There are new cars and then there is the Lynk & Co 02, an SUV that’s part of a whole new way to own cars – or more to the point to not own them. You will actually be able to get this car from your iPhone.
The Lynk & Co 02 sports crossover SUV has just been revealed as the latest vehicle from the new car manufacturer that’s owned by Geely, the same company that owns Volvo. While the cars are built at the Volvo factory on SUV forms you might already recognise from the likes of the Volvo XC40, it’s how they’re accessed that’s cool.
Now you won’t need to commit to buying a car, rather you can rent it month to month. This means you could have your own rented vehicle – so far so lease-like.
What’s cool is the way you can share this rental with others. That means the use of a digital key, on your smartphone, that lets you share your car as you need to. You can also buy or lease cars as normal.
The great thing about this isn’t just an ability to share your car with other drivers via a digital key. This also means you can let people use the car for other reasons. For example you could park in a shopping centre and have shopping delivered right to your car boot using a digital key you grant to the shop. This has already been used by Volvo in Gothenburg.
The company describes it like this: “For a price per month you become part of the Lynk & Co community. You buy a Lynk & Co contract, like a mobile phone, maybe for one month, maybe for one week. We want to sell cars, but we will most of all sell mobility. So we’ll sell cars via a subscription model, where you pay a monthly fee and extend it or not. But within that fee you can change car every day or swap it whenever you want it. So say you pay your monthly fee – we haven’t calculated it, but let’s assume it’s £200 – and you spend five days a month where the car is at the airport. For these five days you put your car on share, and for £20 a day you get £100 back.”
The cars are also 4G connected and smart thanks to a team-up with Ericsson. That means the cars will be smart enough to know things like where parking spaces are or how fast to drive so you don’t hit a red light.
The catch? Lynk & Co won’t launch in the UK until 2020.