Drivers in certain European countries can get behind the wheel of a Hyundai hybrid or electric car for a single, all-inclusive monthly subscription, but so far this services isn't being offered in the United States.
The Hyundai Mocean subscription service launched in the United Kingdom this week, with other versions being rolled out within Europe, but the Mocean brand was introduced earlier this year as a catchall for the automaker's mobility services, similar to the now-defunct General Motors Maven brand.
According to the UK press release, the Mocean subscription service includes hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and all-electric vehicles, such as the Hyundai Kona Electric.
2021 Hyundai Ioniq Electric
As with other automaker subscription services, customers pay a single monthly fee in lieu of a conventional car payment, which bundles insurance, tax, roadside assistance, and maintenance. Pricing in the UK starts at the equivalent of $470 a month.
Customers can sign up online, and either have a car delivered, or pick it up from a Hyundai dealership. Subscription terms range from three months to 24 months, and customers can change vehicles every six months.
Hyundai as a big global automaker based in South Korea views services like this as a way to transition from being an automaker to a "mobility-service provider." It's a line used by many automakers over the past few years to justify a host of new businesses, from subscription services to car sharing, but results so far have been mixed.
Hyundai's previous "Unlimited+" program offered in the U.S. was unplugged in 2018 and was limited to Southern California. At that time it said it was studying other options. But the Mocean name isn't completely foreign to the U.S.; Hyundai launched a MoceanLab venture in LA in 2019, aiming to interface with mobility services, and it operates Mocean Carshare in Los Angeles.
2022 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid
The automaker hasn't yet confirmed how Mocean will be otherwise launched in the U.S., but we've reached out to the company for clarification. Earlier this year it confirmed that the Ioniq 5 will debut a new subscription plan in the U.S. that's geared toward "try before you buy."
Both offerings appear unrelated to an idea that the parent company in South Korea teased early this year: a plan in which you'd subscribe to the batteries to help lower the end cost of EVs and better coordinate battery reuse.
That plan was announced in partnership with LG, but Hyundai has also partnered with SK Innovation on battery leasing, as well as reuse and recycling.