By on April 7, 2017

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

So far, there’s no evidence the Trump administration plans to extend the federal tax credit incentive for the purchase of electric and plug-in vehicles.

Designed to kick-start the fledgling technology, the credits — totaling up to $7,500 per vehicle — will run out after automakers finish selling their first 200,000 eligible vehicles — a date that could occur as early as next year for some companies. This means a segment still as embryonic as the infrastructure meant to serve it could soon bite the dust.

A recent report from Edmunds predicts what will happen if the credits die, using a cancelled state credit as a crystal ball. Despite the hype around EVs, those incentives are an intravenous bag keeping the patient alive.

Predictions generally carry as much weight as the listener cares to give, but the past is a good predictor of the future. Had former President Barack Obama’s 2011 prediction of 1 million electric vehicle sales in the U.S. by 2015 come to pass, he’d have had the opportunity to renew the credits while still in office. Of course, a million sales would disprove the need for incentives.

Well, Obama’s prediction didn’t pan out. In 2017, EV sales have only covered half the ground towards that goal. And a market share of about 1 percent isn’t healthy — it’s a niche.

According to the report, Tesla and Nissan are halfway through their finite pile of credits, while General Motors will probably run out next year or in 2019. Just as all three automakers are poised to see large increases in EV sales thanks to cheaper, longer-ranged models, the incentive to buy them is about to disappear.

That puts the whole segment in a Catch-22, Edmunds states.

“For EVs to achieve mainstream sales levels, better infrastructure is needed nationwide, along with the development of longer-range batteries,” the report reads. “However, it’s hard for investments to be made without seeing consumer acceptance.”

Using Georgia as an example, the report shows what happens when a jurisdiction takes away just part of an incentive.

Back in 2014, Georgia accounted for 17 percent of the country’s EV sales. Then, in 2015, the state scrapped its $5,000 tax credit, which applied on top of the federal incentive. Suddenly, sales plummeted, making up only 2 percent of the U.S. total.

While sales of Tesla luxury EVs continued apace, lower-end models — which represent the bulk of all EV sales — took a massive haircut. That’s not surprising, as $5,000 off a roughly $30,000 car represents a significantly sweetened pot. Now imagine if the $7,500 disappeared for all EVs nationwide.

“There is also something to be said about being on the wrong side of the deal,” the report states. “At $290.48, a Nissan Leaf payment is still less than the average lease vehicle payment (due to the $7,500 federal subsidy), but there is a negative psychological effect when consumers know they missed out on a much more generous deal.”

So, even with a price in the $30,00-$35,000 range and a usable range of over 200 miles, the absence of a special deal would surely cause consumers to look less favorably at the Tesla Model 3, Chevrolet Bolt and upcoming 2018 Nissan Leaf.

Many green car shoppers are wealthy, but that doesn’t mean all would-be buyers are willing to blow whatever cash it takes to be seen in an EV, the report claims. On its website, Edmunds discovered that “incentive and rebates pages for green cars experienced 120 percent more traffic than their non-green counterparts.” It would seem that taxpayer cash is a bigger part of green car appeal than some would admit.

There’s another problem facing EVs, one that’s not always top of mind: depreciation. Used Leafs represent one of the best deals on the pre-owned market, with an average model holding just 30.4 percent of its original value after three years. Got no green but want to drive green? There’s your deal right there.

Tax credits have pushed down lease payments while the rapid march of technology leaves older EVs with plummeting value. Removing the tax credit, Edmunds argues, would only make the segment less attractive to buyers.

“The low used values are a problem for automakers because if the federal subsidy is lifted, lease payments will go up significantly due to low residual values.”

In that case, the onus would be on automakers to take the financial hit, offering manufacturer incentives on money-losing vehicles. Europe and Asian markets might look rosy for EVs, but without the U.S. in play, there’s less of an incentive to develop expensive technology for a smaller potential return.

[Image: General Motors]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

147 Comments on “Early EV Buyers Win, But the Segment Stands to Die Without Tax Credits: Report...”


  • avatar
    Asdf

    The EV segment deserves to die if it can’t survive without tax credits or other incentives, the removal of which will force manufacturers to design competitive EVs, instead of the expensive and mediocre vehicles they’re trying to flog these days, if they have any serious intention of making EVs viable in the marketplace.

    • 0 avatar
      Higheriq

      But there may not be much incentive to develop EVs with both the pending repeal/rollback of the 2025 CAFE standards, ~$2.00/gallon gas, and buyers choosing SUVs and trucks over anything which saves $$ at the pump.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Before these more refined EVs came along, people used Golf carts in places like “The Villages” in FL, or other retirement communities across the US of A. When I visited a friend in FL a few years back, that’s how we got around.

        Nowadays my friend drives a plug-in Leaf. And that’s all he needs to get around. His F150 hasn’t been fired up in a while, not since his last long distance trip, ’cause everything is withing the Leaf’s range.

        There’ll always be a place for EVs, somewhere. Just not on a large scale.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        “But there may not be much incentive to develop EVs with both the pending repeal/rollback of the 2025 CAFE standards, ~$2.00/gallon gas, and buyers choosing SUVs and trucks over anything which saves $$ at the pump.”

        In other words, EVs are no more competitive now than they were when IC cars took away their market through sheer superiority over a hundred years ago. Shocker.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “The EV segment deserves to die if it can’t survive without tax credits”

      Thank you. Leaf resale says it all, this is a segment which should have never existed. Only Tesla seems to successfully sell in it and Tesla loses money on every unit. I have been saying for at least the past two years, hybrids are the future unless battery technology becomes much better *and* cheaper from the new car purchase perspective.

    • 0 avatar
      redliner

      As if the oil industry operates without subsidies.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Civilization beyond the 1880s runs on oil. Oil and petroleum/fossil fuel products also produce the lion’s share of electricity and will continue to unless something like fusion or thorium PPs replaces it. There is some hope for solar but from the figures I saw the largest solar farm in the US produces almost nothing compared to a single nuclear reactor in a day. A decentralized solar model on individual homes seems compelling but I would want to see estimates before getting too excited.

      • 0 avatar
        accord1999

        Oil subsidizes modern human civilization.

      • 0 avatar
        RS

        You can’t make an electric car without oil.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t think that the credits the buyer guts is the big deal. Doesn’t the government give the manufacturer a subsidy to build the things in the first place? You know – in the name of protecting the polar bears and snail darter.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    “Let them eat coal”

    Marie AntoinPruitt

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I have stated this all along. I do support EVs, but they need to be viable.

    Tremendous tax payer resources are squandered.

    I do realise we need to reduce our carbon footprint as I do believe in climate change.

    Where the application for energy intensive AND mobile vehicles is a must you can’t beat oil.

    Why not invest the removal of oil fueled heating with natural gas? This would create many jobs, reduce the cost of heating and create long term infrastructure maximising existing tech.

    I also believe that batteries for home and commercial use to capture and store energy is not viable. Most figures quoted is compared to retail costs of energy.

    South Australia found out the hard way that green energy is massively expensive. Electricity costs double and business is moving interstate. The people who voted for this sh!t now expect the rest of the country to subsidise their energy.

    EVs are no different. Why waste tax dollars? There are far less polluting option than green energy, like diesel.

    The cost of a subsidised EV makes them a middle class product. Let the middle class buy a 3 cylinder car, or pay the full price for their EV.

