Report: BMW mulling lease-only program for Megacity

BMW Megacity – Click above for high-res image

In mid-January, Autocar reported that BMW's upcoming Megacity electric will be an "expensive" vehicle, noting that "BMW is a premium product and electric mobility will not be cheap." The high price comes from not only the battery but the carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) as well. From what we're hearing now, the cost might be so high that buying BMW's pricey electric may not even be an option. In other words, as BMW sales chief Ian Robertson told Automotive News Europe, the German automaker is mulling:

An alternative to traditional purchase or leasing of a vehicle. We don't want to sell the car, but rather the use of the car.

The problem is that, if BMW elects to sell the Megacity, it may not recover the costs associated with developing and producing the tech-heavy electric vehicle. In addition, ANE claims that the final cost of the Megacity could prove too expensive for the buying public. It's rumored that BMW's Megacity, like the companys Mini E and upcoming ActiveE, may only be offered through some sort of short-term lease program.

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.

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 22.

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]

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