Project 100 Pursues New Kind of Transportation for Las Vegas, Using Tesla Model S

By · April 09, 2013

Project 100 Las Vegas

Project 100 hopes to make not owning a car in Las Vegas an option.

Project 100, a new transportation-sharing enterprise based in downtown Las Vegas, will purchase 100 Tesla Model S sedans, the largest vehicle order Tesla has received in its short history. But the significance of Project 100 doesn’t come from the number of Teslas it plans to put on Las Vegas streets—the project is a new spin on ride-sharing that connects a variety of transportation options including bikes, shuttles and neighborhood electric vehicles for a single monthly fee dreamed up by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh.

Last year, Hsieh announced plans to spend $350 million revitalizing downtown Las Vegas, with hopes of turning it into “something more than just gambling and hotels.” The money is being spent on a variety of different enterprises, from small business development to cultural events, all of which are geared toward adding a new dimension to Sin City.

Transportation is one of many key challenges standing in the way of that development. Currently, public transportation in Las Vegas leaves a lot to be desired for those who seek an experience outside of the city’s many hotels and casinos. Ask any Las Vegas native and you’re likely to hear the same thing: despite its public bus system, Las Vegas is one of those cities where owning a car is a necessity.

Car sharing is on the rise throughout the country. Still, in Project 100’s view, car sharing alone isn’t the most effective solution for a downtown Vegas. In addition to the 100 Model S sedans that will be used for taxi-style pick-up and drop-offs, the project will purchase 100 bicycles, 100 neighborhood electric vehicles, and 100 shuttles to help fill in the gaps in the existence public transportation infrastructure.

Cost for the service is estimated to fall at around $400 per month. The goal is to roughly split the difference between the cost of owning a car and the monthly cost of public transportation. According to Project 100’s website, the service different from a Zipcar membership or an unlimited bus pass in that it’s “designed to replace your car 100 percent of the time.” Project 100 will use sophisticated software to manage this load, and says it chose the Model S partially because of its high-tech underpinnings.

Tesla isn’t the first carmaker to deploy EVs for ride sharing. Daimler’s Car2Go venture offers members access to the Smart ED in some cities, and BMW currently offers its ActiveE electric in the DriveNow program in San Francisco. Still, Project 100 is the first of these enterprises to integrate a variety of transportation options into a single service, putting an EV at the heart of the effort.

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