NextEnergy, worked with tier one supplier DENSO, to launch MDrive, an electric car share program to evaluate the benefits and challenges of a vehicle designed for sharing. Launched in November 2016, the initial program study provided a select group of University of Michigan – Dearborn student residents of The Union at Dearborn with access to safe, reliable, free transportation via shared Ford Focus electric vehicles, charging stations and a reservation mobile app. In exchange, students provided feedback about their experiences.

The Work We Did

  • Facilitated stakeholder planning discussions to secure a study site location
  • Coordinated installation of electric vehicle supply equipment infrastructure
  • Developed pre-and post-study participant surveys
  • Helped DENSO develop messaging and brand identity for the program
  • Worked with stakeholders at the University and management at The Union to develop and execute a student recruitment program including direct email, posters, flyers, social media and an onsite event
  • Assisted with the development of student training and on-boarding materials
  • Organized a program launch event for partners, media and other stakeholders
  • Completed analysis and summary of study feedback from in-vehicle video footage, online discussions topics and user blogs


At the conclusion of the study, students had taken over 800 trips and driven more than 25,000 miles. Over 5,000 hours of video and hundreds of responses from online discussion topics and user blogs were aggregated and analyzed to provide decision-making insight to DENSO. The DENSO team presented the study’s findings at the April 2017 SAE World Congress in Detroit and will utilize the data to help guide decisions regarding product development.

Learn More

To learn more about MDrive, or how NextEnergy can customize a program for your organization, please contact Jim Saber, President and CEO.

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