt that we needed to do that (in the past) but with the volatility of fuel the way it is now, we just want to make sure that if we something crazy ... we have the ability to introduce the fuel surcharge," she said. In the span of six months, from November 2017 to May 2018, the average price of gas per litre in the Lower Mainland rose from $1.42 to $1.59. McLachlan speculated the surcharge would be minuscule. For example, if gas prices continue to surge and reach $1.70/L, the company envisions a surcharge of a penny for every kilometer driven during the trip, which translate to a surcharge of $1 for a 100km trip. The purpose of the surcharge is to protect members from a hourly rate inflated due to fuel prices, said McLachlan, and if fuel prices should go down, the surcharge would disappear.
New changes will be sent along with the notice of the possible surcharges sent by email to Modo's users. Modo will also be raising hourly rental rates rise for standard cars from $8.75 to $9 and the hourly rate for minivans and trucks jump from $9.75 to $10. Chris Iuvancigh, general manager of Car2go's Vancouver office, said that within the last eight to 10 weeks, more users have been booking cars and signing up with the company. Car2go currently operates roughly 1000 vehicles in Vancouver. The company currently charges 32 cents per minute for use of their unique two-seat blue and white Smart cars. Iuvancigh said the rate hasn't gone up in response to the recent gas price increases but he did say if gas prices jump again, rates could go up but did not specify by how much. Membership has been growing year over year for both companies. Modo has cited 15-20 percent growth and Car2go has reported a 23 percent increase over last year.