CARS.COM — If you’re interested in a Hyundai Ioniq electric car and you live in California, the automaker is offering two ways to get into its vehicles for a lot less than the traditional ownership route.
For those looking for a multi-year ownership experience, starting early next year, you can log onto the Hyundai website and find an unlimited mileage “subscription” for the Ioniq, if you live in California. Hyundai unveiled the process during the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show.
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“Customers can select their exact vehicle from their preferred dealer’s inventory, choose a 24- or 36-month term, and preview their all-inclusive monthly payment online,” Hyundai said in a press release. “Once they complete a credit application and are approved, they go directly to the dealership to complete the purchase. Once at the dealer, there’s no haggling; just sign a few forms and drive away in an advanced emissions-free electric vehicle.”
While it sounds like a simple lease, part of what’s different, Hyundai said, is that shoppers will get “one fixed payment that includes unlimited mileage, electric charging costs, scheduled maintenance, wear items and all typical purchase fees such as registration.” That’s pretty unusual. While some automakers include free maintenance for a couple of years (say, BMW or Toyota), few include all wear items or charging costs. That could be a big incentive for shoppers and especially for tech-curious buyers.
There’s no mileage cap, which can be a concern in a leasing situation, but with our history as EV owners here at Cars.com, exceeding mileage limits was never a concern for us. Charging opportunities have improved since we owned our Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt in 2011-13, but charging stations are still farther and fewer between than many consumers would like.
The real advantage with the program is that shoppers aren’t on the hook for any lost value over time. When we sold our Leaf and Volt, we only got back about 50 percent of the original purchase price. This deal keeps buyers from purchasing the equivalent of an iPhone 4 in a world of iPhone 7s.
On the other hand, if you only need a car for a few hours, Hyundai is teaming up with WaiveCar to allow users to grab a car for free, as long as you don’t mind driving around a rolling advertisement.
“Users can drive an Ioniq for free for two hours at a time,” Hyundai said in a release. “They can continue to drive for just $5.99 an hour or return the car at any designated spot for the next user to pick up.” The reason it’s so cheap? “In exchange, the vehicle is wrapped in advertising and includes a roof mounted digital display, which generates the advertising revenue WaiveCar uses to offset costs,” Hyundai said.
Customers can download WaiveCar’s app for iPhone or Android, locate a car nearby, book it and start driving with no cards or keys necessary. WaiveCar then unlocks the door for consumers remotely, where they can find the keys inside. Insurance is also part of the all-inclusive-deal.
Don’t expect there to be an Ioniq on every corner. According to Hyundai, WaiveCar plans to deploy 150 cars throughout Los Angeles in the first half of 2017, and plans to launch in three additional cities by the end of 2017 with 250 more cars.