Want a car but don’t want the hassle of owning a car? Of course you do, many people do, and that’s why car subscriptions are getting more and more popular. Volkswagen is now jumping into the fun with the ID.3 and ID.4 in Germany. Customers can get these fully electric vehicles, maintenance for them, insurance, the registration paperwork and taxes all handled, and more via the Volkswagen AutoAbo program. “The contract covers everything except electricity,” Volkswagen Board Member for Sales Klaus Zellmer succinctly summarizes.
2,000 units of the vehicles are going into the program for now. Signifying yet again Volkswagen’s EV prioritization, the ID.3 and ID.4 are the only models available for now. And don’t take this as a simple sideshow for Volkswagen. The company intends to grow into the subscription model much more in the coming decade. By 2030, the company wants to see about 20% of its revenue coming from “subscriptions and other mobility offerings.”
The cost of a monthly subscription starts at €499 for the ID.3. The subscription periods are 3 months or 6 months to start, but then they can extend indefinitely, until the subscriber decides to cancel.
“As a special offer to mark the launch, customers can have a car delivered to and collected from anywhere in Germany with 14 days’ notice. In the future, cars will be delivered via the dealer network,” the company writes.
Of course, greater variation brings in more customers. Greater variation in colors, powertrains, seat options, and so on make models appealing to more people. So does offering new purchasing or financing methods. As Zellmer says, “Even greater flexibility for our customers and an important milestone in Business Model 2.0.”
Previewing even more options, the company says that it will also offer the ID.3 and ID.4 via online leasing and sales (in Germany) later this year. Again, Volkswagen will launch online leasing and sales for only these electric ID models, but the company notes that the option will extend to fossil fuel models in the future as well.
The ID.3 and ID.4 are currently top sellers in the European EV market. The ID.3 is second through the first half of the year, only trailing the Tesla Model 3, and the ID.4 is 4th among fully electric car cars (5th among plugin vehicles as a while). The ID.4 had a later start, so expect it to keep rising through the end of the year. August results show that it is already #2 in the overall Norwegian auto market.
The ID.4 was our 2021 CleanTechnica Car of the Year winner. That comes from the CleanTechnica team selecting finalists and then the readers voting on them to determine the winner. In this case, the ID.4 had almost half of the votes among 4 finalists, quite a solid win. There are various reasons why we made it a finalist and why I think so many readers voted for it to win the annual award. You can read all of that here, but the short story is that it is a great mixture of long range, good features, ample space and comfort, and relatively low cost.