Car-sharing firm GoTo Malta is launching new “roundtrip” service today, which will be complementary to its currently available one-way service, Liran Golan, CEO of GoTo Malta, tells Business Malta. Subsequently, GoTo is also launching a revamped mobile app. Mr Golan says he is upbeat about the company’s performance due to high demand in the island nation.

The service launching today enables users to book GoTo cars three months in advance and use them for longer periods — such as hours or days. This comes as an addition to the originally available one-way service, where users pick the car up, and after reaching their destination they leave the car at one of the 450 designated spots. In the case of the latter, the car can only be reserved 15 minutes prior to the ride, and once left behind, other users can take it.

The new service is be operated by 30 Toyota Yaris Hybrid 1.5 cars, which come as an addition to GoTo’s fully-electric core fleet of 150 Renault Zoes at the time of publication. The so-called roundtrip cars will have designated parking spots where users can collect them and the cars must be returned to these very spots after use. Nevertheless, while booked, these cars can be parked anywhere and will wait for the user where they were left off.

Liran Golan, Chief Executive Officer of GoTo Malta.

“The minimum period for hiring a roundtrip Toyota car is two hours. We believe this offers a great opportunity for business people when they need to attend meetings. They will know surely that the car is waiting for them after the meeting, right where they have left it. We paid special attention to business hubs when deciding on the designated spots for these cars,” Mr Golan tells BM about the new service.

As the Toyota hybrids will be available for longer hires, the fuel needed for the combustion engines will be covered by GoTo staff. However, should the users need to tank the cars, GoTo will offer a selection of fuel stations where the clients just need to top up the car and GoTo will pay the bill.

Launching new mobile app

Additionally, to the new service, GoTo is also launching its new mobile application, further streamlining the services the carsharing company offers to clients.

In the past month, the company was running a test-phase of the new service and the new app, all having been tested by its clients. They received GoTo services for free for this period, in exchange for helping debug the operations.

Developing its infrastructure, GoTo is currently installing charging stations to charge its electric cars. Under the public tender GoTo won last year, it has to install a total of 225 charging stations. At the moment, they have 60+ charging stations and counting. Mr Golan is positive that all the charging stations should be finished by the end of this year. Once GoTo reaches its goal, Mr Golan says that these stations might be opened up for public use, whereas now they are exclusively available for GoTo cars.

Although GoTo was only launched in November, Mr Golan says that demand for car sharing has been high. The company currently receives 570 reservations a day from over 6,000 registered clients, out of whom 3,700 are monthly active users.