    It appears the only people who profit from green energy are the richest welfare recipients like Musk and the auto manufacturers who already receive massive handouts, protection and subsidies.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      But, but, but, diesel is evil! /s.

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      “Why not invest the removal of oil fueled heating with natural gas? This would create many jobs, reduce the cost of heating and create long term infrastructure maximising existing tech.”

      Exactly.

      I think it was Bedard in Car and Driver many years ago who put forth a very logical argument with respect to curtailing emissions. He pointed out that new car makers are tasked, year over year, with reducing emissions by X%. As absolute emissions go lower, that X% becomes tinier and tinier–but it’s forcing the automakers to spend just as much money, if not more, every year to chase after that tinier and tinier percentage.

      He suggested that instead of spending that kind of money chasing those kinds of results, that the government simply find every clunker that you and I see driving down the road, the ones that we all know are spewing gobs of emissions, and offer to take the car and trade the owner for a brand new Cadillac.

      The money spent would be miniscule, relatively speaking, for the results gained on curbing actual emissions.

      But then, logic never works in government.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        People would be pulling clunkers out of the woods to get their free Cadillacs, but people who think the government can solve problems can never see the foreseeable.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          The tautology of the party which says “government can’t get anything done” being the party which actively tries to prevent government from doing anything has not gone unnoticed by those of us paying attention.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Now all you need to do is notice why we recognize that the federal government’s domestic policy should be to do as little as possible. Do you really think that people wouldn’t put clunkers on the road to get free new cars? What are you paying attention to exactly?

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            Drive around Detroit for a few minutes and get a load of the clunkers which are *on the road right now.*

            “Now all you need to do is notice why we recognize that the federal government’s domestic policy should be to do as little as possible.”

            because you think it’s a horrible injustice that someone somewhere else might get something and you won’t.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Thanks for admitting that you won’t see why a taxpayer-funded Cadillacs for Clunkers program would be an expensive mistake even when it is explained to you. You’re why we’re twenty trillion dollars in debt and our economy is reliant on free money and suspended disbelief.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            ….The tautology of the party which says “government can’t get anything done” being the party which actively tries to prevent government from doing anything has not gone unnoticed by those of us paying attention….

            You speak the truth. Between 2010 and 2013 the Republicans filibustered 79 of Obama’s court nominees. For the entire history of the Republican party prior to 2010, that number was 68. Mitch McConnell and his ilk have done absolutely nothing to help move our country forward. They are hell bent on moving backward.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “Between 2010 and 2013 the Republicans filibustered 79 of Obama’s court nominees. For the entire history of the Republican party prior to 2010, that number was 68. Mitch McConnell and his ilk have done absolutely nothing to help move our country forward. They are hell bent on moving backward.”

            True! And now the shoe is on the other foot. Now the ‘crats are the party of NO!

            Seems only fitting.

            But the losers are once again WE, THE PEOPLE, of these untied states. Pun intended.

            So Americans deserve everything they get because we vote for it.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Have you noticed what sort of people Obama nominated? I can’t stand Mitch, but slow-rolling a few of Obama’s commie saboteurs is hardly one of his failings.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Hey, your idea will keep Caddy alive in the US.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    I’m not even sure that with the $7500 credit, a Leaf makes sense. Compare it at $22.5k vs. a Versa Note at $15k. There is never, ever a break-even point.

    People who want an electric car will buy one, but I don’t think people who don’t actively desire an electric car could be convinced, incentives or not.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      A lot of people, like ~49%, don’t even have to file a tax return, nor do they pay income taxes.

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        HDC,

        Because you think there’s a big potential market for car sales to school children, the elderly, etc?
        A lot of those 49% are married to people who file sizeable tax returns, so the credit will go on the working spouse’s return.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          hh, I think those 49% I read about have a taxable household income that’s lower than the minimum income where a person must file. I believe Romney in 2012 made mention of them, and lost the race.

          A person can always file, even if their income is below the minimum required to file, but the gov’t isn’t going to give them a check for the $7500 credit.

          As far as the elderly are concerned, I think that many of them may actually gravitate toward EVs, even if they have beaucoup bucks.

          It’s kind of a nifty toy. Can’t go very far but just far enough for grocery-getting and shop-’til-you-drop outings in the City.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            HDC, that 49% statement was rightly ridiculed at the time, and cost Romney a lot of credibility.
            He tried to imply that half of Americans don’t pay taxes, but that half includes homemakers, retirees, school children, the disabled, etc. Most of these people are members of families that do pay taxes, or they have paid taxes for all of their working lives. Romney’s implication was that these people were somehow all leeching off of the system, which was obviously false.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “which was obviously false.”

            My best friend since 1965 once told me that he quit working because of the taxes. He made good money, was a GS-12 Computer Specialist plus a retired USAF MSgt. Big bucks for the times.

            So, I’m thinking, how productive would America be if everyone who had worked and paid into the system over their career returned to America’s workforce?

            Especially guys like me, who retired from the military at age 38, or cops and firemen who retired at age 42.

            It’s true that I became self-employed after I retired from the USAF and all the work I did was cash&carry. No records, no nuttin’, just a finished job and cash in my pocket.

            I know a lot of young retirees do that, work Cash&Carry, in order to avoid having to pay taxes. But it doesn’t count toward America’s workforce participation.

            Thus I believe in revising and rewriting the Tax Code so that people who want to work after an early retirement do not get punished when doing so.

            You know, if an early retiree does not work, none of their income up to $23,200 is taxable. But the moment they are employed and in the system, ALL of it becomes taxable in toto.

            Weird tax code. No wonder people find ways to circumvent the tax laws and keep more of their own money.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            HDC, much of what you wrote is why we need an overhaul of the tax code in this country. Taxes should be fair and equitable – something that they are not today.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            golden2husky, I agree! But it is never going to happen.

            Congress has too many divergent views on taxation, too many special interests pro&con, and way too much politics to ever rewrite the tax code.

            Hey, if the GOP-run Congress cannot even agree on repeal&replace, something they have been talking about and campaigning on for 7 years? They’re not going to get together on anything substantial. Just like in the past when the ‘crats controlled the Hill.

            And repeal&replace was the easiest legislation to pass. But it failed.

            Whatever they come up with next for repeal&replace will be ineffectual, and legislatively lame.

            No one is going to help Trump. But he’s got a phone, and he’s got a pen. And the EOs will be good for the duration of his presidency.

    • 0 avatar
      Ugliest1

      When I think of budgeting for a car I think in terms of TCO – total cost of ownership. That’s not limited to purchase price but includes maintenance (oil changes, coolant flushes, brake pad replacement, replacing fuel filters and other minor parts that •always* break), fueling costs, tires and insurance, averaged over (you pick the time period) 5 or 8 or 10 years. With EV “fuel” about 20-25% of gasoline, someone driving on $2,000 worth of gas a year would only be paying $350-400 in electricity. That alone after only 5 years is more than $7,500 in savings, not including oil changes etc. And the fuel alone equates to the difference you quoted; after that the EV is winning hands down. To me that sounds like a break even point.

      • 0 avatar
        Asdf

        Time is money, though, and an EV takes forever to charge.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          And finding a charger.

          A tender and green guy meets a lovely lass.

          “Hey. Where do you want to go for dinner tonight.”

