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Old 01-30-2018, 09:49 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by redpoint5 View Post
I'm right on the fence on if I want a used leaf or Spark for my first EV (maybe Focus or i3). Leaf wins the parts availability category as they begin to hit the junk yards, but I suspect the Spark battery will far outlast the Leaf, which is the single biggest concern with EV ownership. There is a bit of a price premium on the Spark, perhaps due to better thermal management, or perhaps from looking a little better than the Leaf, or maybe better performance?
The Leaf is the sensible family hatch. Midsize car / 0-60 in 10 seconds. The Spark is the hooligan. Subcompact car / 400 lb-ft of torque at 0 rpm / 0-60 in 7.5 seconds (traction limited). The Spark will spin it's wheels at will and finding traction is a problem even with performance A/S tires.

However, if I was to buy a 1st generation EV the only option for me would be the LEAF. Nissan made 300K LEAFS while Chevy made 7371 Spark EVs. An improved battery pack for the LEAF is $5500 and comes with another 8 year / 100K mile warranty. A replacement battery for the Spark is $19,540 and comes with a 12 month warranty. 10 years from now the Spark EVs will be in the scrapyard and the aftermarket will still be refurbishing battery packs for the LEAF. (The Spark motor in a Toyota MR2 Spyder sounds like a fun project!)

I also wouldn't buy any of the other "compliance" EVs made by automakers just to satisfy CARBs EV mandate. (Fiat 500e, Honda Fit EV, Smart ED, Mercedes B, Kia Soul EV, etc.) I doubt any of them will get support in the future.

Originally Posted by redpoint5 View Post
The general public is financially illiterate. They would rather pay less up front, but spend more over time than to spend more up front and pay less over time. Secondly, the average household doesn't have the requisite $7,500 tax liability to fully benefit from the federal credit. It's essentially a subsidy for the wealthy. I don't even pay my fair share with my $66k salary, or have $7,500 in tax liability, which is a very comfortable living.
I know most people don't pay enough federal taxes to get the full $7500 tax credit. However, they can lease the car, the leasing company claims the full tax credit, and then rolls it into the lease deal. Yes, if you want to buy the car it is more expensive that way but still cheaper than not getting the credit. My lease on the Spark EV is $0 down / $100 a month and anyone could have got that deal.

I also disagree with tax credits in general. If the Feds want you to do something and are willing to help pay for it then they should just do a point-of-sale rebate is applied at time of sale. Paying full prices then filing for a credit at tax time is just a stupid system and, as you say, favors wealthy people with high tax bills.

Originally Posted by redpoint5 View Post
The EV price tipping point is very near, as you point out with the gen II Leaf. Within the next couple years, the typical consumer will be more inclined to purchase a lower priced EV that has the performance of higher priced gassers.
I agree and I also think the depreciation of EVs will be closer to gas cars. Cars like a 1st generation LEAF have such low residual value in part because the technology has advanced so much. Why buy a 60-80 mile LEAF when the new one goes 150 miles.

A car like a Bolt is a different beast. Someone might be perfect happy in 5 years to buy a 200 mile used Bolt even if the new one goes 250 miles. Personally I think 150 to 200 miles range is the sweet spot and I wish GM offered a cheaper (quicker) version of the Bolt with a shorter range.

Last edited by JSH; 01-31-2018 at 12:56 AM..
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