Home editor's blog on evs & phevs

On evs & phevs

evs-section1In this blogging section, I'll riff on EVs & PHEVs, from both a practical perspective and from a political perspective.

EVs WILL have to match gas cars to win out

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Pure EVs such as the Nissan LEAF won't beat out gas cars among most consumers until they meet, or beat, gas cars on the key new technology adoption criteria of versatility and convenience. [Photo by Christof Demont-Heinrich]

editors-blog-entry3EV advocates and journalists like to indicate that somehow it's ridiculous/preposterous, or both, to imply that pure EVs will have to go as far as a gas car goes on a tank of gas and easily be refueld in 5 minutes or less.

Indeed, these advocates often state that it's a "myth" EVs need to match gas cars in order to go fully mainstream, as Nikkie Gordon-Bloomfield does in the lead paragraph in a recent entry on PlugInCars.Com, Electric Car HyperCharging is Hyperbole, For Now.

Gordon-Bloomfield writes -->"There is a pervasive MYTH (my caps) that electric cars must have five-minute refueling times, and travel 500 miles between charges, before they become mainstream."

Actually, it's not a complete myth that EVs must match gas cars on range and fueling in order to go mainstream.

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Fairest driving tax = vehicle weight + miles driven

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People with pure electric cars such as the Nissan LEAF don't pay any gas taxes, and they do need to pay their fair share for road use. But let's make sure we create the fairest road tax system possible for everyone.

editors-blog-entry3There's been more and more talk of plug-in vehicles and how they're "cheating" the gasoline tax system.

Different proposals have been put forward -- flat taxes/fees for plug-in cars, etc. However, there's only one tax formula that's ultimately fairest for all involved.

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Analyst defends Tesla Model S lease

editors-blog-entry3Along with many other media outlets, SolarChargedDriving.Com last week ripped Tesla for misleading advertising that, at least at first glance, implies you can lease a Model S for $500 per month.

In fact, it turns out you’ll be cutting a monthly check to Tesla for more than twice that amount. Not exactly a bargain, nor, as Tesla maintains, a “savings” bonanza, cheap electricity or not.

Still, some are saying Tesla’s $1,100 lease of the Model S is a smart move despite the relative bogusness of its $500 per month post EV savings claim.

Online investment media outlet Motley Fool is one of these. In the video above, Motley Fool analyst John Rosevear explains what the real goal of Tesla's new financing offer might be -- and why it's a great long-range move for the upstart carmaker.

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Tesla's phantom $500 Model S lease

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While you will save over a gas car by leasing a Tesla Model S, you'll only save if it's a comparable luxury gas car, and the check you'll be cutting Tesla Motors is going to be around $1,100 per month -- hardly an affordable sum for the majority of Americans.

editors-blog-entry3I recently wrote an entry in which I ran the numbers for us on a $500 per month Tesla Model S lease. Unfortunately, it turns out that's a phantom lease, one that's reduced my respect for Tesla quite a bit. In fact, I've written dozens of articles and blog entries about Tesla in the past three years and never once written anything negative -- until now.

Why am I so steamed?

Because I -- and I bet I'm not the only one -- naively thought, when I first read about the $500 Model S lease that I, and you, and everyone else, could actually get into a Model S and cut a check to Tesla for just $500 per month.

Bueller, it just ain't so!

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Can we afford to lease a Tesla Model S?

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If you can lease a Model S and truly cut a monthly check for just $500 to Tesla in order to do so, we could afford a Model S -- if we dropped from being a two-car household to a one-car household.

editors-blog-entry3So, Tesla’s trying to make things more interesting for folks who would love to have a Model S, but who clearly are not in the right income bracket to buy one -- that would be us -- with a lease deal it’s offering via a partnership with U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo.

I’m not going to get into the nitty gritty details here, or into a long discussion about whether Tesla’s pushing “fuzzy” math by including too many different variables in its monthly lease cost calculator (though, now that I’ve played with the calculator a bit more, unfortunately, after having already written this entry, I think the calculator is highly misleading, even bogus).

Instead of dwelling on the bogus-ness of what appears to be a phantom $500 monthly lease for the Model S, I’m going to fantasize about us actually getting into a Tesla Model S for $500 a month, and, allegedly, no money down (Tesla says the Federal/State tax credits go toward a down payment on the Model S).

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