BMW's Megacity EV appears to have all the makings of one unique little runabout. The future city car is, after all, expected to be a battery-powered BMW that will feature a body-on-frame chassis made of aluminum and carbon fiber. Automotive News reports that the unusualness of the Megacity EV won't end with exotic materials, as the "buying" process will be unique as well.
We placed quotes around the word "buying" because BMW sales boss Ian Robertson has told AN Europe that the company wants to lease the Megacity instead of buying, saying that people should purchase "the use of the car." If the Megacity ends up being a lease-only affair, it will be far from the only EV or fuel cell vehicle to receive such treatment (the Honda FCX Clarity and the General Motors EV1 come to mind). But the Megacity will apparently be available as more of a short-term lease vehicle possibly following the model of Daimler's 'Car2Go' program in Germany and Austin, Texas.
So why would BMW opt for short-term leases instead of the more traditional buy or lease models? The true buy price of the city car would likely be far too high for one, and the German automaker will never likely recoup its development costs on this one model.
BMW will reportedly test the short-term leasing waters with the 1-Series-based ActiveE beforehand. We don't know exactly when the Megacity will be available for lease, but we do know that the EV range will receive an official name on February 21.
[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]