Amy & Jeremy lead the charge in Honolulu
Editor’s note: While the state of Hawaii has not re-tightened entry requirements for travelers, we encourage you to visit Hawaii’s travel info site before you plan a trip.
“I thought he was buying a Model X for me. Turns out he had been researching Turo for months and this was his plan. So I got duped into this,” Amy joked.
Amy always wanted a Tesla Model X, though she didn’t know how she and her husband Jeremy could afford it. Then one day Jeremy told her he had ordered one, and to make the payments go down easier they’d list it on Turo — and their hosting journey began.
Back then in April of 2019, when Amy and Jeremy listed their first car in Honolulu, they found near-instant success sharing their Tesla in an island hot spot full of travelers hungry to experience cars like theirs. The Model X was booked solid for the first month, so they were able to buy a second Tesla to meet the demand and continued scaling from there. “We could barely keep up. It was amazing,” Amy said.
Today, Amy and Jeremy are somewhat of a car sharing power couple. The parents of two now own over a dozen Teslas and are making income for family expenses and savings. Jeremy is an officer in the Navy who travels around the world for his job, and Amy is a do-it-all organizer and community leader who has her hands in everything from boy scouts to sports to the Turo community on Oahu.
Leading the charge
As they grew their business, the two set out to keep the environment and their community in focus. “No matter what we did, whether in business or with the community, it had to be sustainable and not contribute to the waste that pollutes our environment. That’s always been our mission.”
So, from the start, the plan was for electric vehicles to make up the majority of their portfolio. And since they were relatively early to the party, they’ve become some of the most established Turo hosts on Oahu. “We were way ahead of the learning curve, especially with EVs.”
Amy and Jeremy have since become well-known in their area — sharing advice with other hosts who live in Hawaii, building relationships with local businesses, and getting recognized by teachers, valets, and people at the store for being “those people with the Teslas” — something their two teens (12 and 14) seem to appreciate less and less.
With Jeremy traveling much of the year, Amy crushes most of the day-to-day business with a dazzling tirelessness. Thanks to her energy and attention to detail, they operate a five-star car sharing service with impeccable communication and cars that are clean and on time, every time. “We bring a little Aloha into our business and service,” said Amy. “Hosting can be passive income if you want, but it takes a lot of work to do it well. This is the result of two and a half years of pure grit.”
“Raging back after COVID”
When COVID-19 crippled Hawaii’s tourism industry, the couple managed to sustain their business through solid planning and some financial cushioning. They had money saved and coming in from Jeremy’s job in the Navy, and had the flexibility to scale up and down — they sold a couple cars at the beginning of the pandemic as a precaution.
Then the islands started opening back up for business, and they “came raging back after COVID.” They had strategically bought the new Tesla Model Y when it first came out in spring of 2020, and had their cars ready as soon as visitors started returning to Oahu toward the end of last year. “We work really hard in a lot of behind-the-scenes ways to keep going no matter what happens,” they said.
They’re currently sharing about 16 cars in Honolulu — mostly Teslas, plus a new C8 Corvette and two Lamborghinis. Jeremy’s dream car growing up was always the Lamborghini Gallardo — a couple years back he was able to purchase one and share it profitably on Turo, and now they’ve upgraded to Huracáns. He hopes to replicate this achievement with his current dream car, the new Tesla Roadster, whenever it comes out.
Their biggest logistical challenges: charging all the Teslas between trips, and explaining the charging process to guests who are new to EVs. There are no Tesla Supercharger stations on Oahu, so, as a workaround, they offer adapters for their Teslas to hook into the few third-party fast chargers that do exist on the island, and know all the hotels and businesses that have overnight chargers.
Armed with intimate knowledge of their island’s electric vehicle infrastructure, their end goal has become to lead EV adoption in Hawaii and push for infrastructure that’ll make EV ownership more feasible. Charging opportunities for electric vehicles are severely lacking on Oahu, and so far, Amy notes, it’s a privilege to own an EV. “I strongly believe it should be a right to be able to charge your electric car if you own one here,” she said. “Turo has empowered me to be in the position to help lead EV adoption and put chargers on this island. So that’s what I’m doing.”