Korean car maker Kia launched a battery subscription service as a pilot project along with partners on Tuesday.
It partnered with Hyundai Capital Services, Shinhan EZ General Insurance, the Seoul Taxi Association, Hanmi Taxi and Sangrok Transportation for a pilot project.
They signed a memorandum of understanding and the idea is to make it cheaper up front to buy an electric vehicle (EV). The pilot project will determine if Kia officially launches the service in the second half of next year, it said.
Kia will do overall planning of the battery subscription service. It will supply the EVs and oversee the management of waste batteries. Hyundai Capital will develop the battery leasing while Shinhan EZ General Insurance will look after insurance.
The Seoul Taxi Association, Hanmi Taxi and Sangrok Transportation will trial the service and check cost efficiency and operational stability.
The parties will establish a standard model for calculating the residual value of batteries for future services. Local reports quoted Kia saying that by establishing a standard model for calculating battery residual value, the value could be increased. That would cut the monthly subscription fee.
“A battery subscription service is a highly specialised product for commercial vehicles like taxis,” a Kia official told reporters. “When the official service is launched next year, it will initially be installed on Kia’s taxi-specific purpose-built vehicle model, the Niro Plus.”