          “I would love to go to that steakhouse in the mountains.”

          “What? We can’t.”

          “Why?”

          “You know I need to charge the car to get home”.

          “Fnck you. I find someone with a car, even some lousy FCA product so we can do things. I’m sick of spending hours looking for places to go out that are EV friendly I want flexibility.”

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          @Asdf: Time is money. A gasser consumes productive time fueling. An EV doesn’t.

          • 0 avatar
            Asdf

            That’s not true, an EV has significantly more downtime than an ICE-powered car due to recharging.

            I’ve heard some morons suggest that it only takes about 10 seconds or so to charge an EV – 5 seconds to plug it in, and 5 seconds to unplug it – and that it’s actually quicker to charge an EV than to refuel a normal car because of this. I’m not going to insult your intelligence by assuming that this was the kind of argument you were trying to make, though, as that would mean you would have been ignoring the actual charging time. Nevertheless, I’m curious as to why you draw the wrong conclusion above.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            That “moron” was absolutely right, if you take his statement in context. You plug it in when you get home for the night and unplug it in the morning. NO productive time is wasted and you start each day with the equivalent of a full tank.

            No wrong conclusion, only wrong thinking by those who refuse to understand logic.

          • 0 avatar
            Asdf

            The “context” in question is usually an EV fanboi (who is obviously also a moron) trying to “refute” the indisputable fact that the EV has significantly longer charging time than an ICE-powered car. But that kind of disingenuous spin is fooling nobody, except perhaps those who (probably for ideological reasons) are susceptible to such nonsense.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            It is not “disingenuous spin” if it’s the literal truth. If you never need to worry about recharging during the day while you’re driving then who cares if it takes half the night to charge? As far as the operator is concerned, recharging it only takes as long as needed to plug it in when they get home and unplug it when they’re ready to leave. It’s just that simple.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “That’s not true, an EV has significantly more downtime than an ICE-powered car due to recharging.”

            but the EV is being recharged while it was going to be in “downtime” anyway. the hell do I care if it takes a few hours to recharge, when I’m probably sleeping or at work while it’s doing so?

          • 0 avatar
            Asdf

            Even if the *mandatory* EV downtime is allegedly not a concern to you, that only says something about your personal circumstances, the downtime is nevertheless a fact.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Then ………. how much is batteries per year? Add that.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          May be nothing, Big Al. If the batteries last as long as suggested by testing, they may not cost you a single penny over the life of the car. The car would be considered an antique (25 years old) by the time they need replacing.

          Of course, driving habits will have an effect on that usable life. Running it at maximum output and going full-charge to 5% all the time could pull that battery life down but Tesla specifically guarantees that it will last no less than 8 years.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      “Compare it at $22.5k vs. a Versa Note at $15k. There is never, ever a break-even point.”

      if I had to choose, I’d gladly take a Leaf even without the tax credit. The Versa is a dreadful, cheap, miserable griefbox and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    We all know the Model 3 will be the #1 volume selling midsize in NA next year, even as the credit phases out. Anybody thinking otherwise is just a grumpy Tesla stock short.

    ;-)

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    If I can’t have a Bolt, then I want a shotgun!

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    Thing is, there is no “electric car segment.”
    Just like the “hybrid segment,” which was 90% Prius for the first dozen years, the so-called electric car segment is Tesla, plus every one else.
    Will Tesla suffer from the end of electric car tax credits? Hardly. Their customers can afford any premium sedan, but they choose to buy a Tesla.
    Will others suffer? Of course, because their half-hearted attempts at building electric cars are mediocre-at-best. Cars like the Leaf and Bolt have no appeal beyond the fact that they run on battery power.

    • 0 avatar
      NexWest

      Who are you to say the Bolt has no appeal? Have you done a survey? Are you too lazy to do one? What say you.

      • 0 avatar
        OldManPants

        A silent CUV, taller than an HR-V and that can’t ever stain your garage floor, backed by a Big 3 service and supply chain with dealerships in places that don’t even have a Dairy Queen?

        Shi..yeah.. I want one.

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        NW,

        It has no appeal because it’s a 164 inch subcompact, and those never sell in significant numbers in the US.

        Not many Americans want a car that size. You don’t need a survey to know that, it’s obvious.

        • 0 avatar
          OldManPants

          “a 164 inch subcompact, and those never sell in significant numbers in the US.”

          You’re right! Encore is 168″ and HR-V is 169″.

          In cars as in love, those extra 4 or 5 inches matter!

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          the Tesla Model 3 is going to be a mid-size sedan, a market segment which this site repeatedly says is on “death watch.”

          So by your logic, the Model 3 is doomed to failure.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Is the model 3 a mid-size sedan? I thought they benchmark it against the BMW 3 series, which is a compact in my book. The BMW’s interior makes a new Civic seem like a limousine.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            Oh, Toddles… our kind knows there’s no such thing as “mid-sized”.

            Go Big or Go Home!

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            Todd,

            Wiki shows it at 184 inches, which puts it inside the traditional 180-200 inch span for mid-size sedans. It’s 4 inches shorter than a first-gen Taurus.

            The current 3 Series and Civic are both slightly shorter at 182 inches.
            Obviously, the Civic’s transverse FWD layout offers better packaging than the 3’s RWD. The BMW is designed for a straight 6, and that takes a huge chunk out of the passenger compartment.

            The Tesla should be roomier than both, by a significant margin, thanks to the layout flexibility of the electric powertrain.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “Obviously, the Civic’s transverse FWD layout offers better packaging than the 3’s RWD.”
            — Why? Exactly why does Tesla’s RWD layout package worse than the Civic’s FWD layout? Many people swear by rear wheel drive because you get the strong push in acceleration which is also benefitted by the car’s weight at least somewhat transferring to the rear wheels for better traction. As a result, the RWD layout is considered by many, if not most, to be the better layout.

            Or were you talking about the BMW 3? If so, your statement would have been clearer if you had stated so by saying ‘BMW’ instead of ‘3’ since the other vehicle under discussion is also a ‘3’.

          • 0 avatar
            wsn

            @ heavy handle

            “The Tesla should be roomier than both, by a significant margin, thanks to the layout flexibility of the electric powertrain.”

            Don’t assume, what are the interior volume figures for the three cars?

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            The interior volume figures for the Bolt and the Model 3 are virtually identical. The difference is that with the Model 3 it’s more spread out and feels roomier while the Bolt is tall and short. I’ve had a chance to sit in a Bolt at my local dealership and in many ways it feels cramped… almost as tight as a base Fiat 500. The back seat is roomier than the Fiat, but still doesn’t give you that laid-back seating that makes longer trips more comfortable.

            In other words, the Bolt was designed to be a city car with the occasional opportunity to drive to the next city over (as long as it’s only 100 miles away or less.)

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    I think the assumption of EV failure simply due to tax credit removal is pushing things; the Toyota Prius has survived more than a decade after any subsidies died out for it. True, things may slow down a bit, but almost nobody can afford to simply stop building them and most of them have very probably built more than average profits into them.

    However, there is one sure way to promote sales: Tell the customer that the annual fuel cost will be less than half of whatever their current ICE vehicle burns. Remember, many of these would burn mid- or premium grade gasoline to offer the kind of performance an EV offers, which is significantly more than Regular, which itself is more than twice as expensive as electricity to cover the same range.

