Converting business vehicles to eco-friendly vehicles is a social challenge. The South Korean government has decided to purchase only EV or hydrogen electric vehicles for all cars used by public institutions and local public enterprises. Companies are also joining the global carbon neutrality initiative ‘EV 100’ and ‘K-EV100 (Korean zero-emission vehicle conversion project)’, which aim to reduce greenhouse gases by switching to eco-friendly vehicles. The goal is to convert all corporate-owned and leased vehicles to eco-friendly vehicles such as EVs by 2030.
Replacing your work car with an EV is beneficial in terms of environmental and energy efficiency. EVs produce no carbon emissions and use energy more efficiently than internal combustion engines. Maintenance costs are relatively low, so it is suitable for business vehicles that frequently travel short distances. However, people have the prejudice that EVs are more expensive than internal combustion engine vehicles and that charging and battery management are difficult. For this reason, government agencies run by taxes or companies that value efficiency are reluctant to introduce it.
Kia launched Wible Biz, an eco-friendly mobility solution for companies and organizations considering the introduction of EVs. Wible is Kia's global mobility service brand. This name was created by adding ‘Biz’, which means business, to ‘Widely Accessible’. It is meant as a mobility solution that is widely accessible in a business environment.
Wible Biz is a business vehicle solution subscription for public institutions and businesses. Its users reduce rental costs for companies and public institutions by sharing EVs, and are provided with the management services necessary to maintain EVs, thereby reducing business vehicle operating costs. And outside of work hours, it can be used for various purposes as a mobility solution, such as lending it to employees or citizens. This also provides new eco-friendly mobility experiences to areas where public institutions or companies are located.
The biggest advantage of Wible Biz is its economic feasibility. There are differences depending on each plan, but if you use a business vehicle subscription service, you can use a business vehicle at a cost of 60-70% of the cost of long-term rental or lease on the market. Wible Biz's unique business model allows for this price competitiveness; Business cars operated by companies are not used during evenings or weekends outside of business hours. It's inefficient because users pay for time they don't use, and at the same time, the car takes up parking space.
Wible Biz focused on ways to utilize this time. The idea is to share vehicles with employees and the general public during unused hours when the car is not in use for work, and use this revenue to lower subscription costs for companies. The concept is that the user occupies the car only when it is in use and shares the costs.
User companies decide who to share during non-work hours. Subscribers can allow their executives and employees to rent it during off-hours for employee welfare, or they can also open it up to nearby citizens to use it at a low price. This is suitable for public institutions that have public service in mind. This is the same way that companies and individuals in different time zones share the rent while using the same car. Thanks to this, the costs for everyone using Wible Biz are reduced. The rates for using cars in this service, which can be used outside of work hours, are 30 to 50 percent cheaper than regular personal car sharing or short-term rental.
When it comes to business vehicles, it's not just the purchase cost that's important, but also the operating cost. Wible Biz is an EV total solution, so operating costs such as charging or paying tolls are reasonably priced. The driving fee, which is set at the time of contract depending on the vehicle type and charging fee, is around 70 KRW per km, which is considerably cheaper than the driving fee for internal combustion engines - 200 to 300 KRW per km. Also, considering that highway tolls are 50% of those of internal combustion engine vehicles, the operating costs of Wible Biz's business vehicles are bound to be much lower than those of existing internal combustion engine vehicles.
Another advantage of Wible Biz is convenience. In general, when a company's executives and employees use a vehicle for business purposes, they must check with the vehicle management team to see if there are any vehicles available, visit the vehicle management team before use, receive the car keys in person, and visit the vehicle management team again to return the vehicle after use. In addition, there are many cumbersome tasks that managers have to handle manually, such as writing driving logs, submitting fuel or toll receipts, and managing them as documents.
Wible Biz's IT system can easily solve all of these problems. Employees who use vehicles for work can book available vehicles, open and close vehicle doors with a digital key, and control and return the vehicle through a smartphone app. Vehicles are used quickly and efficiently as there is no need for face-to-face contact.
