Zerology Aims to Revolutionize Car Rental

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By: 
Cameron Bren
Shree Kalluri is the owner of a Middleton start-up, Zerology, that offers electric car rentals in the area.

Zerology Aims to Revolutionize 

by Cameron Bren

MIDDLETON–Transportation tech start-up company Zerology founded in Middleton aims to revolutionize car and ride sharing with fleet of electric vehicles and integrated app that focuses on efficiency to reduce emissions and traffic congestion. 

Zerology founder and CEO Shree Kalluri said he saw two emerging trends that could be converged with the right platform. The increase in ridesharing app usage and the decrease in cost of electric cars meant something new could be done.

The company is bringing a fleet of electric vehicles to Middleton and Madison that can be rented for personal use or by businesses and organizations. 

Kalluri explained the app, rolling out in January, will also be integrated with B-Cycle and Madison Metro to provide users all possible options, whether that is the most economical one or the one with least environmental impact. 

Brad Rutta, VP of Product Strategy for Zerology, said an app like Zerology’s has never been implemented before.

“A lot of the technology we’re building is unseen, it’s how do we know that two or three cars need to be in this spot because 60 percent of our traffic in the morning is over there,” Rutta explained. “It is out platform on the backend that is analyzing that data.”

He said the app collects data from the vehicles as they travel and makes calculations to reduce the traffic impact.

While ridesharing apps like Uber or Lyft have made modern life more convenient it has not helped reduce emissions and in most cases worsened conditions.

“There are a lot more cars that are moving about every second and many of them are deadheading, they are not catching passenger,” Kalluri stated. 

He said reducing carbon emissions is the core of the company’s mission.

“In 2016 transportation has become the number one contributor to CO2 emissions in the world, particularly in the US, to the point it superseded the grid,” Kalluri said. “The grid is a lot cleaner than the vehicles today.”

He added partnering with other transportation providers is going to be essential to the Zerology app. 

“Everyone who is in this business is an ally and a friend because together we are increasing the impact,” Kallari said. “The future is not going to be about owning a car, it is having all kinds of transportation available to you.”

The company plans to perfect it’s system in the Madison area and use that as a blueprint to expand.

“In order for this to be successful we need focus on one community at a time,” Kallari explained. “So what we did is we picked Madison as the community where we are going to do all this and over three to five years we will develop a solid blueprint of how to make this complex ecosystem work, then that can be scaled across the country, across the world.”

Zerology has had two vehicles in use by Green Cab since Aug. 28. Their drivers are using cars for training and plans to replace its entire fleet with Zerology’s cars over the next two months. Kallari said eight more cars vehicles were just delivered and another 20 are coming next month. The capital costs are being funded by private investors and financed by Kallari’s hometown bank, State Bank of Cross Plains. 

Pilot programs for the car sharing will launch in six to eight weeks Garver Point and Veritas Village properties in Madison and Middleton Center in downtown Middleton.

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