  • avatar
    srh

    I bought a 2015 Leaf SL recently (the version with all the goodies, which means very little…) off lease. 8,000 miles, still under warranty, perfect condition. $12,000. It’s a great little commuter.

    I bought it figuring that the tax credit would soon be going away, which should help buoy the value of used EVs by raising the price of new EVs. My hunch is that I’ll be able to sell it in a year or two for close to what I paid for it. All the while commuting to work all week for $5 worth of electricity.

    What I didn’t figure, but was pleasantly surprised by, is that it’s actually a darn nice commuter. Not as much fun as the FoRS and not as nice inside as the 4-series with which it shares a garage, but for 30 miles per day it does just fine.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    The Bolt is the size of a Honda Fit. Cars that size are not the problem if you hate “foreign oil” or want to fight “climate change.”
    .
    .

  • avatar
    cjpaul

    Take away the subsidies. EVs will survive. There are two niches where they are viable: luxury and performance. They can develop the technology and it will filter down to more mainstream vehicles just like every other automotive technology advancement.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      I think you’re right. I never understood the idea of having to make EV’s as cheap and small as possible. They are still getting bought by early adopters with good incomes who could afford a nicer car. Trying to lower the price to increase affordability does’t solve the main problem of charging. Lower income people are less likely to have the ability to charge their EV at home, and public charging stations are still too few to be convenient. So no matter how much government money is thrown at them, EV’s will only penetrate the market so far until the charging infrastructure improves.

      Automakers should’ve started at the high end like Tesla and filtered the tech down – like they do for virtually every other automotive advancement.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        EVs, once you get past the up-front cost, have one other major advantage: Fuel cost. Today’s big trucks tend to run on mid-grade or higher octane gasoline, especially the turbo-boosted models. This means that an EV would cost on average only 33% as much for fuel and for most, being able to recharge right in your own garage/driveway means you almost never have to stop to refuel while out doing your daily driving.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          “EVs, once you get past the up-front cost, have one other major advantage: Fuel cost. ”

          Maybe. But that up-front cost difference buys a whole lot of fuel for an IC car of the same size and class.

          That could be why a lot of people opt to buy a Cruze or two (hatchback) instead of an EV.

          One of our friends recently bought TWO Cruze Hatchbacks, his and her commuters, and did away with the two worn-out Prii they had.

          The Prii were not cost-effective. Dependable, yes. Cost-effective.no.

          I narrow it down to two things about EV buyers, nifty hi-tech toy fans and the anti-dinofuel movement.

          But I also believe EVs should be available to anyone who wants to buy one.

          Just not taxpayer subsidized.

          I hope the Trump administration does away with all that silly subsidizing, especially on solar, wind and oil.

          Those three are the height of absurdity.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            <>
            “Maybe. But that up-front cost difference buys a whole lot of fuel for an IC car of the same size and class.”
            — Depending on how much you drive, that difference can be made up in less than three years. In my own case, the difference would have paid for the car I was using in its entirety, brand new, in just under four years. The car I was using gave me 30+ mpg on the highway but I was commuting 120 miles per day, round trip. In other words, I was paying an average of $4K per year for fuel alone despite the high gas mileage the car offered. Today’s ICE cars barely improve on that economy yet cost upwards of $28K-$32K new. Believe me, going from $4K per year to barely over $1K per year in fuel/recharge cost is notable.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Ultimately, a person has to go with what works best for them. There is no one-size-fits-all single-solution that will work for everyone.

            In my part of the country electricity is not cheap, and fixed monthly costs for electric infrastructure drive the monthly bill even higher.

            People have on occasion questioned the wisdom of me running my natgas AC generator for six hours every Sunday.

            But it does affect my electric bill and the cost of natgas is so much cheaper than electricity in my area.

            Then again, the cost of gasoline in my area hovers between $1.739 – $2.099 per gallon for RegUnl. That’s pretty cheap.

            And the distances in my area also play a part in people’s decisions.

            Bottom line: if it works for you, it works for you.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @HDC:
            “Ultimately, a person has to go with what works best for them. There is no one-size-fits-all single-solution that will work for everyone.”
            — I’ve never denied that point; however, I will argue the absolute statements claiming the EV is incapable of doing what it is already doing, which is saving people money on fuel costs and maintenance, especially in commercial delivery service which is one of the more extreme usage cases.

            “In my part of the country electricity is not cheap, and fixed monthly costs for electric infrastructure drive the monthly bill even higher.”
            — In your part of the country, gasoline is likely not cheap either, so you need to consider the proportional costs of electricity to gasoline. Where I live, electricity runs at about the national average, just over 12¢/kWh. Regular gasoline fluctuates between $2.09 to $2.29 while premium (which is what most of the high performance cars require including most turbos and especially the cars with the smallest engines) tends to run $2.59 and above. So our electric rates come out to about 40% that of regular gasoline per mile and about 25% that of premium per mile. That difference does add up, the more miles you drive.

            “People have on occasion questioned the wisdom of me running my natgas AC generator for six hours every Sunday.”
            — I might question your timing but not necessarily your reasoning. I do know that my heating bill during the 5 months of ‘winter’ is only about 20% that of my cooling bill during the summer because my central air unit uses gas heat. The difference was much more before I replaced our original heat pump with a stronger one that also rated significantly better economy. The original was rated for the square footage of the house while ignoring the multi-level aspect so had to work much harder to cool the upper level. I would note that the house has black shingles and the HOA won’t permit using white shingles instead, so summertime really gets hot in the house’s upper level (and cold in the lower.) I’ll also note that the fan for the central unit is a power hog, so I use ‘air mover’ (directed stream) fans to pump the cooler air upstairs, noting a near $50/month savings as a result. Now if I could only keep the direct sun off my roof…

            “Then again, the cost of gasoline in my area hovers between $1.739 – $2.099 per gallon for RegUnl. That’s pretty cheap.”
            — Wow!

            “And the distances in my area also play a part in people’s decisions.”
            — A well-known author in Phoenix owns a Tesla S-60 as his only vehicle. He’s never complained about a lack of range and has openly stated that range is not an issue. Then again, if he does have to travel, he flies because his time is more valuable than even driving an ICEV to meetings and research.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Vulpine, There are very few charging stations in uninhibited areas. Phoenix may have more because they are a YUGE, complex, sprawling metropolis.

            I’m not against EVs. I think they SHOULD be available to anyone who wants to buy one.

            Just not taxpayer subsidized.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            You misunderstand, hdc; the Tesla does not NEED chargers scattered all over the city–one charger at home will meet rough 95% of daily driving needs. Where the chargers are needed are BETWEEN the cities, not within them. And Tesla has the Interstates pretty well covered, border to border and coast to coast in the US. It’s the other brands who don’t have the needed range OR the infrastructure coverage to do any kind of extra-metropolitan travel.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Vulpine,

            “Where the chargers are needed are BETWEEN the cities” I agree.

            I do a fair amount of traveling on I-10, I-25, I-40 and I-70, and have not seen any Tesla charging stations along those routes. Just a lot of gas stations and fast food places.

            SOME of those gas stations and fast food places along those Interstates have electrical outlets for public use.

            Fortunately, for people like me, The vast majority, there are still plenty of IC vehicles available.

            Again, I think there is a place for EVs, but just not taxpayer subsidized.

