[Flickr Creative Commons Photo By Owyzzz]

Electric car mythbuster: ‘Electric cars are too expensive’

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.

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”?!


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”!?


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’!