The service called sonnenDrive lets drivers pay as low as AU$319 per week for an electric car. It currently offers six models, including an MG ZS EV and a Tesla Model 3. Other EVs available are the Nissan Leaf, the Hyundai IONIQ Elite, the Hyundai Kona. The single payment includes registration, insurance, maintenance, servicing and even roadside assistance when professional help is required.
The only other cost that will be paid by the customer is for electricity and this is where the battery merchant comes in. Sonnen will offer the customers technologies and services to switch to clean energy to power their rental vehicle and home. It claims that with solar solutions, customer will pay far less to power the cars, compared to gas powered cars.
Carbar will oversee the subscription service, delivering, maintaining and servicing the electric cars.
sonnenDrive is open for those who want to indicate interest but the service will start on May 24. However, it is not the first company to offer such a service as AGL Energy already launched its own lease program last year, in partnership with the same Carbar.
sonnenDrive’s flexibility allows intending EV users evaluate whether an EV is a good fit for them before jumping in fully if they choose to. The service has no lock-in conditions as it can be stopped with a two weeks’ notice. The rented car can also be swapped easily, giving the driver more freedom.
According to data published by Carbar, 60 percent of responders to a survey admitted that they are unable to switch to EVs due to the higher costs of the cars. sonnedDrive is targeting such Australians with its subscription service.
“We’ve partnered with Carbar to launch sonnenDrive in Australia as our customers tell us they want to be able to live an even more sustainable lifestyle by extending their energy independence to e-mobility,” said Nathan Dunn, CEO APAC and managing director of sonnen Australia.
“With Carbar, sonnen is offering greater flexibility to swap between EV models as their needs change – just like their modular home energy storage system that can expand with their energy needs.”