Onto car unlocking app on phone screen

Why electric car subscriptions have caught the attention of tech-savvy Millennials

by Onto|

Subscribing to an electric car is a way for people in their 30s and 40s to do their bit to fight climate change without the big price tag.

Electric car subscription in the UK

When 32-year-old Simon Smith from Devon decided to switch his car to electric, there was never any doubt that an EV subscription service would be the best option for him. 

“It’s the most affordable way for me to drive electric,” Smith told TechCrunch about his decision, which was driven by ethical and financial reasons. “[Otherwise] you’d probably have to save up a good deal of money to buy second hand and then you just wouldn’t have the flexibility.” 

Smith is just one of Onto’s thousands of subscribers, the majority of whom are aged between 25 and 45. But what is it about this idea that appeals to the tech-savvy Millennial generation? 

Generation subscription

They’re digital natives

Born between 1981 and 1996, Millennials are the first true digital generation, and they manage their lives in the palm of their hands. Research reveals 59% of Millennials find the concept of ordering a new car from their smartphone to their front door appealing, and six in 10 people are interested in accessing a car via a subscription model. 

They aren’t caught up with the idea of ‘ownership’  

Millennials are looking for flexibility – after all, who really knows where they’ll be next year or what they’ll need – and the freedom to change their minds and priorities. Long-term commitment can be daunting, instead they’re more used to services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Spotify that they can switch on and off as needed. 

Everything is included 

This generation has been through two recessions in their lifetime and they’re careful with money. 

Plus, with a subscription service, everything is included, from servicing and breakdown cover, to mileage and insurance. And, as Simon Smith found, there’s no upfront deposit to save for.

It’s convenient 

Millennials are busy but in between work and family commitments, they want to enjoy their downtime. Boring admin tasks are there to be outsourced, rather than laboured over. 

With an electric car subscription, it’s all taken care of in one monthly payment, and there’s no need to spend time trawling for the right insurance or negotiating premiums at renewal time. Onto also delivers its electric cars straight to its subscribers’ front doors on the day of their choice, and provides easy access to thousands of charging points all over the country.

A smiling woman sitting inside a Fiat 500 hatchback

They can keep up with the latest technology

The world of electric vehicles is rapidly evolving and the technology is getting better all the time. 

Some Millennials feel nervous about investing a lot of money in the latest electric car, only for it to go out of date within a year or two. After all, even the iPhone has updates every year because the tech improves. 

With electric car subscriptions, members can swap their car for the latest model simply and easily through the app or website.  

It aligns with their values

Millennials and their younger counterparts (Gen Z) are two of the most socially conscious generations. They’re reselling, recycling, going vegan and choosing trains over flights but want to do more to help fight climate change. 

A survey by the Pew Research Center found more than two thirds of Gen Z see tackling climate change as the top priority to ensure a sustainable planet for future generations. Signing up to an electric car subscription service helps them do that without compromising the lifestyle that they want.  

[Electric cars] create substantially lower greenhouse gas emissions than conventional vehicles, even when taking into account the electricity source and the electricity used for battery production. Assuming the current UK energy mix, battery electric vehicles produce the lowest greenhouse gas emissions of all the energy sources and fuels assessed, irrespective of vehicle type and operation.

According to Onto’s annual customer survey, nine out of every 10 people joining Onto are driving an electric car for the first time. And as the government ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars comes into law in just eight years in the UK, the move to more sustainable forms of transport will move from being a lifestyle decision to a formal requirement.

In terms of impact, we’re pleased to say that in 2021, the Onto community:

  • Drove more than 17 million pure electric miles
  • Saved 1,981,848 litres of fossil fuels
  • Saved 3,985 tonnes of CO2 tailpipe emissions from entering the atmosphere

And we’re just getting started.

Related articles

This is the future of driving

Find out everything you need to know on the latest innovation in car ownership in our latest guide – Car subscription explained.

For an all-in monthly fee, enjoy all the benefits of car ownership, but none of the hassle.