How Borrow is using subscriptions to bring flexibility, freedom back to car ownership. Part 2

Offering an EV subscription service has secured Borrow a place in the auto industry, but the company must still work to appeal to future generations. Its current subscriber base consists of environmentally conscious college students looking for short-term vehicles, a generation that seems ideally suited to subscriptions because it places less emphasis on ownership and cultivates unique brand relationships.

“[Millennials] didn’t want to own anything,” de Guzman said. “They wanted to pay monthly for use and access, and when they were done with it, they were done with it. They also view our brand and our offering as luxury.”

Borrow might need a new game plan for the next generation of consumers, however. Gen Z customers are tech-savvy, less worried about brand loyalty and more difficult to impress

Flexibility is the name of the game. Borrow, which launched in California in 2017, focuses on providing availability and flexible pricing to those who aren’t interested in traditional vehicle ownership. The company’s subscription approach differs from those offered by other car manufacturers, many of which allow subscribers to switch vehicles whenever they like.

“There are some [subscription] options out there that allow you to switch a car, but we never really found that customers were asking for that,” de Guzman said. “They were coming to us and saying, ‘Hey, I’m in town for [a certain] number of months, do you have a car for me?’”

Borrow offers four separate EV subscription tiers. Users can choose from three-, six- or nine-month plans, or they can select a “platinum-level” option that offers access to a Tesla Model S. There is a waitlist for the Tesla, de Guzman said, but the $1,500 monthly platinum plan is not the company’s most popular option. Most subscribers opt for Borrow’s six-month service, paying $574 a month to reserve a BMW i3 or Volkswagen e-Golf car.

Justin KimComment