            Until we run out of oil on this planet, I expect EVs to remain an insignificant fraction of total SAAR.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I suggest you look at Tesla’s map of Supercharger locations. Already there are several within range of Flagstaff, Phoenix and a good portion of Arizona (don’t know where you call home, but pointing out one ‘high desert’ area) and when you add destination chargers to the map the state is pretty well covered. The area will be even more densely covered by Supercharger locations by the end of this year, pretty much eliminating your argument.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “pretty much eliminating your argument.”

            That can always happen as we live in a dynamic, ever-changing world.

            However, at this juncture, we have plenty of oil, most Americans keep buying dino-fuels by the gallon regardless of what it costs, and EVs are an insignificant fraction of total SAAR.

            Maybe when we run out of oil in 200+ years, maybe then, we’ll see a surge in EV sales.

            But maybe by then we’ll also have new, improved, better than ever, modes of propulsion for transportation.

            Like I wrote before, there is a place for EVs, like there is a place for Golf carts, or electric bikes and scooters. I’m all about choice.

            But it is a niche market and will remain so for many years yet.

            That isn’t to say that people shouldn’t buy an EV as a second, third or fourth vehicle.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “However, at this juncture, we have plenty of oil, most Americans keep buying dino-fuels by the gallon, regardless of what it costs, an EVs are an insignificant fraction of total SAAR.”

            I suggest a little research on the automotive market the two times gasoline prices approached $5/gal. ($4/gal in some areas.) Quite bluntly, when the gas prices spiked, big trucks and SUVs suddenly started hitting the used car lots and notably smaller cars were suddenly exceedingly popular. People who needed a newer truck to replace their beat-up rustbucket managed some remarkable deals simply because those big trucks’ value fell through the floor and you could buy a 3-year-old used truck for less than half its new price. If we’re not careful, that could happen again, especially if our current administration embroils us in another middle-eastern war, which now seems likely.

            You also have to consider that the price of EVs is coming down. The Bolt is leasing for barely over $329/month which is notably less than some larger ICEVs. The Model 3 might be more expensive but it also has two advantages over the Bolt: Road trip capability and more comfort. I won’t discuss other potential advantages because they aren’t proven as yet.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al From 'Murica

          Which turbo trucks run premium? I know the 2.7 is reguar as I own one and I believe the 3.5 does as well. I don’t know of any pickup that requires anything beyond 87 octane.

        • 0 avatar
          Frylock350

          @vulpine,

          Today’s big trucks don’t tend to run on midgrade. The GM 5.3 uses 87 octane as does Toyota’s 5.7 and Ford’s 5.0. The Ford 2.7 & 3.5 as well as the GM 6.2 are happy to burn regular; they’ll just be detuned and consume a bit more fuel when doing so. Same with the Ram 5.7 and midgrade.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “they’ll just be detuned and consume a bit more fuel when doing so. Same with the Ram 5.7 and midgrade.”

            I found that to be true in FFVs. The difference in running our 5.7L V8s on E85 and 91-octane E-10 is like night and day powerwise.

            At 91-octane those V8s are downright giddy. At E85 they’re sloths.

            Amazing how far the knock, ping and rattle sensors have come in electronically managing engines.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            And now you prove my point about how the Tesla electric, specifically, should be compared to ICEVs in fuel cost per mile. Now, how much does that 91-octane gas cost?

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            ” how much does that 91-octane gas cost?”

            In my area today it cost me $2.379 per gallon for E10. Just topped off the Sequoia this morning.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Well, you’ve already seen my rates, so all I can say is, “you lucky dog, you.”

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Well…….,

            went to gas up my 1989 Camry V6 this morning after breakfast at MickieD’s with budds and at my usual fill’r-up found RegUnl at $2.359, Mid at $2.459, and 91-octane at $2.559.

            Hmmmmmmm, WTF?

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            You’re saying fuel prices just jumped 40¢ per gallon overnight? That’s now higher than my local…by 10¢/gallon.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Yup. We get fill ups every couple of days out of Artesia,NM where the refinery is for this fill’r-up.

            They drive up in a 9000-gallon, two-partition tractor-tanker owned by the refinery, and prices can change from day to day.

            Great gas!. Always fresh. I’ve never seen prices go up this much, but oil prices are pegged to the average of all oil prices on the exchanges.

            The producers make more money when the exchange prices go up, because the fixed costs of bringing up the oil rarely change from day to day.

            Funny thing is, prices never go down as quickly as they go up.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I would note that I live about 30 miles from the east-coast refineries (several of them along the Delaware bay/river). So you don’t really have an advantage there, either. Price seems to lie closer along the lines of what the market can bear when they’re not bucking the international price of oil. I’m betting this recent threat of another mid-east war is what’s hiking the price today.

            Yup… about a day after you, our price of regular jumped to… $2.35/gal.

  • avatar
    addm

    Tell that to half a million people who have booked a Tesla model 3. Any company would love to have that numbers of pre-orders.
    I guess people can write anything and can come up with selective evidence to back up their claims.

    • 0 avatar
      accord1999

      Many of them are counting on a tax credit or other benefits, which in some jurisdictions dwarf the $7500 of the US govt.

      And while 400K is an impressive number, we still have to see how many go through with it once they get the final pricing, and whether there’s any subsidies left. And the likes of Toyota, Honda sell 300K or more Accords, Camrys, Civics, Corollas, RAV4s, CRVs each year in the US along, while Ford does 800K F-Series.

    • 0 avatar
      Asdf

      That’s potentially half a million future disgruntled EV owners… EVs are not ready for the marketplace yet, and I guess with that many people buying Model 3s, they’ll have to find that out the hard way. A handful of loony greenies may be willing to overlook this car’s fundamental shortcomings, but not half a million customers.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        @asdf;

        It’s not just greenies. Those of us that are performance fanatics have discovered the joy of that instant torque. These things are a blast to drive! It’s the feel of a V-12 without the maintenance nightmare. A P100D will accelerate 0-60 in 2.28 seconds. I regularly travel roads with a 55 mph speed limit, and traffic lights with an extra lane that ends shortly after the light. Lots of impromptu drag races in those situations.

        Another thing. You can totally get away with full throttle acceleration in a silent EV. No smoking tires and no screaming exhaust and they give you a pass. I’ve accidentally tested that! Once I launched from a light where there were four lanes. I didn’t notice the state trooper a couple of lanes over until I heard a V-6 at full throttle trying to keep up. I backed off at 55, he caught up and but never bothered me. If I had done that in a Hellcat with smoking tires and lots of decibels, I don’t think I would have escaped. I probably wouldn’t have heard the explorer either.

        EVs have a new performance trick in the works that ICE can’t easily duplicate. Independent wheel drive. Than means precise power and deceleration control over each individual wheel. A motor at each wheel. You can do some amazing things with that kind of control. Right now, it’s only available on the Rimac Concept 1. Their videos on the subject are worth checking out. So, it’s not just green loonies that are EV fans. It’s performance loonies as well.

