AGL Energy has launched an electric vehicle subscription service that offers its customers access to a fully registered, serviced and insured EV and fully installed home charging system, starting at $299 a week.
The first-of-its-kind service for Australia – dubbed by AGL as the “Netflix of electric vehicles” – was formally launched on Wednesday by AGL as the first order of business for the gen-tailer’s brand new innovation arm, AGL Next, and to coincide with World EV Day.
To roll it out – starting with a pilot program limited to customers within 50km of Sydney or Melbourne – AGL is partnering with existing Melbourne-based car subscription service, Carbar, and EV charging equipment supplier JET Charge.
AGL says the service will offer a range of leading electric vehicle brands, although according to the website that is currently limited to just four models: the Nissan Leaf and Hyundai Ioniq for $299 a week, the Hyundai Kona ($359/w), and the Tesla Model 3 ($599/w). You can find more here.
This limited menu is a direct reflection of the limited range of electric vehicles currently being offered in Australia, which is, in turn, a reflection of the distinct lack of federal and state policy support to drive the uptake of EVs.
(And if you are wondering why the Tesla is that much more expensive it is because the other cars are low mileage used demos, except for Tesla because used ones are not available. As that changes and supply increases, the cost will go down).
But AGL says the range of EVs offered through the service will grow alongside Australia’s market, and the hope is that initiatives like this one will help to speed up the so-far glacial pace of that growth.
“We know that costumer interest in EVs is growing exponentially, but there is a lot of uncertainty still there, particularly around price,” AGL’s newly appointed executive general manager of future business and technology, John Chambers told The Driven.
“We want to help customers navigate the shift to an electric vehicle without the sticker shock or other unknowns around charging and servicing.”
AGL predicts that half of all new cars sold be will be electric by 2030 (remember the Labor election pledge last year), and it has also committed to shift its entire 400-car corporate fleet to electric by 2030.
As noted above, the subscription services delivers the chosen EV complete with registration, insurance, roadside assistance, repairs and carbon neutral credits. And, for the pilot phase at least, there are no lock-in contracts, either.
“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,” said Chambers.
“We know customers are becoming more attuned with subscription services which provide all the benefits but none of the hassle – this is the Netflix of electric vehicles.
“Over the next few years, more models will hit the market, prices will fall in line with petrol vehicles and fast charging facilities will allow even greater distances to be travelled.
“These changes will transform how Australia drives and we anticipate that by 2030 half of all new cars sold could be electric.”
Meanwhile, existing AGL customers who fall within the catchment areas in Sydney and Melbourne can switch to electric effective immediately by signing up here.
AGL says there is a 30 days minimum subscription, but a $150 fee to remove the charger if you stay less than 6 months. The first swap / car change can happen after 6months.