These days cars are more like computers, and that’s especially true with electric vehicles. As a result, many automakers have started charging fees for software updates or locking features behind a monthly subscription. If you buy a Volvo, you won’t have to worry about that nonsense.
According to Bloomberg, who spoke with Volvo’s COO, the company won’t charge owners for features like heated seats and won’t nickel and dime customers for basic features.
Many of Volvo’s rivals, like BMW, want owners (outside the U.S.) to pay an extra $18 a month to unlock heated seats or $12 per month for high-beam assist. Then, other features like adaptive cruise control will cost even more. That’s on top of already paying top dollar for the car, not to mention those features are already built into BMW’s vehicles.
Mercedes-Benz charges $1,200 annually to unlock extra performance from several of its electric cars. We’re seeing a similar move from Polestar, although that $1,200 is a one-time fee and can be transferred to a new owner.
All these micro-transactions and subscription fees are the worst trend in the automotive space, and Volvo is essentially calling them all out. Volvo’s COO Björn Annwall said, “If you are to charge for software updates, it must be a step change in consumer benefit.”
Following that sentiment, he mentioned that Volvo could charge owners for significant upgrades like self-driving systems but not for all the little things we see from the competition.
Judging by all the backlash and negative press other automakers have received over these decisions, this is a smart move from Volvo. It’s taking a completely different approach from many others in the segment. So, keep this in mind as you’re shopping for a new EV in 2023.
via Business Insider