Australian energy company AGL has partnered with car subscription service Carbar and electric car charging provider Jet Charge to launch an all-electric car subscription service for consumers looking to dip a toe in the world of EVs (electric vehicles).
AGL's Electric Vehicles Subscription provides supply and delivery of an electric car, the installation and management of an at-home charging station, plus car insurance, registration and maintenance, all for a weekly fee – with AGL also claiming "no lock-in contracts".
At the moment, the service has only four electric vehicles to choose from – the Nissan Leaf, Hyundai Ioniq, Hyundai Kona or Tesla Model 3 – and the weekly subscription fee varies based on the model you choose.
The cheapest plan kicks off from $299 a week for the Leaf or Ioniq, increasing to $359 a week for the Kona and up to $599 a week for the Model 3 – all of which include the car, comprehensive insurance, roadside assistance, maintenance of the vehicle, battery and charger and free car changes every six months.
AGL has also indicated its subscription offering will soon expand to include the premium Jaguar I-Pace.
Customers will also have to pay a one-off $800 setup fee when joining the service and will have to cover any additional unforeseen costs arising from charger installation – as well as a $150 fee to remove the charger should they cancel within the first few months.
There's also a $50 late fee charged for every week a consumer fails to pay their subscription fee, which is charged every 30 days.
The subscription service is a nod to consumers' apprehension toward electric cars, with the vehicles' higher price points, still-developing charging infrastructure and perceived range anxiety often serving as prohibitive factors to their uptake in Australia.
“The market for EVs in Australia is continuing to grow but we know many customers may still be reluctant to buy an EV outright due to price, concerns about technological change or access to charging facilities," AGL's Executive General Manager of Future Business and Technology, John Chambers, said.
“AGL’s EV Subscription Service eliminates these concerns allowing customers to access the latest technology as it hits the market.
“It’s a convenient option, with the latest EV model delivered to the customer’s home and at-home charging facilities installed but with the flexibility to swap, upgrade or cancel the service at any time."
During the early phase of the service's roll-out, it will only be available to customers 21 and over who live within 50 kilometres of Sydney or Melbourne's CBD and who have off-street parking, but AGL says over time the eligibility criteria will be expanded.