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AAA, Electrify America Partner on EV Subscription Service

AAA of Northern California, Nevada and Utah, along with Electrify America, are offering an EV subscription service in Sacramento, Calif. The service includes insurance, maintenance and roadside assistance.

The VW e-Golf automatic electric vehicle.
The VW e-Golf automatic electric vehicle.
Drivers in northern California not quite ready to make the full transition to an electric car can simply try one out — for months at a time.

AAA of Northern California, Nevada and Utah, the car club giant, and Electrify America have teamed up to offer an EV subscription service using 2018 Volkswagen e-Golf vehicles. The subscriptions, which start at about $450 a month, include insurance, maintenance and roadside assistance. The subscription terms are three months to one year.

“The service is currently only available in Sacramento, but we are hopeful this all-inclusive model will resonate with customers and lead to expansion,” said Sergio Avila, a spokesman for AAA Northern California, Nevada and Utah. 

AAA also offers its GIG car-share program in Sacramento, where some 250 EVs are positioned across the city and available for pennies a minute via an app.

The all-inclusive package is intended to help remove barriers to EV driving, and is also part of a larger trend away from car ownership. The e-Golf subscription deal is available to anyone — renters or homeowners — and comes with a Level 1 charger, which can be plugged into any 120-volt three-prong outlet. Level 1 chargers provide about five miles of range for each hour of charging. The Volkswagen e-Golf is rated with a range of about 125 miles.

"AAA Car Subscription's all-inclusive price is a great fit for those looking for other options outside of traditional vehicle ownership,” said Avila in an email, adding the subscription terms “allow consumers to experience EV ownership before committing to buying.”

Other all-inclusive car subscription packages have cropped up in other parts of the country. Mike Albert, a car subscription service, has launched in Cincinnati, Ohio. Those plans, which also include maintenance and insurance, start at about $695 a month, (with a $500 “activation fee,”) and do not offer EVs.

Skip Descant writes about smart cities, the Internet of Things, transportation and other areas. He spent more than 12 years reporting for daily newspapers in Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana and California. He lives in downtown Yreka, Calif.