Wible Biz is also convenient for vehicle managers. Using the administrator system, you can register employees who can use the vehicle during business hours and check their usage status or driving records in real time. Paperwork that had to be done manually each time is also dramatically reduced. A vehicle driving log is automatically created in a form to be submitted to the National Tax Service using the information employees enter into the app when booking a vehicle. Driving fees and tolls are automatically processed at the end of the trip and can be easily settled. There is no need to spend a lot of unnecessary effort on administrative tasks related to vehicle maintenance and operation.
In addition, Wible Biz provides all vehicle inspection, charging, car washing, accident handling, and fine management required for business vehicle operation according to the contract. By solving all the difficulties that arise when a company directly operates a business vehicle, the time and effort spent on vehicle maintenance can be greatly reduced.
Wible Biz can also be used for employee welfare purposes - such as personal rental special offers for employees. It makes it easier for employees to purchase or use cars, and helps them use them at an affordable cost only when necessary. Personal rental special offers include options such as off-work single passes and weekend single passes, as well as off-work subscriptions and premium subscriptions that include weekend passes in the commute subscription. By combining a business rental service with a personal rental plan, you can leave work immediately after a business trip without having to return to the office to return the vehicle.
In public institutions, Wible Biz also enhances the convenience and mobility of local residents. Currently, many public institutions, including Hwaseong City Hall, Gwangmyeong City Hall, and Gyeongsangnam-do Provincial Office, are using Wible Biz. After subscribing, the use of business vehicles increased by 30%, which was the result of making it easier to use business vehicles by omitting complicated face-to-face procedures. And employees and residents are also enthusiastic about personal rental plans that allow them to use vehicles outside of work hours. Hwaseong City Hall, which was the first to introduce the Wible Biz service, frequently uses rental vehicles on weekdays and weekends. Local residents responded very positively to being able to rent EVs from public institutions. In areas where public transportation is not developed, it can even be expected to serve as a new means of transportation.
General companies that want to efficiently manage their business vehicles also show a lot of interest in this. In particular, for companies that already own a large number of business vehicles, efficiency is doubled as they can use this IT system to integrate and manage existing vehicles in addition to newly introduced business EVs. Various types of companies, including Dongtan Industrial Complex, LF, and affiliates of Hyundai Motor Group, use service plans that are appropriate for each company's situation.
The power of Wible Biz lies in data; Data-based systems make everything possible in Wible Biz. By using data such as usage data from apps and vehicle status and operation information generated from the vehicle, everything needed to operate a business vehicle becomes efficient, from vehicle sharing to vehicle management such as charging and maintenance. If a warning light comes on or the vehicle is low on charge, the field manager can check the problem in real time through the system and respond immediately. Even in the case of delayed returns, which often occur among shared vehicles, the vehicle's driving status and reservation status can be monitored in real time through the customer center, so necessary actions can be taken immediately, such as requesting return and providing a replacement vehicle. Through digital transformation, business vehicles that were previously operated manually have become a new mobility solution that satisfies everyone.
Wible Biz will evolve into more diverse solutions in the future. The operation data of business vehicles can be a clue to improving various services related to charging or using electric vehicles. As such, operating electric vehicles in the future will become easier. And this know-how can be reflected in the various PBVs that Kia is currently developing. By utilizing the characteristics of PBV, which allows for various spatial configurations, it can develop into a new type of service such as a mobile office for companies and institutions.
The transition to green mobility may seem difficult; But we don't need to worry. Hyundai Motor Group continues to find ways to respond more easily and effectively to these changes. The same goes for Kia's Wible Biz. This solution came about after considering the easiest and most effective way to spread electric vehicles. As the saying goes, “Two heads are better than one,” many look forward to the future of Wible Biz, an eco-friendly mobility solution that brings together companies, public institutions, and individuals.
Photography by Hyuk-soo Cho
HMG Journal Operation Teamgroup@hyundai.com
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