        As far as your claim that EVs aren’t ready for the marketplace goes, you clearly have no idea what you’re talking about and your position is based totally on ignorance. I’ve had 46,000+ trouble free and hassle free miles. On a normal day, I’m going use the car and get back home with 93% of the battery still available. Just hook the car up when I get home and unplug when I leave. If that was too much trouble, I could put it an inductive charge system. My car is fully fueled almost every time I get into it. No going out of my to a gas station, waiting in line, hoping the pay-at-the-pump system is working, and finally freezing my ass off while I pump gas in. Indoor garage at home (and I can preheat the car to 90 degrees indoors cause it’s an EV) and head to the office where there’s an indoor garage. Even on the coldest day I can just keep a jacket in the trunk. No standing outside at a gas station freezing my ass off. Think about that every time you’re pumping gas freezing, getting wet from side blowing rain, or trying to find a working pump. I don’t have to do that.

        If I do stop somewhere and charge, I doing productive things like checking email or my favorite – eating. These are things I’d have to do anyway. Pumping gas is time out of your life where you are totally wasting your time. It’s non-productive time. I’m harping on this because you seem to be so obsessed over the charge time on EVs. It’s not the same as having to stand next to a pump watching the read-out of the money draining from your bank account. No worrying about splashing gas on your car or your clothes.

        And how about those oil changes. Those don’t take 5 minutes. That’s about 6 hours out of someones life over 46,000 miles. I’m looking and it’s $60 for a full synthetic change at JiffyLube. That adds up. Having an EV is like having a valet that takes your car to be fueled and to have it’s oil change – all for free. When are ICE makers going to offer free valets?

        Look, I realize EVs aren’t for everyone. Not everyone has access to an outlet for charging. Not everyone has the luxury of a commute that’s less than 100 miles in a day. I get it. EVs are not for everyone even if they’d like one. However, for some of us they are really great vehicles. An awesome alternative to the 2 cylinder turbos with CVTs crap the ICE world is headed towards (Fords 3 now has cylinder deactivation) – cuz the rest of the world is going to determine what we get for cars and they aren’t dropping their environmental standards.

        • 0 avatar
          jalop1991

          Your whole argument sounds like one of those “as seen on TV” product infomercials that harps about how hard it is to do something, all the while showing a black and white video of some woman blatantly failing to do whatever that thing is–trying very hard to make something simple like opening a jar look like the hardest, messiest thing on the planet.

          And they do that in order to sell their miracle jar opener, for only $19.99 plus shipping, order in the next ten minutes and we’ll throw in a second one FREE, you pay only shipping and handling.

          You talk about pumping gas the same way. That’s ridiculous. If that was your experience pumping gas, then you’ve been doing it wrong the entire time. Broken pumps? Splashing gas on your clothes? I can just see your black and white video on the TV screen at 2am right now, as you ineptly splash gas all over yourself after trying for 30 minutes to find a working pump that ends up being in the worst part of town.

          As for “watching the money drain from your bank account,” I guess you don’t watch your electric meter spin. It’s the same game, just a different device.

          Oil changes? Hey, you know what you can do during those oil changes? To use your own words directly against you: “productive things like checking email or my favorite – eating. These are things I’d have to do anyway.”

          The harder you try to sell your electric car, the more you make it sound like it’s just another snake oil as-seen-on-TV item.

        • 0 avatar
          ToddAtlasF1

          Tesla’s mandatory service costs more annually than I’ve spent on my Honda in a decade.
          https://www.tesla.com/support/maintenance-plans

          • 0 avatar
            z9

            It’s not a mandatory service plan and they really don’t do anything very important. Except for tires, the cars are basically maintenance-free and even the brakes don’t wear out because the motor slows down the car. However, the depreciation on a Tesla in one year is probably more than you paid for your Honda. But that would be true for any car that costs as much.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            From the above link:

            If I choose not to service my Tesla vehicle, will this void my warranty or Resale Value Guarantee?

            It is highly recommended that you service your Tesla vehicle every 12 months or every 12,500 miles, whichever occurs first. If you do not follow this recommendation, your New Vehicle Limited Warranty or Pre-Owned Vehicle Limited Warranty will not be affected. During the agreement period of the Extended Service Agreement, your coverage may be affected if recommended service is not performed. See the Tesla Extended Service Plan Terms and Conditions for further details. If you are financing your Tesla vehicle through Tesla Financing, you will only be eligible for the full Resale Value Guarantee if your Tesla vehicle is brought in for service per the above recommended timeline.

          • 0 avatar
            jalop1991

            “drive unit fluid service”. Hey, Tesla has formalized the blinker fluid change.

            And every year they want to replace the battery in the key??? I remember years ago when I had my brother’s Jag, and the car popped up with “replace key battery”. Huh. Down to the hardware store, $3.25 later plus three minutes of my time and I was done. Jag service price: $50. If Tesla says it requires them to replace the key battery, something’s horribly wrong here.

            And EVERY YEAR???

            Man. $600 for the yearly maintenance. You’re right, you don’t spend that much on a Toyota every 5 years, it seems.

            Wiper blade replacement?? I wonder what THAT line item is.

            Those crazy electric cars–still needing tires and all that suspension stuff, and alignments and whatnot. And here I thought they were FREE to drive.

            Oh wait, it gets better:

            “The annual service inspection interval is prompted by either time or mileage, whichever occurs first.”

            Really, Tesla? Even Honda, years ago, came out with Maintenance Minder to eliminate that crapola. It knows how your car has been driven and in what temperatures and how long per trip and how hard you’re using it and all of that, and puts that in the blender of its pea brain computer and comes up with an engineer-calculated interval for the various maintenance items–and then tells YOU when they’re due, based on your driving pattern.

            And the best that Tesla can come up with is a “miles or time, whichever comes first” strategy straight out of the owner’s manual of a ’75 Chevy? That’s the best that rolling iPad of a Ludicrous computer can come up with?

            Oh, wait, it gets BETTER:

            “How will I remember to bring my Tesla vehicle in for annual service inspection on time?
            The best way to ensure your Tesla vehicle is regularly serviced is to set up an appointment on your delivery day.”

            Wait a minute. That rolling iPad can’t figure this out for itself and remind me a year later that it’s time?

            Does the Tesla service advisor give me an appointment reminder card to stick on the fridge?

            And more:

            “How often should I rotate my tires?
            We recommend that you bring your Tesla vehicle in to have the tires rotated every 6,250 miles.”

            Avoiding the obvious “don’t the tires rotate all the time anyway” joke, you mean to tell me that (a) you want me to STOP WHAT I’M DOING EVERY 6,250 MILES (b) to take it to Tesla to have them swap tires around???

            That’s two failures for the price of one. Talk about Ludicrous. What happens if I swap my own tires around? What happens if I don’t swap tires at all? Does Tesla ban me from their servers? Does the car just STOP? (Insert Axel Foley reference here.)

            So mcs tells us all about how we’re wasting our time at gas stations, splashing gas all over ourselves, and wasting our time doing oil changes–but he has to stop every 200 miles and spend 45 minutes to fill up, and that’s OK because he’s “being productive and eating”–and then he completely IGNORES crap like this tire rotation requirement.

            But hey, I guess mcs is also being productive during that service period, too.

            I read Car and Driver’s service timeline for their long-term P85D. My first thought was, that service history looks like it qualifies them for a Lemon Law replacement, it was in the shop so often. And being transported to Cleveland, because that was the closest service center.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            ““drive unit fluid service”. Hey, Tesla has formalized the blinker fluid change.”

            AFAIK they only do it once, at 12,500 miles. probably to flush out any initial wear particles. the only regular fluid changes they schedule are brake fluid (same as any car/truck) and battery coolant.

