UD employees and Delaware residents can lease electric cars that utilize vehicle-to-grid technology.

Electric car leases

UD's EV Research Program making Mini-E vehicles available for lease


9:42 a.m., June 20, 2014--Electric cars are available to University employees and Delaware residents for lease as part of UD’s innovative vehicle-to-grid project

The UD Electric Vehicle research and development program, working with BMW and AutoPort in New Castle, is offering a small number of Mini-E electric vehicles (EVs) for two-year lease agreements. Previously, the cars were available only to businesses and UD departments. 

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“Individual drivers are now needed to expand the demonstration over a wider range of driving patterns,” said project leader Willett Kempton, professor of marine policy in UD’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment

The new individual-lease cars can be used in the same manner as a personally leased car, with the addition that the cars provide electricity to the power grid when parked and plugged in. If the car is kept plugged in most times when not driving, it can earn payments back to the driver of roughly $100 per month, or $1,200 per year.  

“It takes a few months to set up and receive the payments for power after the lease starts, and payments are lower if the car is not kept plugged in when parked,” Kempton said.

The vehicles are leased for $3,600 per year, for two years, which includes any major maintenance needed. The lessee must have a closed-in garage, live in Delaware and be a Delmarva Power electric customer. They will also have to buy an EV charger.

The Mini-E is a two-seater with sporty performance and 100-mile driving range. The charging station is a standard charging station that will work with any electric car sold in the United States.

“This might be a good option for someone considering buying an electric vehicle who would like to try out a lease vehicle and get a home charger set up by experts,” Kempton said. “This way, the driver would be better prepared to purchase an electric car in two years, when many more will be available on the market.”

To learn more about the lease program, see the lease program PDF. For more about UD’s Electric Vehicle R&D program, visit this link.

There is also an option for a five-passenger electric vehicle, built by a different industrial partner, which could be purchased rather than leased. This EV, the “eBox”, would cost about $40,000 and would have a waiting period of four months.

For more information about either program, contact Joan Rosman at 302-831-2336 or jmrosman@udel.edu between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. daily.

Photo by Evan Krape

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