We’re often told by an eager would-be EV driver that they’d consider making the switch from gasoline to electric “if only I could make long-distance trips to see my granny in [insert name of faraway place here] once a year.” Essentially, these people are dismissing the possibility of owning an electric car because they happen to make one or two trips a year which aren’t easy in an electric car because of a lack of charging infrastructure or simply just the distances involved.
To combat that, we’ve seen a number of plug-in automakers offer customers a limited loan of a gasoline or diesel vehicle at preferential rates when they need to go beyond the range of their EV: Nissan now offers customers in the U.K. up to 14 days or 2,000 miles worth of free gasoline car hire every year (insurance extra); and BMW offers customers the chance to opt-in to a pay-per-month mobility package giving them credits towards gasoline car hire.
Now Volkswagen has raised the bar, with the promise of up to 30 days of free gasoline car hire to German owners of its e-Up electric car.
Offered as part of Volkswagen’s e-Up Advanced Mobility Package, e-Up customers in Germany will be eligible to have up to 30 days a year of free gasoline car hire through a partnership with Volkswagen’s partner car rental company Euromobil. Drivers will be able to pick anything from a small gasoline hatchback right up to a Sharan minivan for free, says Volkswagen, provided the customer stays within their allocated mileage allowance.
At the time of writing, we’re not sure what all the terms and conditions are of Volkswagen’s advanced mobility package, nor can we tell you how many miles you’ll be able to do every year in a loaner car before Volkswagen starts to ask you to pay an excess mileage fee, but we can tell you that Volkswagen says the scheme will be free for all of its new German e-Up customers for the first three years of ownership.
The e-Up — which is expected to have a real-world range of around 80 miles per charge (official NEDC mileage combined range is 93 miles) –might not be everyone’s cup of tea due to its diminutive size. But its ability to charge from empty to full in under 30 minutes using a compatible CCS quick charge station, its low running costs, and £19,250 price tag (after £5,000 government grant) could earn it some fans, especially if space is at a premium.
There’s only one problem: at the time of writing, Volkswagen hasn’t decided if it will be offering a similar package to Germany’s Advanced Mobility Package for other European countries.
We just hope it does: after all, we think it’d make the perfect companion to its already-announced renewable energy deal for e-Up drivers.
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