        • 0 avatar
          Joss

          +1
          And ya know:green lorries instead of loonies.

          The future ain’t Frank Canon’s paunch hauled by oil barge.

          • 0 avatar
            shaker

            Frank Cannon, AKA (Wikipedia): William Conrad

            William Conrad was an American actor, producer, and director whose career spanned five decades in radio, film, and television. A radio writer and actor, he moved to Hollywood after his World War II service and played a series of character roles in films beginning with the quintessential film noir The Killers. He created the role of Marshal Matt Dillon for the popular radio series Gunsmoke and narrated the television adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and The Fugitive.

            From 1971 to 1976 he starred in television detective series Cannon, which was broadcast on CBS. While starring in the show, he weighed 230 pounds (104 kg), and grew to 260 pounds (118 kg) or more.

            “I heard that Weight Watchers had banned its members from watching the show, but it turned out to be a gag,” Conrad said in 1973. “The publicist for Weight Watchers did call and suggest that I have lunch with their president. I said sure – if I could pick the restaurant.”[19]

  • avatar
    slap

    The expensive part of an EV is the battery. As the cost of the battery goes down, the tax credit should be reduced. So phase out the credit so that in 10 years or so it will be gone.

  • avatar
    PandaBear

    The biggest benefit for EV in many places is not the tax incentive, but the 1) free charging subsidized by employer at work and 2) getting on the carpool lane with single occupant during traffic jam. $7500 is nothing, people are giving up their Lexus for a faster commute in a Leaf all the time.

  • avatar
    z9

    As is typical in every discussion here, the people who don’t own EVs are completely sure of themselves predicting that they’re a dead technology and massive amounts of taxpayer dollars are being wasted on subsidizing them. There aren’t enough chargers or “infrastructure” whatever that means, only rich sanctimonious greenies want them, batteries are too expensive, Model 3 reservation holders will cancel once they find out how awful the actual car is, etc. etc.

    Then there are a few of us who actually own electric cars saying, “hey it’s working for me.” I don’t see anyone saying, “That electric car I bought? That was the worst mistake ever. Never again.”

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      Of course it’s working for you–and it is doing so, and you bought the car, only because I and 50 million of my closest friends are helping pay for your car.

      Crowdsourced fanboi-ism, eh?

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      As a former Leaf owner/lessee, I am critical of the huge depreciation my 12 Leaf took when it returned it: ~75% in 3 years, and that’s after the subsidies are subtracted out.

      I had some other complaints about the vehicle, but it was extremely well-built, reliable, and trouble-free – better in these regards than any other car I’ve owned.

      EV depreciation is tied directly to battery degradation, and that’s the only reason Teslas haven’t depreciated as badly. We’ll know more when the non-Tesla 200-mile EVs hit the used car market.

  • avatar
    hands of lunchmeat

    do you get equally as steamed when you tank up your car for the subsidy that goes to shitkickers in iowa for the ethanol in fuel? We dont need it, yet there it is.

    Tesla got it right in the essence that it offered a luxury alternative and a completely different business model. Everyone else selling gas cars with a dealer network designed to sell gas cars isnt necessarily trying to steer you to that pile of leafs in the back lot. I get cornered for car advice pretty regularly and the amount of people whose needs would be fulfilled by an electric simply have no idea the segment exists, or automatically place caveats on owning one that arent there anymore. The same went for hybrids when the prius increased in popularity. People who were worried about the battery life, or that the battery would need to be charged independently, both issues that were overblown or just false.

    EV’s have a long way to go. But unless there is awareness of them, and their popularity stays at enough of a level to make advancements worthy, then the segment will struggle. Im not thrilled with tax credits for things of this nature but i feel theyre a better one than those who buy 12 MPG trucks as opposed to a car for ‘business use’ because the tax writeoff is greater.

  • avatar
    jalop1991

    ““drive unit fluid service”. Hey, Tesla has formalized the blinker fluid change.”

    AFAIK they only do it once, at 12,500 miles. probably to flush out any initial wear particles. the only regular fluid changes they schedule are brake fluid (same as any car/truck) and battery coolant.

    – – – –

    They schedule brake fluid EVERY YEAR.

    Show me the average Ford/Chevy/Honda/Toyota that requires the brake fluid be changed EVERY YEAR.

    You know what Honda’s specs are? Every three years, independent of mileage. That has been Honda’s spec for a long, LONG time.

    “Every year” for brake fluid is crapola.

    Every dollar a Tesla owner saves in gasoline, he spends buying crapola–time spent charging the battery, time spent rotating tires, extra service items that no other car requires, etc. Absolute best case, it comes out in the wash.

    I would love to see a detailed comparison of, say, a modern Acura against a Tesla–all costs, all up all in, head to head in a total cost of ownership over 6 years.

    What it comes down to is, today’s Tesla fanbois who spent years making fun of Prius cars and drivers (for example) are now similarly being challenged themselves for their convictions–and are NOT happy about it. They wouldn’t let Prius drivers get away with a simple “hey, it’s what I like, leave me alone”–and now they get some of their own back.

  • avatar
    Shockrave Flash Has Crashed

    The EV market is not going away, the US just may not be the leader anymore. We have let leadership in other industries slip away too, we’ll survive. I will be disappointed, as a wacky South African has put us way out in front. As a tech worker, I’ll admit this is a source of pride for me and I may be over invested in the outcome.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      “The EV market is not going away,”

      I agree. EVs are nifty toys for those who can afford them and don’t have to travel long distances.

      There will always be a demand for EVs, PEVs and Hybrids as long as the manufacturers can make money on them.

      I’m all about choice. The more the merrier. And we have a wide variety of vehicles to choose from in the US of A — EVs, PEVs and hybrids should be among them.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        “EVs are nifty toys for those who can afford them”

        While Tesla consumes all the oxygen in this discussion, Nissan remains the world leader in EV sales, and their EVs cost the same as a decent Camry.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          So what percentage do EVs make up of the SAAR in the US, and the world?

          My guess would be; an insignificant amount.

          That said, I believe that EVs should be available to anyone who wants to buy one. Just not taxpayer subsidized.

  • avatar
    jalop1991

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for Musk’s vehicular moon shot–but the ridiculous lengths to which the fanbois will go to justify their choice is amazing. It’s not good enough for them to say “It’s what I want to do” and leave it at that. No, they feel forced to invent ludicrous scenarios of splashing gas all over our clothes to try to make “gassers” feel stupid while the Tesla fanboi can feel smugly superior. (Of course, all he did was make himself look stupid for being the guy who can’t gas up a car without splashing gas all over himself all the time.)

    I have a friend who owns a Tesla. He does so because it’s what he wants to do. And that’s it. He likes to show off a bit from a geek standpoint–backing the car out of the parking space after dinner while we’re all standing around–but other than that, he doesn’t really talk about the car. He’s a middle class Joe who’s nearing retirement, who never married, and who went from a Prius to his Tesla because he could afford it and it gave him pleasure. That’s it.

    Not once has he ever spoken about any “benefits” of not going to a gas station every 400 miles, or of “being productive and eating” while he’s charging up during a road trip, or anything like that.

    Frankly, what I really want to come out of Musk’s work is battery research that leads to my home being more self-sufficent with regard to electricity. I would have the choice of feeding the household battery any way I see fit–grid, solar, natural gas/propane generator–and have at least some control over my little piece of the world.

