Should I subscribe to an electric car? Everything you need to know
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Should I subscribe to an electric car? Everything you need to know

George Skentzos
October 6, 2022

The uptake in electric vehicles has been accelerated by government incentives and competitive pricing of new electric vehicle entrants. However, there are some early concerns associated with the outright purchase of an electric vehicle:

  • Range anxiety
  • Charging availability and long charge times 
  • Battery life, durability and replacement 
  • Familiarity with technology such as intelligent displays and mobile app capabilities 

New ownerships alternatives such as car subscription has been well received by modern motorists due to the many benefits offered. In this article, we discuss: 

  • The benefits of electric vehicle subscription
  • Where you can subscribe to an electric vehicle
  • Things to look out for when deciding on the best electric car subscription

What is an electric car subscription? 

An electric car subscription allows you to subscribe to an electric car with insurance, registration, servicing, maintenance and warranty all included in an affordable weekly or monthly payment. The main benefit of electric car subscriptions is that you can trial an electric car without the significant upfront costs that would otherwise be incurred through an outright purchase.

Unlike traditional rental and leasing programs, an electric vehicle subscription does not include a lock-in contract or cancellation fees and instead have minimum terms as little as 30 days. This means that customers can subscribe  to an electric vehicle without the long-term commitment, enabling them to opt out should they realise the electric car is not for them. While this may be an attractive proposition, Loopit’s Vehicle Subscription Utilisation Index (VSU) reveals that the average subscription length for electric cars subscribed on the Loopit network is actually around four months (121 days) - indicating that many customers who subscribe to an electric vehicle are looking to trial their car with an extensive and robust experience. 

electric-car-subscription-vs-leasing

Should I subscribe to an electric car? 

The first step to figuring out if you should subscribe to an electric car is to evaluate the benefits. The main benefits of electric car subscription include ease of access, affordability, flexibility and convenience. As a standard offering for all vehicle subscriptions, customers will receive the benefit of an all-inclusive subscription plan. Unlike subscribed vehicles with internal combustion engines where customers are required to pay for their own fuel, electric vehicle subscribers will essentially only have to pay for toll usage on top of their affordable recurring payment.

In addition to the affordability, many customers also appreciate the ease of booking a subscription. With a soft credit check and eligibility criteria compared to traditional leasing and rental, that are conducted in a fully digital experience, customers can quickly book their car. 

Another reason why more motorists have opted to subscribe to an electric car is the flexibility offered. Subscribers can cancel their subscription during periods where they won’t be using their vehicle such as during personal  holidays or travelling for work - all without a cancellation fee. This flexibility extends further with the ability for customers to choose the subscription plan that best suits their lifestyle and can either upgrade or downgrade the plan as their needs change. 

When it comes to charging your car, electric car subscriptions will provide you with a charger which you can use to conveniently charge at home. Alternatively, public charging stations are widely available and can be easily found using a mobile app. In some cases depending on your car subscription provider, public charging may be free or available at a discounted rate. Future uptake in electric vehicles will see more electric vehicle charging points provided by employers, especially as workplaces begin to encourage more workers to re-engage with their office. 

Where can I subscribe to an electric car? 

The rise of car subscription models has seen a wide range of new market entrants, including:

  • OEMs and dealerships offering select electric car models for subscription 
  • Rental companies now offering subscription services (e.g. SIXT) who recently have increased their acquisition of electric cars 
  • Pure subscription providers, including new entrants solely offering electric cars

While many subscription providers offer almost the same level of affordability and flexibility, there are some key considerations when it comes to subscribing to an electric car

  • Subscribing to a provider that offers solely electric cars may provide you with a greater range of choice across many electric vehicles from different OEMs. For example, Autonomy  ordered 22,790 units of 46 EVs from 17 manufacturers including the likes of Polestar, Tesla, Rivian and General Motors
  • A key benefit of subscribing with an electric car only provider is that they have partnerships with charging networks which may translate to free charging or free installation of home chargers
  • Subscribing to a provider that offers both internal combustion engine vehicles and electric vehicles can also be beneficial. The reason behind this is that should you decide that an electric car is not for you but still enjoy the benefits of car subscription, then you can simply swap over to a different vehicle without having to change subscription providers and go through the booking process again

How to find the best electric car subscription?


Regardless of where you choose to subscribe your electric car, there are a few things to look out for when trying to choose the best electric car subscription:

  • The different electric cars available  
  • The mileage allowances and policies around unused miles. For example, Onto offers credit allowances for subscribers with unused miles 
  • Whether free charging is offered at different public charging networks as part of your subscription payment plan
  • The process for installing home chargers. For example, Elmo in partnership with Ohme offers free installation of home chargers 
  • If there is an mobile app available to help you lock, unlock your car as well as check the battery level of your car and search for nearby charging stations
  • The inclusion of necessary electric car accessories such as charge cards, charge cables and safety equipment 
  • Any fees associated with swapping cars
popular-electric-car-subscrptions

Which electric car should I subscribe to? 

When choosing which electric car to subscribe to, the first question you should ask is what mileage range is sufficient for your lifestyle. As electric vehicles vary in range, it is important to understand how the following factors can impact the range of your car: 

  • the frequency of your driving
  • your driving area (city, country or highway)
  • driving mode 

Luckily, many electric car subscription providers can help customers figure this out with interactive guides that recommend the most suitable vehicle for their lifestyle. Other deciding factors include the performance of the electric vehicle and in-car technology such as Tesla’s autopilot or Polestar’s air quality system. 

At Loopit, we’re seeing an increase in electric car subscriptions from a range of OEM brands. Contrary to popular belief that Tesla is the main option for when it comes to electric vehicles, our network has experienced an uptake in alternative brands such as the likes of Polestar, Audi and MG. 

How much does it cost to subscribe to an electric car? 

Given the inclusion of registration, insurance, servicing, maintenance and breakdown cover, the cost of subscribing to an electric car is generally lower than that of traditional leasing and rental. The cost of subscription will largely be determined by the type of electric vehicle you want to drive and the plan you want to subscribe to. However, there are other factors that will contribute to the cost of your electric vehicle subscription: 

  • The length of your car subscription 
  • Your mileage usage and any overages incurred during your subscription 
  • Additional monthly add-ons such as mileage booster packs, excess liability protection and additional driver policies 
  • Vehicle swap fees, depending on how far you are into your minimum term with some providers allowing free swaps only after the minimum term 
  • Delivery costs should you opt for your car to be delivered to your doorstep 
  • Toll usage fees 

As for specific costs related to driving an electric car, this will depend on the provider you are subscribing to. Thanks to partnerships with charging networks, some providers offer free installation of home charging and/or discounted charging at particular charging stations. However, some charging stations may not be conveniently located to where you normally drive so  it is therefore important to shop between subscription providers and understand which subscription offerings best suit your specific lifestyle needs. 

So how can I subscribe to an electric car?

From ONTO’s recent funding to Autonomy purchasing $1.2billion of new EV’s, the future of electric car subscription is exciting. Increased uptake in electric vehicles will translate into further government incentives and developments in technology both in-car and in-app that will enhance the customer experience. Given the rapid uptake in electric car subscriptions, Loopit expects that future supply of electric vehicles will be met with even greater demand. If you are interested in subscribing to an electric car and would like to get started,  visit https://www.loopit.co/subscribers 

About the author
George is the Head of Marketing and Customer Experience at Loopit. Having originally started his career as a motoring journalist and founding team member for one of Australia's top automotive startups, George has a strong passion for automotive, business and growth marketing.
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