By taking a selfie and completing a simple online registration process, drivers who may have been considering a trial separation from the internal combustion engine can now take delivery of a new Audi e-tron Black Edition for as little as one month usage period.
The attractive new incentive to make the switch to zero local emission driving is the result of a collaboration between Audi UK and all-inclusive electric car subscription provider Onto, which has just purchased 300 examples of the much sought-after electric SUV. The relative newcomer to the world of vehicle fleets is now making the e-tron available for periods starting at one month, with everything from insurance and maintenance to 1,000 miles-worth of electricity all taken care of by one simple subscription payment.
Unlike more familiar automotive leasing models, the Onto service doesn’t require subscribers to secure their chosen car with a deposit or to commit to binding multi-year agreements. During the online subscription process, customers selecting the e-tron Black Edition will be asked to pay a fee of £49.50 to cover delivery to their preferred UK address. This can be carried out within as little as 72 hours.
At that point, either 50 percent or 100 percent of the advertised monthly fee of £1,299 is also debited, depending on the proximity of the booking and delivery dates. This payment can be a one-off, as subsequent charges only become applicable ahead of each new month when the customer confirms they want to extend the usage of their car. If they don‘t, they can pay a £49.50 collection fee and walk away, or pay this fee and swap to another electric vehicle available as part of the Onto service (for which charges vary).
Whilst the monthly fee for usage may initially seem uncompetitive versus more traditional contract hire and PCP rates, the total cost of ownership for the customer is actually comparable when the absence of a lump-sum deposit and the inclusion of insurance, charging, and servicing are taken into account.
The all-inclusive package includes fully comprehensive insurance with breakdown cover for drivers aged between 30 and 80, up to 1,000 miles-worth of electricity accessible monthly through membership of the BP Pulse and Shell Recharge networks with their thousands of UK charging stations, and servicing, including agreed wear and tear provision.
The key interface – quite literally – between Onto and its customers is the Onto app, which is downloadable from the App Store or on Google Play. It replaces physical keys for users of the service, who instead lock, unlock and start their cars using the app on their smartphone.
The e-tron Black Edition is currently available in 50 Quattro form with a WLTP-certified range of up to 183 miles, or as a 55 Quattro capable of traveling for up to 235 miles between charges, and it is this second, more powerful version that Onto has chosen to expand its service offer.
Its two electric motors deliver a system output of 300 kW and can make up to 664 Nm (489.7 lb-ft) of torque available within a fraction of a second, enabling acceleration from a standing start to 62mph in 5.7 seconds and a top speed electronically-limited to 124mph. The 95 kWh battery that makes this possible can charge with direct current (DC) at up to 150 kW, meaning that approximately half an hour is all that is required to restore 80 percent of its capacity at fast-charging stations.