    This would also give the power company the ability to fill my battery at night when demand is low so they can use their capacity during the day for business/manufacturing needs–and stretch out the need to build more generating plants. This can only make our country grow, and that could only be a good thing.

    If Musk gets out of the car business but continues investing in reworking our national power infrastructure and the way we think about energy, that would be fine by me.

  • avatar
    Pig Hater

    EV’s still have a chance of surviving regardless of tax credits. All we need is for Chump to get into more trouble and you’re guaranteed to see gas prices fly through the roof. High mpg vehicles will still probably be most buyer’s choice but EV’s will start to look more attractive then too.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al From 'Murica

      How many years was gas around 4 bucks a gallon and people simply cut from other areas and complained as they filled up? I’m not sure how high you’d have to spike prices to significantly shift car buying habits because we haven’t hit it yet.

      Even though fracking should ensure that the 100 dollar a barrel days are behind us since the technology helps cap prices somewhat and I don’t see any regulation hitting the industry in the next 4 years to slow it and should a replacement come in and stifle the industry then that spike would be on their head and they WOD be a one termer.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Fracking is expensive, ‘Murica. It didn’t become really profitable to even start until oil prices shot up to over $80/barrel. Why? The chemical stew they use to leech the oil out of the substrate ain’t cheap and I’m not going to do more than mention the cost of the damage to the local water table because of it. Yes, it does produce and in decent quantities but right now with oil prices as low as they are, I find it doubtful more than a very few operations are realizing any profit from it. ]

        By no means are the $100/barrel days gone; we will see them again and perhaps sooner than anyone expects. Honestly I expected a significant jump before now but those oil-producing countries we’ve been buying from are doing their worst to try to drive the fracking companies out of business first by keeping their prices well below the fracking profitability line. However, if we get involved in another big war in the Middle East and especially if it grows into a near-global conflict, then expect that oil over there to stop flowing, at which point our costs will skyrocket.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al From 'Murica

          Fracking’s break even is around 45 bucks a barrel. There is a reason that is where the price stabilized at.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I assume you have references for that number? Because when fracking first got started, the articles were claiming that while it worked, the cost was such that it wouldn’t be profitable at anything below about $80.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al From 'Murica

            https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-03/texas-toughness-in-oil-patch-shows-why-u-s-still-strong-at-30

            I was wrong. Some operations were profitable at 30. You can Google as the number is all over, but no where close to 80 anymore.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Ah. I will admit to being unaware of the changes but I believe we can both see they were much higher early on. Apparently, by your article, once the first fracture is made it somewhat depends on the substrate and how many fractures it takes to maintain flow to determine the cost of the well.

            Even so, it mentions some four thousand wells that have been idled because of the low price per barrel for now.

  • avatar
    Big Al From 'Murica

    Well they don’t work for me because I pull 5000 pounds somewhat frequently. They might work for my wife but she’s on the edge of the range between commuting and errands on many days.

    But yeah, what the heck. Just take some more of my taxes to buy someone else a car. Cool.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      EVs can produce 100% torque at 0 RPM.

    • 0 avatar
      shaker

      Did you ever buy a house and take advantage of the Mortgage Interest Deduction on your Federal Income Tax?

      I haven’t.

      If you have (or anyone else here b!tching about EV Subsidies):

      You’re Welcome.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al From 'Murica

        Yeah, one time. Of course it was nowhere near a 7500 dollar deduction AND I paid a whole ton of property taxes for the services that home consumed. Additionally that is a benefit that applies to waaaaay more people all across the economic spectrum as opposed to your stupid EV credit that allows the wealthy to buy a toy car by in large. Also, if you took away the credit, guess what, I’d still buy a house as would most homeowners. It isn’t that big and I need a roof over my head. The home market is viable without the credit. And any homebuyer gets it no matter if they buy a giant mansion or a small home with solar panels on the roof. Is the EV market viable without what is in practice a highly regressive credit that benefits mainly the wealthy.

        Additionally, as roads are primarily funded via the tax on fuel, I get to pay for your stupid car AND the roads on which you operate it. I think it is time to go to a road tax structure that is more equitable. Maybe a smugness tax for you EV drivers.

        • 0 avatar
          shaker

          “Additionally, as roads are primarily funded via the tax on fuel, I get to pay for your stupid car AND the roads on which you operate it.”

          Are we going to trade apoplectic fits?

          “And any homebuyer gets it no matter if they buy a giant mansion or a small home with solar panels on the roof.”

          No, if one is buying a house under $200,000 (and don’t have many other deductions), then the standard exemption/deduction gives you more of a tax break. I can’t afford a house that expensive with my income, so no Mortgage Interest Deduction for me (and many in my position).

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      How FAR do you pull that 5000 pounds, ‘Murica? Sounds to me like a Model X might be right up your alley.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al From 'Murica

        Far enough to get out of Augusta heat. 2-300 miles and farther sometimes. No way the X gets there without probably multiple charges and there aren’t a ton of superchargers in the woods.

        This of course ignores the fact my current F150 2.7 TT was 36 grand out the door where as the X would likely crest 6 figures. That is a lot of fuel at any cost.

        Maybe we could have a tax credit on all luxury vehicles so I could help folks buy a Bentley or a Ferrari too!

        Bottom line on the credit…The Tesla buyers will likely still buy because it is more akin to a yuppie getting a BMW in the 80’s…It is a status symbol though the 3 may take a hit. The EVs for the masses like the Bolt an Leaf will get hammered.

        Maybe if we are going to have a credit it could be means tested? I have a real issue with my already heavy tax burden subsidizing the purchase of six figure cars.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Well, as was said before, ‘Murica, to each his own. I can see the economic advantage of such, especially if you’re actually able to keep the thing for a decent amount of time. Unlike many, I don’t trade every 3-4 years… I keep my cars until I no longer trust them, and that’s usually well over 8 years. Considering the potential economic advantages of an EV, especially the Tesla (infrastructure availability), I could see owning one that would probably last me the rest of my life.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al From 'Murica

            Agree, to each their own…But your own involves my tax dollars. Course I guess your average EV owner is at least a productive member of society so that is better than all the moochers getting it I guess.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            It doesn’t necessarily involve tax dollars. Tesla is already half way to their 200,000 limit here in the US and the first year or so of the Model 3 will have them exceed that limit, meaning by the time I made my purchase, those tax dollars would be gone. And honestly, given the advantages of BEV over ICE, the actual long-term price of the Model 3 is closer to that of a Chevy Cruze than a BMW 3-series.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Steph – I agree with everything in your article.

    I wouldn’t have leased my former 12 Leaf without the Federal credit, since it comprised such a large portion of the price.

    However, I’d probably still take delivery of the Model 3 even without the credit, but the lack of it would give me pause.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Inside Looking Out: That’s what Joe is for.
  • Inside Looking Out: Humans are outdated model nearing the end of service deadline. At some point no one will left...
  • Inside Looking Out: In California you do not need ID. ID or no ID you are always welcome. Except of buying alcohol.
  • Inside Looking Out: “The Germans” Ze Germans. Dr.Z remember? Deutsche Autos sind die besten der Welt.
  • Inside Looking Out: “why technology firms with no product lineups or revenue sources are eligible to receive...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Matthew Guy
  • Timothy Cain
  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Chris Tonn
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber