Newly Rebranded Car Subscription Startup Autonomy Will Offer Tesla’s Model 3

Molly Wright

Molly Wright is an intern for dot.LA. She previously edited the London School of Economics' student newspaper in the United Kingdom, interned for The Hollywood Reporter and was the blogging editor for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

Newly Rebranded Car Subscription Startup Autonomy Will Offer Tesla’s Model 3
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Autonomy—the Santa Monica-based automobile subscription service until recently known as NextCar—is getting into electric vehicles via Tesla’s popular Model 3.

The startup, which provides customers monthly vehicle subscriptions for an all-in price that includes maintenance costs, said Thursday that it will offer the Tesla Model 3 as part of a range of electric and zero-emission vehicles.

NextCar, which was launched in 2020 by former TrueCar CEO Scott Painter, rebranded as Autonomy late last year after acquiring the defunct Hewlett-Packard software brand and its intellectual property. Having recently raised $83 million in debt and equity financing, Autonomy is now ramping up its platform by including the best-selling electric car in history.

Autonomy customers will be able to subscribe to a Model 3 for a three-month minimum term, and then on a month-to-month basis afterward. Fees range anywhere from $550 per month (with a $5,500 start fee) to up to $1,000 per month (with a $1,000 start fee), plus a $500 security deposit. The service, which plans to add an insurance offering to its all-in bundle in the coming weeks, is currently available only in California.

“Electric vehicles have reached a tipping point, and it’s clear that the Tesla Model 3 is this generation’s [Toyota] Prius,” Painter, who serves as Autonomy’s CEO, said in a statement. He said Autonomy’s subscription model is meant to appeal to consumers in an era when “financial responsibility and the avoidance of debt” has prompted many to reconsider purchasing a car.

The startup also pitches an easy-to-use customer experience through its mobile app; it says customers can order a vehicle in only 10 minutes by providing their driver’s license and payment information, while the process of picking up the car or getting it delivered to them should take no more than 20 minutes. They can also manage their subscription through the Autonomy app.

Autonomy isn’t the only way drivers can get their hands on a Tesla short-term. In October, Hertz announced that Teslas would comprise more than 20% of its rental car fleet by the end of 2022 after it ordered more than 100,000 vehicles from the Elon Musk-led automaker. The news saw Tesla’s market capitalization surge above $1 trillion.

Correction, Jan. 21: A previous version of this article reported that Autonomy is in beta testing and currently includes insurance with its all-in subscription price. It has been corrected to reflect that the service is now commercially available and plans to add an insurance offering in the coming weeks.

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David Shultz reports on clean technology and electric vehicles, among other industries, for dot.LA. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside, Nautilus and many other publications.

A Fisker electric vehicle.​
Courtesy of Fisker

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