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Driving change: how a Gold Coast tech entrepreneur is revolutionising car ownership

Brendon Wolf | August 2, 2022

Founder of tech start up Outbound and Gold Coast entrepreneur, Luke Rust, is shaking up the idea of private transport in favour of app-based shared mobility.

An expat Brit who’s only just turned 30, Luke is part of that energetic, young entrepreneur crowd on the Gold Coast who really are redefining what’s possible in a whole range of areas - not just tech and transportation.

“I love it here; certainly the weather is great, especially on the Gold Coast, but just from an entrepreneurial perspective, there’s a lot of ambition and innovation coming out of this place too."

Luke wants you to sell your car, and not buy another one.

Why? Because it costs up to $17,000 per year to own and operate a private vehicle in Australia (including depreciation, registration, insurance, servicing, fuel and perhaps a few tolls).

It also sits idle about 96% of the time.

But what about that 4% (or so) of the time you do need a car?

Luckily, he’s got an idea for that too!

His company is called Outbound and is a phone app that gives you access to vehicles when you need them.

He also installs shared Teslas and other electric vehicles where you need them, such as hotels and apartment buildings, as an on demand car service for those moments you need to go somewhere.

Kind of like Uber, except you do the driving!

“It just seems silly to me to have a car, which is costing you a fortune, just sitting there losing value,” Luke says.

“But what if we didn’t have to own a car?

“What if we flipped the whole notion of car ownership on its head on the Gold Coast and worked out a new way to still get around without a giant ‘money hole’ parked in our garages?”

Luke is now pioneering shared mobility on the Gold Coast after seeing it work with great success overseas.

Right now, he’s concentrating on installing the shared EVs in hotels, so guests don’t need to hire a car for a whole day or even a week if they’re only going on one or two day trips – they just reserve the vehicle using the app, and given the cost is prorated to the minute, only pay for the brief time they use it.

The first Tesla has just gone live at Gold Coast hotel Mantra at Sharks.

“User feedback has been phenomenal; people are really embracing the concept,” Luke says.

“And taking a brand new Tesla for a spin on holidays is always a great experience – particularly if you’ve never driven one before.

“It’s a bit like a gym or pool at a hotel, they’re part of the property’s amenities for guests to use, and so is the Tesla.”

The Tesla for hire at Mantra at Sharks

Long term, the plan is to house electric vehicles in apartment buildings so residents wouldn’t even have to own a car.

“Money talks and if Australia could somehow break its addiction to car ownership, this concept of ‘shared mobility’ could be the future,” Luke says.

“Just imagine, instead of a 100 unit apartment building having all these cars parked underneath, costing everyone, there’s a number of Teslas onsite for residents to use.

“It’s also great for the environment, being electric, so there’s that sustainability aspect to it too.”

“It may not be the new Silicon Valley yet, but it’s well on the way – there’s stacks of new ventures being launched from the Gold Coast and more leading minds are moving here every week.

“Bootstrapping an idea like this isn’t easy but I do believe in it and if in five or 10 years, people have totally changed their minds about owning a car and are choosing to use Outbound or another shared mobility service, I’ll be very proud.”