New electric vehicle subscription service available in Australia

Mother stands charging electric vehicle with child and father emptying car boot in foreground.

Feeling dismayed at proposed EV taxes? If cost is the main sticking point for you when it comes to going green on the road, then you might be interested in this piece of news.

German battery and tech company sonnen, which manufactures in Australia, has teamed up with car subscription service Carbar to create sonnenDrive. SonnenDrive is an EV subscription service that is available to members of the sonnenCommunity. For those eligible to sign-up to this service, shelling out money for an EV shouldn’t be a problem: it includes the initial cost, insurance, registration and servicing.

What is the sonnenCommunity?

Sonnen describes the sonnenCommunity as ‘sonnenBatterie owners and sonnen eServices customers.’ 

The sonnenBatterie is a solar battery that the company says covers around 80% of customers’ energy needs per year. Now anyone who does have a sonnenBatterie in Australia can also take advantage of sonnenDrive.

The perks of an EV subscription

According to sonnen, sonnenDrive works just like a weekly paid subscription. Eligible drivers who sign up to the service won’t have to worry about taking out a loan to buy an EV, interest payments or their vehicle depreciating in value over time.

Car insurance, registration and servicing costs will also be covered in the subscription costs. This is pretty handy because the high initial cost of EVs mean insurance premiums can be a bit pricey. In fact, in statistics gathered in 2020 our research team found that the average EV car insurance quote could be as high as $2,515. Discounting Teslas, the average car insurance quote for an annual premium would be around $1,415. To put that into perspective, the same statistics showed that the average car insurance premium overall would be approximately $952.

Not eligible?

If you’re not eligible for this particular subscription, it is possible to rent an EV from either Carbar or AGL.

To find an EV on Carbar you simply have to filter vial fuel type and ‘electric.’ The EV subscription service from energy provider AGL was launched late last year and there are up to six different EV models available. It works on a month-to-month basis and prices range from over $200 to over $400 per week (the latter being for the Tesla Model 3).

Insurance premiums for EVs

If you’d rather buy than rent an EV, it is definitely worth knowing the costs that are involved. As mentioned above, you can expect all the usual outlays that come with owning a car. On insurance premiums, we spoke with Alexandra Kelly from the Electric Vehicle Council on why the cost might be more for EVs. 

Kelly said this is partly due to insurance providers not understanding what the risks are for EVs and partly due to the high market value of new vehicles. However, she also added that the insurance costs would not outweigh the savings on maintenance and fuel. She said, “It would be a very, very high premium to do that. So you would still get the economic benefit of having an electric vehicle.”

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