"I pity the fuel", says UK-based EV rental subscription service Onto, as it clinches £100 million loan deal

EV as a service platform Onto was founded by UK entrepreneurs Rob Jolly and Dannan O’Meachair

An idea for driving electric vehicle adoption that has some merit is greater commercialisation of flexible ownership models. In UK-based Onto's case, this would involve more motorists opting to abandon traditional car ownership, or at least complement existing vehicles, by using a subscription service to electrify personal travel.

With the UK and EU set to outlaw sales of new petrol vehicles, though pre-owned sales will continue, subscriptions also offer a path to low emissions travel for motorists on modest incomes, who may prefer not to invest in a new EV right away.

After raising €59 million in series C funds last year, Onto has now secured a £100 million credit facility to meet product demand, courtesy of pension fund CDPQ and alternatives manager Pollen Street (source: EU Startups). 

Onto was founded in 2018 by entrepreneurs Rob Jolly and Dannan O’Meachair. The company is scaling its monthly EV subscription platform, which is currently used by 7,000 or so customers and includes additional services, like insurance, chargers and breakdown cover, to significantly reduce cost barriers to electrification.  

In terms of the car selection, Onto has 25 vehicle models available, including premium EVs from the likes of Tesla, Audi, Volkswagen and Peugeot. In terms of emissions, subscribers helped prevent discharge of 9,700 CO2 tonnes in 2022, Onto said.

Jolly, who's leading Onto as CEO, commented: "We’re grateful for the support of Pollen Street and CDPQ – it will turbocharge our UK growth plans and consolidate our position as the leading electric car subscription service.

"This is a pivotal moment for the adoption of electric cars and at Onto we want to make them more accessible and affordable to people who want to make environmentally-conscious choices.

"The opportunity to provide an alternative to car ownership has also never been more desirable – our subscribers benefit from the convenience, flexibility and choice that come with a monthly subscription model.”

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