What are your concerns about re-sale? You used your old car as an offset of the cost.
Having started this thread, I'd like to initially offer a testimonial about my electric car purchasing experience. Last July (July 2021), my 10 year-old Ford Focus started having transmission issues, so we were in the market for a new car. Tesla's were out of my price range, and I had hoped my Focus could last 2-3 more years so that I could get an EV in 2023 or 2024. But that wasn't to be, as Ford took my Focus for an indefinite period to fix it (it ultimately was four months). Being reduced to a zero-car household, we needed to find something quick, and a nearby Hyundai dealerships had some Kona Electrics in stock.
We drove one and quickly fell in love with it. Including sales tax it was a shade over $35k. After a state rebate last fall and a federal tax credit this spring, we got back $10k, reducing the net cost to $25k. Eventually we sold our crappy Ford Focus once it was repaired, and got back another $8400 for it, bring our new EV cost down below $17k. I've seen it said many times that the EV tax credits are for rich people buying expensive cars, but in our case it helped a car that was outside of our price range become affordable. It drives wonderfully, and is easily the best car I've ever owned.
I know not everyone can even afford a new car at even $25k, but that's also not in the luxury vehicle price range. There are a lot more models coming on the market in the next year or two that after tax incentives will cost between $20-30k. If you're in the market for a new car in 2023, EVs aren't all Teslas, BMWs, and Mustangs. Do give them a look.
How's the Kona? How about in terms of charging it each day...does it spike up your home electricity bill or out of pocket costs (if done outside)? Is it free to use those charging stations out there? I'm financing a 2020 Sonata Hybrid...love and enjoy it better than my old vehicle (Acura ILX 2014). Personally, I don't like anything Prius (I just hate the look and it's just bleh IMO)...but I know other EVs not at the luxury level are out there as well.
We are lucky to have a free charging station two blocks from our house, so our operating costs are very low. That said, we also got a charger when we installed solar panels a few months before we got the EV, because it was efficient to it it all then. If we only home-charged it, we’d pay about $6.75 every 100 miles of driving, which is far less than we’d have paid for gas.
Fast-charging on the road runs about 50% more, but we only do that on road trips, which are about once every two months.
Do you think these "earlier" gen EV's will have re-sale value or do they come with a disposal charge?
And longer term what do you think the batteries are going to do to the environment?
I haven't seen anything concrete here, but I would think there is a business/economic opportunity. There seems to be some runway to develop and refine recycling technology.
180 miles would put me at the uncomfortable edge of a round trip to a C's game. TD-Garden has some charging stations, and I'm sure this will improve over time. Do you have any worries about the grid being able to support the increased demand over time? Especially given that the grid will be moving away from fossil fuels.
This is not meant to be negative. I have a car replacement coming up in the next few years and am "paranoid" of being a "guinea pig" in the wrong part of the cycle.
Thanks for the questions.
1) In terms of resale value, I'm not at all concerned. We tend to keep our car for about 10 years, and I think that, on average, an EV purchased in 2021 will retain more of its value in 10 years than a gas car purchased in 2021. It might have a shorter range as the battery loses its capacity over time, but even then it would still be in the 150-200 mile range, which would be sufficient for many people looking to purchase a used EV. One thing that does need to happen is a way to more easily verify how much capacity remains in the battery -- that will make the used EV market a lot less troublesome, because the quality of a used battery heavily depends on the original owner's behavior. If you regularly overcharge or overdrain a battery it will lose its capacity much more quickly. We're pretty careful not to do that, but without being able to show a future buyer how much capacity remains in the battery, there's no way to know what we or anyone else has done. This seems like a pretty easy product to develop, personally, but I'm not an expert.
2) I think long-term batteries will have a second-use beyond in a vehicle. Batteries are supposed to retain at least 70% of their capacity for 100k miles of driving, and real-world testing shows they retain closer to 80% of their charge through that point. Even once it drops down to 50% of its initial capacity, which probably wouldn't occur until after 15 years or so of driving, maybe longer, the capacity of the battery would be 32 kWh. This is enough to power my home for 2 days on average, so these batteries should certainly have a second life either as backup home generators, for grid storage (which gets to your next question), etc. It will still hold societal and thus economic value, and it will be reused as opposed to dumped.
3) I'm not too worried about the grid's ability to handle EVs -- grid operators for years having been moving to "smarter" grids, and EVs actually could be a solution rather than a problem. Many carmakers are making their future EVs able to reverse charge -- in other words you will be able to use your cars battery to directly power your home or even plug into the grid. In other words, an EV would be able to draw from the grid when there is excess energy, but if it remains plugged into the grid during a time of excessive demand, it could actually supply power to the grid rather than drawing from it. Ford's recent pick-up truck has this capacity, and Volvo (I think) has announced that all their future EVs beginning in I think 2025 will have this ability as well. I would expect energy companies to offer incentives for consumers to have their vehicle supply grid energy, the same as many of them do to have you reduce your consumption during peak demand.
4) As for your nervousness about driving 180 miles, my thought is this. If you're going to a game, you absolutely should be able to find somewhere within half a mile that you can leave your car charging for 3-4 hours, which would give you an extra 75-100 miles of charge. And in general, if you're someone who drives a regular longer route, you'll learn pretty quickly where the fast chargers are along the way (and more are coming on line every month). Tesla supercharges are relatively ubiquitous in the Northeast, so Tesla's are easy to charge. Supposedly Tesla is going to open those up to other cars in the future, which would be a boon for us non-Teslas, but even without that I've only had one instance in a year of EV driving when it was even remotely difficult to find a fast charge on a long trip.