Instead, you can just share it.
Owning a car is an expensive proposition, but Chinese automaker Geely wants to make it more affordable for the masses. You may not recognize the name 'Geely,' but the company currently owns a few familiar brands sold here in the US, including Lotus, Polestar, and Volvo. Of Geely's non-US brands, Lynk & Co is the most intriguing having ecently revealed a concept car called the Zero, which previews a futuristic Tesla Model Y fighter. Now, the Chinese automaker just showed off a production car that is coming to Europe.
It's called the Lynk & Co 01, and it's based on the same Compact Modular Architecture used by the Volvo XC40. In fact, the 01 was developed in Gothenburg, Sweden, at the shared Geely and Volvo research and innovation center. There's almost no chance the 01 will come to the US, but it still looks pretty exciting, and it comes with a unique sales model.
Lynk & Co believes that trim levels and option packages are "pointlessly complex," so it built the 01 with an "everything extra comes standard" philosophy. Buyers only need to specify the color of black or blue and choose a hybrid (HEV) or plug-in hybrid (PHEV) drivetrain. Both drivetrains use a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine, sending power to the front through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
The HEV version produces a total of 197 horsepower and 215 lb-ft of torque, while the PHEV makes 261 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque. The PHEV drivetrain also benefits from an electric driving range of around 43 miles. No matter which drivetrain you choose, the 01 comes well-equipped with a large central touchscreen, online navigation, third-party apps, a social media camera, and its own cloud.
Instead of buying the 01, Lynk & Co wants you to join its mobility membership. A month-to-month membership with a car costs up to €500 (around $586) per month and includes insurance and scheduled maintenance. Members can lower their costs by sharing the car with other people; should you rarely need a car, you pay only when you borrow one.
It's essentially ride sharing, like Uber or Lyft, but you share a community car rather than getting a ride in someone else's. The average vehicle remains parked 96% of the time, so systems like this one make sense to lessen the number of cars on the road. Such an idea probably wouldn't fly in the US, but it seems like a great option in Europe.
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