Robert Gaskill is turning the black car service green. His company MOTEV has deployed the first fleet of 100% brand new top-of-the-line P90DL Teslas. Powered entirely by electricity, the fleet of Teslas are zero-emissions vehicles. Producing no harmful tailpipe pollutants, the vehicles help to create a safer environment and healthier community.
Based in Los Angeles, MOTEV launched this past September timed to the Primetime Emmys. Plans to expand as quickly as possible to New York, San Francisco and beyond are already underway.
“We believe technology has the power to change the world for the better, and that premium service should not come at the expense of the environment,” explained Robert Gaskill, CEO and Co-Founder of MOTEV. “We embrace and champion the advancement of technologies that help us achieve our sustainability goals, such as partnering with Pledgeling to power the social impact of our customer experience. Now, every customer can feel they are doing their part to help the environment simply by choosing to book a MOTEV.”
Robert had worked for 26 years in the TV & film transportation business, working for studio transportation, celebrity driver, body guard, transportation director, and office manager.
Robert: I eventually decided that I wanted to grow some roots and stay put, focus on my personal life, my social side. I focused so long on the professional side. I approached an investor and started MOTEV. It was a natural fit for me.
I saw the opportunity in the Los Angeles market to go green. At the time there weren't many people interested in coming out with a larger opportunity. There have been independent operators with one or two vehicles, but we're the largest in the market
QLife: You started with an entire fleet of Teslas?
Robert: Yes. We are a 100% Tesla fleet. We wanted to start a new trend in the livery service industry with sustainable, zero-emission, luxury vehicles.
QLife; When did you start the company?
Robert: We've officially been open since September of last year, but we started purchasing the cards and hiring the staff in June of last year. We just purchased another company that's going to help us grow. They had many corporate contracts in place and are going to help us venture out and spread our wings a little bit.
QLife: We were excited to hear about MOTEV being an LGBT-owned business.
Robert: I'll be honest, having a relationship with the LGBT community that we're a part of is important to us. I feel it's important that people in your position and my position openly express who we are in our communities. Everybody can benefit all the way around. There might be benefits that I can offer other business owners and leaders and vice versa.
QLife: You worked with celebrities previously. Do you target the celebrity market?
Robert: Yes. We do have celebrity clients that have carried over. I still get requested to be a driver myself. I just worked with a studio driving a well-known director, so every once in a while I step back into that role as a teamster and drove my Tesla onto the lot. That allows me to stay connected to that world, pass out business cards, and drum up business for red carpet events and parties. In fact, we're the main transportation contract for an environmental film festival coming up in Los Angeles. One of our cars will be featured and we're picking up 10 celebrities. We're really excited to be one of the innovating companies in our industry. I'm on the board of directors for the Greater California Livery Association and very fortunate to be one of the 12 board of directors for the state. Being in a new business and being able to step into that role has introduced me to a lot of influential people locally and nationally.
QLife: Where do you see your growth?
Robert: As a company that's only been open for a year, we have 3 locations in the Los Angeles region. We started with 11 cars. We're now up to 35 employees and 23 cars. In the next few months, I'll open a location in southern Orange County and that will allow me to completely scale the Los Angeles metroplex. Once we are firmly seated with those locations, we'll be looking to expand naturally into San Diego, Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and start branching out in those directions.
QLife: What can customers expect from pricing?
Robert: We are a luxury service. We are a premier service. We are very much a very affordable luxury service that is standard rate in the Los Angeles market.
QLife: Personal life? Single? Married?
Robert: I am single and looking. I'm very interested in meeting a life partner. I'm a LTR oriented individual. My kids are 2 cats and a fish. The cats have medical insurance.
QLife: Favorite place to eat in LA?
Robert: Arnie Morton's Steakhouse. My favorite go-to-last-minute lunch place is Jerry's Deli. I'm a coffee bean fanatic.
QLife: With companies like Uber and Lyft completely automating the reservation experience, do you consider yourself a technology play or are you a white glove hands-on company?
Robert: We're both. We have an app. Uber and Lyft have 50-100,000 cars at their disposal in the LA area. You can have a car anywhere within 3-4 minutes. Operating in that same area, we have drivers working for us 24/7 and a live call center. We just don't have the same reach. We're looking within the next year or two, we'll be able to service clients a lot quicker. We do have customers that enjoy calling in and we have customers that book us online and in-app.