GM and Ford win big chunk of subscription startup’s EV purchase
General Motors and Ford Motor Co. are getting big orders for their electric vehicles from a California-based startup that’s offering drivers the option to buy an EV subscription instead of buying the EV itself.
Autonomy said on Tuesday it placed an order for 23,000 electric vehicles from 17 global automakers to expand its subscription fleet beyond Tesla, which is the only electric vehicle it offers. This new fleet order is valued at $1.2 billion.
While Tesla still got the lion’s share of the new order – 8,300 vehicles valued at $443 million – GM and Ford came in near the top.
Here is an overview of some of the most important commands:
- GM: Order of 3,400 electric vehicles worth $138 million.
- Ford: order of 1,800 electric vehicles worth $88 million.
- Volkswagen: order of 2,200 electric vehicles worth $107 million.
- Hyundai: order of 1,640 electric vehicles worth $74 million.
- Kia: order of 1,500 electric vehicles worth $69 million.
- Rivian: order of 1,000 electric vehicles worth $72 million.
Autonomy said it plans to order from Stellantis in the future.
GM and Ford did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Autonomy launched in January, choosing Tesla because of Tesla’s electric vehicle sales leadership at the time, said Autonomy CEO Scott Painter.
But now, “with all the automakers going electric and so many exciting new products coming to market over the next six to 18 months, we’ve placed our fleet order and are excited to expand our range of subscriptions,” Painter said.
The 23,000-car order represents 1.2% of planned U.S. electric vehicle production through the end of 2023. Painter said the order was designed to fit each automaker’s planned productions. GM, for example, has announced plans to manufacture 1 million electric vehicles in North America by 2025.
In GM’s case, Autonomy’s order included electric vehicles currently in production: the Chevrolet Bolt and Bolt EUV, the Cadillac Lyriq and the GMC Hummer EV pickup. He has also placed orders for GM’s future electric vehicles: the Chevrolet Silverado EV, Blazer EV, Equinox EV and GMC Hummer EV SUV.
At Ford, Autonomy ordered the Mustang Mach-E and the F-150 Lightning.
Autonomy listed the following criteria for its order:
- MSRP range: $26,595 to $122,440.
- Battery Range: 250 miles minimum (with some exceptions).
- Telematics: Fully connected.
- Production forecast: The vehicle will be available for purchase before the end of 2023.
- Residual Values: Models with the highest projected resale values.
How it works
Autonomy is not yet available in Michigan, only in California. It has 1,000 Tesla models in its fleet.
The minimum required subscription term is three months. After that, a customer can return the vehicle at any time with 30 days notice or continue the subscription on a monthly basis, said Jesse Toprak, chief analyst at Autonomy.
For a Tesla Model 3, subscription fees can vary, but Toprak said that for $4,900 down payment, which is non-refundable, a person can drive a Model 3 for $490 per month. Or a person could deposit $990 and receive a payment of $900 per month. It can be paid in full each month on a credit card or from a bank account. Autonomy vehicles are available for delivery or pickup in weeks, compared to waiting months to purchase or lease a vehicle, he said.
He said that was better than buying a new Tesla Model 3, which would cost at least $50,000 and likely have high interest rates, he said.
“If you keep this (subscription) vehicle for months, it beats any other way to acquire a Tesla Model 3, even a lease,” Toprak said. “It includes maintenance, there is no payment for registration because Autonomy owns it and if you want to get another vehicle you can return it after three months.”
Autonomy is working with an insurance provider to also have insurance included in the cost, depending on the state, in the future, Toprak said. The subscriber is limited to travel 15,000 miles per year.
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