Hyundai Launching Subscription Service for EVs

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

hyundai launching subscription service for evs

Hyundai will begin offering monthly subscriptions to its electric vehicles via the new Evolve+ program. Automakers have dabbled with subscription schemes fairly often over the last few years and we’ve usually come out complaining about how they’re a poor value, often representing the most expensive way to get into an automobile. However, there’s always a chance something like this could fit into your lifestyle, so let’s see what Hyundai is offering.

As things currently stand, Evolve+ will provide drivers access to the Kona Electric (for $699 per month) or the Ioniq 5 (for $899 per month). Those are pretty steep rates considering your author was literally just issued junk mail notifying me that the Hyundai Ioniq 5 SE Long Range was available in my area for $569 per month for 39 months – provided I could come up with the $3,999 due at signing.

That makes the subscription package seem like an outright scam. But you do get a few perks via the arrangement. For starters, insurance is provided and you can basically opt out anytime you want after the first month since this is effectively just an extended rental. Registration, roadside assistance, and any maintenance that needs to be done are also covered under the plan. Though customers will be limited to just 1,000 per month, which rules out taking one of these babies on summer vacation.

Hyundai said the program exists to address the changing landscape of car ownership. But most of these subscription and rental schemes (there’s really not much difference) automakers have floated since 2017 have been failures. Numerous luxury brands have attempted to offer premium subscription services utilizing a concierge that would deliver an array of vehicles whenever the customer got bored. However, the concept proved too expensive for everyone involved. Consumers didn’t seem particularly interested in paying a premium to swap between a limited number of vehicles and most automakers testing the theory ultimately confessed that they weren’t making money.

Some companies were even told such schemes ran afoul of dealer franchise laws. But a few brands ( e.g. Volvo) have tweaked the formula and elected to give subscription plans another chance to be profitable.

“[As the EV market] moves from early adopters to mass adoption, different consumers will have different needs," Olabisi Boyle, vice president, product planning and mobility strategy for Hyundai Motor North America, told Automotive News during an interview at the Chicago Auto Show.

From AN:

The package will only be offered in six states by eight pilot dealers in Oregon, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland and South Carolina. Hyundai said more will be added by year end.
"Evolve+ gives our customers the opportunity to try an electric vehicle and see if it is right for their lifestyle," Gary Rome, president of Gary Rome Auto Group, said in a statement. Gary Rome Hyundai in Holyoke, Mass., is a participating dealer.
Interested shoppers can select their vehicle and payment terms via mobile app, and then pick the vehicle up at the participating dealership.

Based on previous examples, it’s questionable whether this plan is going to work for Hyundai. However, the automaker did suggest that subscriptions could work well for people who wanted to spend a month trying to determine whether or not an EV could be worked into their lifestyle. The Ioniq 5 has also gotten quite a lot of praise since its debut and I didn’t think the Kona Electric was bad for an urban runabout, so the factory probably feels reasonably confident it’ll snare a few EV-curious individuals after that first month.

This may likewise serve as a less expensive way to snag an extended rental vehicle. Though, with Hertz seemingly offering massive discounts on EVs in select regions, that probably depends upon where you’ll be driving. While I’m not going to pretend that the industry’s constant claim about how we need to “re-imagine” vehicle ownership is anything other than manipulative, it is possible that these rental schemes will have something to offer a subset of drivers who spend large amounts of time not needing a car.

[Image: Hadrian/Shutterstock]

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2 of 13 comments
  • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Feb 11, 2023

    $699 to $899 for a subscription to Hyundais not named Equus or K9000000000?

    B**** please.

  • TDIGuy TDIGuy on Feb 15, 2023

    Don't know if US has it, but i've been seeing ads for a Hyundai "try before you buy" program in Canada. Basically a short term rental where Hyundai will pick up the tab if you buy one. Probably aimed at a different type of consumer than this story, but it sounds like a good idea to get some people hesitant about EVs.

  • Lou_BC VW has had a stellar reputation with their electronics and now they go full EV. What's not to like? ;)
  • MaintenanceCosts "roughly the same external footprint as a two-row VW Atlas Cross Sport but with - per a VW rep - more interior capacity than the three-row Atlas."And this is why I'm kind of intrigued by this little van, even though for me it's in spite of, not because of, the retro styling and Type 2 nostalgia.
  • Ajla From what I can see in the NHTSA data nontire part failures make up about .5% of reported crashes and aren't listed as a cause in the fatal accident reports. While we've all seen hoopties rolling around I'm guessing they don't go far or fast enough for many negative outcomes to occur from their operation.While I wouldn't want to be in that .5% I'd also want to avoid a "Bear Patrol" situation. When it comes to road safety nontire part failures are more like animal attacks while aggressive or impaired driving are heart disease and cancer.
  • Art Vandelay On the right spec truck, that is a screaming bargain for the price. And you can buy it safe knowing that as it is a Ford you'll never have your vehicle's good name sullied by seeing EBFlex and Tassos puffing each other's peters in one...a nice bonus to the horsepower!
  • Art Vandelay Too small for Tassos and EBFlex to puff each other's peters in.