Written By: Sonya Harbaugh & Erica Tsypin
For us, at Steer
, it’s the idea that we can make our communities cleaner for our kids just by giving people a better alternative to choose. It’s the idea that new faces can shake up an industry in today’s connected world.
Steer is a new all-inclusive, month-to-month car subscription service that exclusively features electric cars (100% electric, plug-ins, and hybrids). The mission is to drive a cleaner and brighter future by accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) and drastically improving the experience of owning a car. Founders Sonya Harbaugh, CEO, and Erica Tsypin, COO, started developing Steer as an answer to the most common consumer objections to EVs: fear of limited range, up-front expenses, fast-changing technology and understanding of charging. They did extensive consumer testing and found that not only is the automotive world still ignoring this customer base, but subscriptions solve these pain points by providing a variety of vehicles tailored to every driving need along with low-commitment month-to-month plans. Erica Tsypin was recognized as one of the top young entrepreneurs in the energy category
of the Forbes Under 30 List for 2020
And it’s working. In a recent survey, 70% of Steer members stated they had little-to-no prior experience with EVs. The Steer Concierge team will not only deliver the cars right to your home or office, but they also help with charging at home and on-the-go. A subscription to Steer comes with everything you need to hit the road – insurance, maintenance, repair costs are all included, plus there are no mileage limits. Steer’s fleet of EVs is the arguably the most diverse in the country – the only place where someone can drive a Tesla as soon as the next day just by using the Steer app or try brand new cars that are limited in availability like the Audi e-tron or Hyundai Kona (two new all-electric SUVs with over 250 miles range). Steer makes driving awesome cars fun, easy and hassle-free, all while helping people reduce their own personal carbon footprint.
Steer was born out of Exelon’s corporate incubator program. Exelon is the largest provider of clean energy in the U.S., so it’s no surprise that Steer earns trust from customers as experts in electric cars and charging, and they appreciate that the mission is about selling them a car at the end of the day. Sonya’s background is in distributed energy, including battery storage commercialization and behind-the-meter energy conservation programs like demand response. She’s based in Baltimore. Erica’s background is in fleet management, including fleet electrification strategy and operations. She’s based in Chicago and on the Board of Clean Cities Chicago. They found each other among 35,000 other employees at Exelon as intrapreneurs and innovators who had become known as go-to EV experts: organizing EV ride-and-drives, leading charging station installations, plugging into automotive and sustainability networks. They teamed up to start Steer, one of the only female-led start-ups at Exelon and one of even fewer in the combined space of automotive, energy and tech. They believe that their customers want something different than what’s out there today, and Steer is different. In a good way.
Steer’s first customers hit the road on May 1 (actually, April 30, one day ahead of schedule). They are driving the most diverse mix of electric cars out there – everything from Teslas (all three models) to Porsche Panamera plug-ins to Chevy Bolts to Toyota Highlander hybrids. Members choose between three plans that feature a variety of vehicles and budget options, including a new plan just launched in October that features the Tesla Model 3. Thousands of people have signed up and downloaded the Steer app in the D.C., metro area and members are enjoying the VIP service they receive. We can’t wait for more of DC /MD / VA metro to #SteerWithUs!