It goes without saying that a huge chunk of the cost of an EV is its battery. Battery technology has advanced leaps and bounds in recent years, resulting in power units that are smaller, lighter, and more efficient than ever before. On top of that, most batteries found in electric vehicles contain expensive minerals. All these costs are inevitably handed over to the consumers, who in some cases, may find it rather expensive to purchase a new electric two-wheeler.
In some cases, the battery pack alone can comprise up to twenty percent or more of the vehicle’s price. As such, German electric scooter company Unu Electric has come up with a way to mitigate the price-shock of its premium two-wheelers. It’s doing this by offering its batteries on a subscription basis, apart from allowing customers to buy their scooters with batteries to begin with.
Unu is offering two subscription packages for its customers, both of which come with an additional guarantee that if the battery no longer charges up to 75 percent of its capacity, it will be replaced free of charge. Pretty enticing, sure, but there’s a catch. Subsequently, the spent batteries will be collected and recycled for use in solar power generators and other practical applications.
Under its first subscription plan, the user is locked in for three years at a price of 39 Euros per month. German motorcycling publication Motorrad Online paints a picture of just how much money you’d be shelling out over the three-year period, as opposed to buying the scooter with a battery outright. For starters, a brand new 3kW Unu scooter with a built-in battery retails for 3,349 Euros. Without the battery, you’re looking at a 2,399-Euro price tag out the door. However, when you factor in how much you’ll be spending over the course of three years, it amounts to 1,404 Euros in battery rentals alone, translating to 3,803 Euros in total.
Unu, however, offers a second subscription model which is more flexible and can be tailored to suit the needs of individual riders. It’s cancellable at any time, and can be configured to take into account off-months in the year when you won’t be needing any batteries—say, during the winter time. It’s more expensive than the standard three-year subscription, though, starting at 60 Euros per month for one battery and 120 Euros for two batteries. Again, this subscription package won’t offer any savings whatsoever, unless you use your electric scooter extremely sparingly, and will only need batteries, say around two to three months of the year.
All that being said, it can be hard to understand the benefit of Unu even offering subscription models for its batteries. At the end of the day, it’s to offer customers more flexible payment options, as well as a more diverse selection of packages when it comes to acquiring an Unu electric scooter. Apart from buying the electric scooter outfitted with one or two batteries out the door, the battery subscription models offer a staggered payment scheme, as well as the benefit of an additional guarantee on the performance of the batteries.