Kristian Russell, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Ferry

Electric mobility should exist for everyone, said Kristian Russell, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Ferry.

That’s why he created Ferry.

“Upgrading your car with Ferry is as easy as upgrading your phone,” Russell said. 

Ferry, based in Austin, uses an app-based platform to handle all the transactions of leasing an electric vehicle for 6 to 24 months at various prices. For example, the Polestar 2 EV, with an MSRP of $45,900 before the federal tax credit, can be leased through Ferry for $899 a month. The platform even offers a lease on an electric Vespa.

Ferry, founded in July, is launching soon, Russell said. Mayra Del Bello, former head of marketing at LiveOak Venture Partners, recently joined Ferry as its director of marketing. The Ferry team had a booth at the MOVE America mobility conference at the Palmer Events on Tuesday and Wednesday. The conference shined a spotlight on all the innovation going on locally, nationally, and globally on smart mobility including autonomous vehicles, electric fleet, and bus vehicles, and EVs for consumers as well as micro-mobility solutions such as electric bikes and scooters.

To lease a vehicle with Ferry, customers must have a driver’s license, pass a credit check, and provide a bank account or a credit card. The subscription includes the car, the charger, and 1,000 miles a month, as well as vehicle tax, title, and registration, and access to roadside assistance, according to the company’s website.

The big idea is to make EV ownership more equitable and accessible to greater numbers of people, Russell said. And with more EVs on the road, the impact on the environment of carbon emissions is greatly reduced. That creates a cleaner, better mobility solution for everyone, he said. And in addition to reducing emissions, electric vehicles can save drivers money on gas and maintenance.

Ferry is also working on a deal with Austin Energy to provide discounts to its employees to lease EVs through Ferry, Russell said.

In addition, there currently are state and local incentives for EV vehicle owners. The state of Texas’ light-duty motor vehicle purchase or lease incentive program provides drivers with rebates of up to $2,500. And Austin Energy’s rebates for EV charging include special rates on plug-in locations and rebates for installing a 240-volt charger.

Electric vehicle ownership is starting to increase in the U.S. As of 2020, nearly 1.8 million EVs were registered in the U.S., which has more than doubled in recent years, according to the International Energy Agency.

About 7 percent of all adults in the U.S. said they currently have an electric or hybrid vehicle, and 39 percent said they were very or somewhat likely to seriously consider buying an electric vehicle for their next car purchase, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey.

The team behind Ferry at MOVE America at Palmer Events Center in Austin