This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.

The Chevy Volt actually looks even better than I expected. Apparently it rides well, too. I can’t imagine paying $40K for a car, though, unless (until?) gas hits $10/gallon. I just don’t drive that much.

I would consider leasing it, if the price was right.

The next few years will likely see a huge shift in the mobility industry. Already we’ve seen Zipcar and similar services move driving from an ownership to an on-demand service model for casual users.

With car technology changing so rapidly, ownership makes less sense. Why would I buy an electric car with a 40-mile range when one with a 60-mile range might come along in six months?

Cell phones solve this through a contract model not unlike car leases. The difference with cell phones is that they bundle minutes in the monthly fee. Better Place is working on this type of a model. They have fast charging stations where they swap out your battery with a charged one in less time than it takes to fill a tank.

Wouldn’t it be interesting if I could lease a car from Puget Sound Energy? I’m paying them for the electricity anyway. Plus, they benefit directly from having a fleet of cars connected to the grid as a back-up power source (or so I understand).

New possibilities abound. But I think we’ll see more of the Zipcar/Better Place type arrangements where auto transport is provided as a service, not separate products (car, gas, etc.).

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