By taking a selfie and completing a simple online registration process, drivers can now take delivery of a new Audi e-tron Black Edition for as little as one month usage period.
The new scheme to make the switch to zero local emission driving is the result of a collaboration between Audi UK and all-inclusive electric car subscription provider Onto, which has just purchased 300 examples of the electric SUV. The company is now making the e-tron available for periods starting at one month, with everything from insurance and maintenance to 1,000 miles-worth of electricity all taken care of by one simple subscription payment.
“Although it’s an increasingly unfounded viewpoint, electrification and additional complication still go hand in hand in the eyes of many drivers, so our involvement with Onto will be valuable as a means of dismantling as many perceived obstacles to EV ownership and usage as possible,” says Director of Audi UK Andrew Doyle.
“Onto’s acquisition of 300 Audi e-trons is one of the largest corporate BEV purchase commitments we have seen so far, and supplements an EV fleet which is already the most extensive in the UK. This acutely convenience-focused service has real potential to be a key driver of attitudinal change and broader integration of more environmentally compatible mobility.”
Unlike familiar automotive leasing models, the Onto service doesn’t require subscribers to secure their chosen car with a deposit, or to commit to binding multi-year agreements. During the online subscription process, customers selecting the e-tron Black Edition will be asked to pay a fee of £49.50 to cover delivery to their preferred UK address. This can be carried out within as little as 72 hours. At that point either 50 per cent or 100 per cent of the advertised monthly fee of £1,299 is also debited, depending on the proximity of the booking and delivery dates. This payment can be a one-off, as subsequent charges only become applicable ahead of each new month when the customer confirms they want to extend usage of their car. If they don‘t, they can pay a £49.50 collection fee and walk away, or pay this fee and swap to another electric vehicle available as part of the Onto service (for which charges vary).
The company says that while the monthly fee for usage may initially seem uncompetitive versus more traditional contract hire and PCP rates, the total cost of ownership for the customer is actually comparable when the absence of a lump-sum deposit and the inclusion of insurance, charging and servicing are taken into account.
That package includes fully comprehensive insurance with breakdown cover for drivers aged between 30 and 80, up to 1,000 miles-worth of electricity accessible monthly through membership of the BP Pulse and Shell Recharge networks with their thousands of UK charging stations, and servicing, including agreed wear and tear provision. It also includes specification enhancements, such as metallic paint, that are often categorised as extra cost options in conventional leasing agreements.
The key interface between Onto and its customers is the Onto app, which is downloadable from the App Store or on Google Play. It replaces physical keys for users of the service, who instead lock, unlock and start their cars using the app on their smartphone.
In the case of the e-tron, the app also supplements the car’s onboard e-tron route planner by showing public charging locations at which users can top up with the electricity included as part of their subscription using their BP Pulse or Shell Recharge charge cards. Charging is also possible at compatible public points that are not part of the BP Pulse or Shell Recharge network, and at home using the appropriate cable supplied with the e-tron, but any costs incurred in these instances are not covered by the subscription.