ZEV helps automotive dealerships sell more electric vehicles (EV) by providing resources and education for consumers on new EV technology. Our software-as-a-service platform provides tools and advice to help customers understand EV range, charging, cost of ownership, and tax breaks. We help dealerships provide world-class customer service and increase electric vehicle sales.

ZEV founder Gabe Elsner, WG’18, gives his elevator pitch… in an elevator

Why is ZEV important?

For the first time since 1979, the U.S. transportation sector accounts for more carbon emissions than power plants. In order to address climate change, we must transition to more sustainable forms of transportation, like electric vehicles.

ZEV is accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles by providing consumers with information to help them buy more electric cars.

We are also helping dealerships provide better customer service. Through our software platform, dealers can easily provide the specific, technical information about electric vehicles that buyers are looking for.

Why did you want to start ZEV?

Gabe grew up in Los Angeles, where cars are a way of life. “Every year for as long as I can remember, my grandparents would pick me up,” he says, “we would drive across town to the LA Auto Show. I would climb into every single car I could and it was the highlight of my year. But growing up I was always bothered by one thing. On a clear day in Los Angeles, after a rain storm, you could see the snow covered mountains 40 miles away. But on most days, the sky was smoggy and polluted.”

Eddie is also motivated by his time spent working in California, and by the car culture in the Golden State. “Electric cars are fascinating,” he says. “It’s a great feeling to play a part in pushing the world towards a greener and cleaner future.”

Both agree that electric vehicles are a solution for our polluted cities and climate change.

EVs are the future. By educating consumers on EV’s benefits, Gabe and Eddie hope ZEV can help accelerate the adoption of sustainable personal transportation and help automakers and dealerships sell more cars.

What entrepreneurship classes have you taken, and how were they useful to you?

Entrepreneurship (MGMT 801) provided a fantastic overview and opportunity to begin working on venture ideas in class.

Venture Capital and Entrepreneurial Management (MGMT 765) enabled a deep understanding of the details and challenges when raising venture capital funds.

The most inspiring course Gabe took at Wharton was Entrepreneurial Marketing (MKTG 741) with Prof. Martin Lautman and Prof. Leonard Lodish. “In their class, we built a marketing plan for a startup throughout the quarter and heard from alumni who are building (or have built) world class companies immediately after graduation,” Gabe says. “The tenacity and passion of these founders inspired me to take the leap and pursue ZEV full-time after graduation.”

Eddie says that Engineering Entrepreneurship (EAS 545) is a must-take. In his opinion, “Negotiations (MGMT 691) is also a fantastic course. Both classes saved me from making so many mistakes to move forward in the right direction. The occasions are too numerous to count.”

Posted: April 18, 2018

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