In Colorado, you can lease a Chevy Bolt, which has 238 miles of range, for less than $350 per month, a figure that is considerably under the average monthly American new car payment of $523 per month.

editor's blog logoThere is still a lot of misinformation and anti-electric car stuff being pumped out onto the internet by folks who, for the most part, have a vested interest in the continuation of #BigOil’s economic — and environmental — hegemony.

One of the biggest myths about electric cars is that they are “too expensive”. Not true. Simply. Not. True.

Case in point: My own experience owning, and driving, an electric car for the past five years.

From February 2014 to November 2015, I leased a 2014 Nissan LEAF for $269 per month AND I had FREE fuel, thanks to the 5.5 kW home solar system that was on my home’s roof, and which had reached solar payback — the point at which the cost of the solar system = the cost one would have spent paying the utility for electricity — in December 2013.

I put $2,500 down on my leased 2014 LEAF, and a Colorado State Tax Rebate of $2,500 for leased EVs covered that. So, my monthly car expense was just $269 per month (plus insurance and state registration taxes that ALL car owners pay) for nearly two years.

Divorce forced me to part with my home — and home solar system 🙁 But I kept the leased 2014 LEAF for another two years through September of 2017, when I switched to leasing a 2017 Chevy Bolt.

My costs for the LEAF rose a bit when I gave up my home and home solar system, but not by that much. Electricity is 11 cents per kWh in the Denver area and I used about 250 kWh of electricity a month to drive my LEAF.

nissan-back

My 2014 Nissan LEAF in front of the house with the 5.5 kW “solar gas station” I owned for several years — prior to divorce ;-).

I actually paid an extra two cents per kWH for Xcel Energy “Windsource” electricity (the extra money, says Xcel, goes to help increase its wind power production capacity), or 13 cents per kWh. But my fuel costs per month still = about $33 per month to drive 1,000 miles per month. And $269 + $33 = $302 per month. Not bad, especially when you consider that the average new car monthly payment in the United States = $523.

And, yet, electric cars are allegedly “too expensive”?!

What?!

So, I upgraded from my 2014 Nissan LEAF, which officially had just 84 miles of range, but which typically got up to 100 miles in summer and about 75 miles of range in the winter, to a 2017 Chevy Bolt with 238 miles of range in September 2017.

It was an awesome upgrade! — especially considering that the LEAF had been my only car, and the Bolt is now my only car. You can do A LOT more with 238 miles of range than 84 miles, including drive your two kids from Denver to Santa Barbara, Calif. and back — which I just did this past summer!

And, no, my monthly auto costs have NOT gone up hugely in order to upgrade from 84 miles of range to 238 miles of range. My monthly lease payments for the Bolt = $338.



Again, I put down $2,500 on the Bolt, which I got back in the form of a $2,500 Colorado State Tax Rebate. And my monthly fuel costs — I still don’t have home solar again, but I still use Xcel Windsource — are still just $33 per month. So, my current total monthly car payment + fuel costs = $371. Again, not bad, considering how much range I get with my Bolt and how much fun it is to drive, and the fact that for $338 + $33 per month I have, a brand new all-electric car.

Electric cars “too expensive”!?

Nope!

Many electric cars (Nissan LEAF, Chevy Bolt, Kia Soul, Hyundai Ioniq, etc.) are not any more expensive than countless gasoline cars whose fueling costs — and maintenance costs — are far higher than for an electric car. Live in a state like Idaho, Nebraska, or a bunch of other red states, and, yes, you will pay more than I do for your electric car thanks to the fact that Colorado is a progressive state — meaning Colorado recognizes the value, including economic value, of cleaner air and less fossil fuels consumed and burned — and those states are not (as) progressive.

Nonetheless, no matter where you live in the United States, you can get plenty of electric car for quite a bit less than the $500 average monthly car payment many Americans are forking out for their traditional gasoline cars!

So, once again, no electric cars are NOT ‘too expensive’!

 

4 Responses

    • Christof Demont-Heinrich

      Hi Kevin,
      Thank you for sharing. Yes, I was aware of this. When completed, this will make traveling long-distance in an EV such as a Chevy Bolt across Colorado quite a bit easier than it is now.

      Reply
  1. Robert Gillan

    I’m sorry but this is a load of crap. Let’s just look at base price of the cars. I admit maybe prices are closer in range than Canada but here’s an example. A ford focus SE is less than 20k a year it’s electric equivalent adds 12-15000 on top of that. At no time within a 6 year financing would I save the cost of $12-15000 I paid extra for an electric car. I would have to keep that car for many years after to make my money back. You say $338 dollars American is not all that bad? You got a Nissan leaf/Chevy bolt (2 of the uglier EVs) with that money at that price range in Colorado I have found that I could afford a 2016 Audi Q7 fully loaded. I understand wanting to go electric I would love an electric car but claiming the price point being too high is a myth is 100% wrong.

    Reply
    • Christof Demont-Heinrich

      Thanks for the comment, but you are wrong. You fail to include maintenance and fuel costs, which are 1/4, or less, of what a new car is. Electric cars are NOT TOO expensive. If you want to continue to perpetrate that myth, go ahead. But it IS A MYTH. AND YOU ARE WRONG!

      Also, $338 per month for a brand NEW car IS AFFORDABLE, especially when you consider that it costs me just $30 per month fuel (1,000 miles driven per month). What is YOUR definition of “too expensive”? Anything over $200 per month for a NEW car including monthly fuel costs? The less than $200 per month NEW car, with $200 INCLUDING fuel costs for 1,000 miles of driving, does NOT exist in the United States of America.

      Second, if $200 per month for ALL costs for a NEW car is your definition of “too expensive”, you’ve got your own, very idiosyncratic definition of “too expensive” — with which virtually NO ONE would agree.

      $500 per month for a NEW car with that INCLUDING fueling costs for the month, is baseline, at the bottom, possibly “Too expensive”.

      Yes, used cars are a different thing, although I bet almost no one in the USA drives 1,000 miles per month IN ANY car that they own, for less than $150 per month — if you include the fuel AND maintenance costs. And used cars will take a BIG maintenance cost hit at some time, especially as they age. I know, I owned a 1992 Acura Integra for 21 years. At about 15 years, maintenance costs went up in a significant way.

      Check this out, too ==> https://newsroom.aaa.com/tag/cost-to-own-a-vehicle/

      Reply

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