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/Client Story

Mercury Drive

Revolutionising electric vehicle ownership.

A group of electric cars with the Mercury logo on the licence plates.

A subscription model for car ownership.

  1. 01Created a subscription platform and custom dashboard
  2. 02Designed and produced a prototype within four weeks
  3. 03Provided frontend and backend development
  4. 04Carried out rigorous quality assurance testing

The Challenge

Mercury Energy wanted to create a platform that would disrupt car ownership by providing a subscription service for electric vehicles (EVs). Although an international survey by AlixPartners has found that 50% of consumers are interested in owning a battery electric vehicle (BEV), only 28% were planning on buying one, citing concerns like cost. By providing hassle-free EV ownership, Mercury could help bridge the gap between interest and sales. They partnered with us to build the platform, create a digital-only customer journey and enable integration with vehicle on board devices (OBDs). The project required a combination of market research, customer empathy and product vision.

The Solution

After brainstorming with the innovation team at Mercury, we pared down our initial list of ideas to create a lean pilot that could easily be tested before it needed to be scaled up. We used the quantitative data Mercury had gathered on the EV market, along with our own product and market research, to gain a deeper understanding of the context around this venture.

We set out to design and produce a prototype within four weeks that would help Mercury test some of the ideas we had refined together. A feature workshop helped us identify the necessary features across three categories: “must-have”, “performance” and “delight”. We realised we would need to provide users with a simple digital journey that could give them access to an EV with a few clicks.

Creating a subscription platform was going to require a strong business plan. Customers would need to understand and trust the concept of signing up to a subscription for an EV. We designed a website with three key areas: a landing page with essential information on the subscription and what it entails; a visually driven showcase with 3D real-life renders of each vehicle; and a simple and easy sign-up and payment process.

Integrating the internal Mercury payment system would have been a long and complicated process. With our focus on speed to market and staying agile, we needed a different solution. We chose Stripe for its full API library and its focus on redundancy, security and scalability.

Using Stripe in combination with our custom Sauce backend allowed us to create a dashboard that could generate new vehicles and keep a record of all the subscriptions, customers and vehicles that made up the Mercury Drive platform. The dashboard gave the Mercury Drive team a core tool to handle all aspects of their business, from launch to full-market scale.

The Result

In the first 12 hours after Mercury Drive launched, all of the phase one vehicles sold out; 330 customers submitted requests for future vehicles; and major national publications like the New Zealand Herald, Stuff and Scoop ran stories online about the platform. It was a clear example of the results that can be achieved through strong product thinking, customer empathy and a well-executed platform.

The impact so far


Major media outlets covering the platform


of phase one vehicles sold in the first 12 hours

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