Guest Post: Team BEST takes the NEXO for a test drive!
Modo is a proud supporter of BEST (Better Environmentally Sound Transportation) and their local programs, including the popular Bicycle Valet, making it easier for Vancouverites to take their bike to an event – and park it safe and for free! Alan Woodland has recently joined the BEST team as the General Manager, as a former Director on Modo’s Board and Executive Director of the Carsharing Association he’s an advocate for carsharing and an avid Modo member.
Transit and Modo and bikes… Oh my!
The first things most people picture when we say ‘sustainable transportation’ are greenways full of happy bikers and track networks humming with solared-powered light-rail. While this is certainly a future to strive for, our present reality is a little more complicated. In a busy and burgeoning city, a rich mosaic of ethnicities, ages, incomes and cultures, sustainable transportation transcends greenhouse gases and comes to be a comprehensive framework for community connection, environmental conservation and civic coherence. Given the inclusive nature of sustainable transportation, it’s only natural that here at Better Environmentally Sound Transportation, or BEST, we’re proponents of multi-modal transit, and that includes Modo!
Vancouver is a sustainable transportation dream; bike lanes galore, efficient bus and Skytrain systems and densely situated enough to facilitate walking in most neighbourhoods. What’s more, we’re flanked by enticing parks, hiking, the ocean and a myriad of other outdoor activity options, but they’re not always a bus ride away. That’s where round-trip carsharing companies like Modo come in; the ability to access the best of what BC has to offer is made easier by Modo, which offers a varied fleet of cars, minivans, EVs, hybirds and trucks for use across the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island and the Okanagan.
This morning, we tested Modo out for ourselves the best way we know how: with a rainy ride around Vancouver to Stanley Park in a sleek, grey, zero-emissions vehicle.
“Are we going to space?!”
My first reaction upon arrival the NEXO, as I reached for the futuristic, retractable e-handle, was “Are we going to space?!”. As our BEST team of 5 piled in and set off through the drizzle, we were immediately awed by the gentle hum of the hydrogen cell fuel engine (a first for carsharing in Canada!) and we marveled at how quiet the car was. The comfy interior was complemented by the pleasant new car smell, which we attested to the “Fragrance-Free” sticker on the dash, a welcome note for those with scent sensitivities (scent-sitivities?).
Driving through the city, we had the misfortune of passing some traffic heavy areas. Luckily for us, the Modo NEXO comes equipped with a driver’s assistance feature, meaning that no matter what surprises popped up we would have a series of sounds and dash lights to warn us of any impending collision. A pretty nifty feature when you consider the array of boards, bikes, buses and bodies making their way through the city. The clouds parted ever so slightly as we made our way through Stanley Park, giving us a nice reprieve from the rain and even better views of the towering trees alongside us and the Northshore mountains across the Burrard Inlet. We all admitted to not getting out into the park as much as we would like, so we made a few well-appreciated stops at the local landmarks to take it all in before we cruised home.
We got back to BEST just in time to meet up with our colleague Stuart as he greeted our 4 wheels, on 2! Not surprising, as many of us are avid cyclists. He was just as impressed by the hydrogen fuel cell engine as we were, and we had just enough time left on our booking for one last team photo. We said our final goodbye to the NEXO as our GM Alan drove it off into the sunset (okay, it was actually very cloudy, but you get the idea) and its quiet thrum faded off into the parkade. We’re excited to take another Modo vehicle out, although next time we might swap the summer students in the trunk for camping gear! – Mackenzie Fleming
Not a Modo member yet? Use the promo code BESTCOMMUTE to sign up online and receive $50 free drive time.