BMW Megacity EV Taking The Path Of Lease Resistance?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
bmw megacity ev taking the path of lease resistance

As TTAC has argued before, electric cars are great… as long as you don’t have to own one. Now, even the automakers are starting to wonder if they should even bother selling the things. BMW, which has already experienced issues with consumer EV letdown, is already starting to back away from the idea of selling (rather than, say, leasing) its much-anticipated Megacity electric city car. Sales Boss Ian Robertson tells Automotive News Europe [sub]

We’re looking for an alternative to traditional purchase or leasing of a vehicle. We don’t want to sell the car, but rather the use of the car. The ‘Car to Go’ concept “is an interesting approach. More and more people in large cities are looking for an alternative to the ownership of a vehicle

Or, more accurately, BMW is looking for an alternative to trying to sell an extremely high-cost, premium EV with killer depreciation. Either way, it seems that OEMs and consumers are starting to meet in the middle on this whole EV thing…

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  • Wallace487 Wallace487 on Feb 03, 2011

    This would be a great idea if combined with the concept of Zip cars. You only use the car when you need it, and it parks at a specific location where it can charge until someone else needs it. With Zip cars there is a risk that a car will not be parked where you need it. A recharging electric car would be similar to this situation, but Zip car users are already accustomed to waiting for a car to be available.

  • Alex_rashev Alex_rashev on Feb 03, 2011

    One of the problems with EV's is that they're by definition very durable vehicles. The motor/controller is, for all intents and purposes, unbreakable, there's no transmission, and no emission equipment. Face it, people rarely trash an old car because of worn shocks or worn brakes - it's always a slipping transmission, or a blown motor, or exhaust falls off, or failed emission this and that. So, the only major costs associated with them are batteries, and the vehicle itself. Now, we've already established that the second battery you'll buy for your new EV will probably be your last, and will probably cost you a fraction of what you'd have to pay for the original one. However, the car (and the first set of batteries) is likely to cost a pretty good amount. People aren't used to the idea of buying cars like they buy houses, so leasing is a good start. On their end, manufacturers should look into INCREASING the cost (and value) of their EV's, assuming an average life span of at least 20 years. That is, 20 years down the road I should be able to walk into a Nissan dealership and buy a new dashboard, or a seat belt - not just mechanical stuff. I think we'll see a lot more of Smart/Fiero/Saturn style replaceable body panels, interior kits, and well-designed reusable chassis. Lego car anyone?

    • M 1 M 1 on Feb 03, 2011

      Electric motors are unbreakable? Just off the top of my head, bearings wear out, if they're run hard they can overheat, they will be susceptible to corrosion, etc. They're probably quite durable, but if/when they're in widespread use, I'm sure we'll find they aren't remotely unbreakable.

  • Old Guy Old Guy on Feb 03, 2011

    "...electric cars are great… as long as you don’t have to own one." And this being America, you don't. You also don't have to drive a Peterbilt tractor to work. But just like public transportation, electric cars reduce the amount of junk in the air for everyone, not just those who use it/them.

  • Carlson Fan Carlson Fan on Feb 03, 2011

    "As TTAC has argued before, electric cars are great… as long as you don’t have to own one." Haven't spoken w/many Volt owners have you!.....LOL