Home > Electric car or not?

Electric car or not?

March 11th, 2022 at 06:00 am

Well we have a 2016 Subaru Legacy and a 2015 Toyota Sienna and they are both great cars in great shape and fairly new.  The legacy has 51k miles and the Sienna has 85k miles.  So they have I think a lot of life in them. If we did the 10 year rule we have another 3 years left on the Sienna and 4 years on the legacy.  I've always thought that we would replace both cars in about 2-3 years and keep the Sienna but replace the legacy with another sedan and then get a SUV but keep the Sienna.  Mostly because it'll be getting very worthless at 10 years and it's very useful to haul stuff and people around in a pinch.  But I'd like to also think we could afford to have a third car and still buy me something newish if not new. 

In the past we had considered buying a used BMW i3 or Nissan Leaf because they were cheap.  They would replace the Subaru Legacy but we just didn't want to spend the money.  We've owned our cars since 2019 for the subaru and 9/2020 for Sienna.  We are coming up on 2 years without car payments again (we previously went from 2003-2010 without a car payment then got into a cycle of car payments till 2020.

But back to the topic at hand.  On the Legacy we drove 367 gallons of gas last year.  At the current price of $4.39/gallon that is $1611.37/year in gas.  We drove 340 gallons of gas on the Sienna.  $1492.60.  So it's more likely we'd replace the Legacy sedan because there isn't a viable option to replace the Sienna.  The Tesla X isn't really as big, much nicer but there are other nice SUV more comparable for practical purposes.

$1611/year in gas minus electric costs plus maintenance of the car is what we would be saving.  You can't count tires, but more like oil changes 2x/year at $100 = $200 and once every 3 years $900 for 30k mile service.  So $500/year or I could estimate say $900/ year so $2500/year is what we could be saving having an electric car.  

A long range Tesla model 3 is $51k plus taxes and fee so $55k/$2500 year = 22 years to break even.  But living what if gas costs $6/gallon?  Then $2202/year in gas for our subaru legacy plus $800/year maintenance = $3k.  That would still be 18 years to break even.

Even with the tax credits it's not financially advantagous for us to buy an electric car.  One day it might make sense, like our cars need replacement or they get into an acccident.  But otherwise?  Have you actually looked at what it would cost to get one?  And what you would really save

6 Responses to “Electric car or not?”

  1. FocusedinmyForties Says:

    I'd be interested in an electric car in the long term, but cannot buy one while I live where do. I am in a building, and park in a lot, so nowhere to install a charger. I don't think I drive enough for the savings to be as high as someone who has a long commute. I like the idea of a hybrid - to capture some savings but also to have the flexibility for longer trips. That idea only works if the price for the hybrid is comparable to a full gas car. For me anyway.

  2. MonkeyMama Says:

    There's no logical way to justify a $50K car purchase to "save money."

    What about all the other EVs on the market? Buying used? Have you looked at the Kia EV6 or IONIQ 5? These cars are getting really comparable to gas cars (300-mile range + super fast charging). Not that these would save you money, but just so many better EVs coming out right now.

    We sold a gas car after only 5 years, trading up to a slightly newer EV. The only extra cost I could come up with was paying $1700 sales tax for the early car trade. Breakeven was about a year (fuel savings). But "saving money" wasn't the primary motivator for us. It's just gravy that we will save on fuel/maintenance indefinitely. Even my hybrid, really was more of a splurge than a "Saving money" decision, but we also are saving a bajillion dollars with that purchase. Both cars will likely entirely pay for themselves over time, but we buy inexpensive used cars and keep them for a long time. & of course, the EVs are more luxury build (probably to entice people who are skeptical). So it's the magic combo of significantly upgrading our cars while also saving money.

    (You left out the part where you sell one of your current cars. That's how we were able to spend so little on the car trade).

    That is the problem with EVs though. We can no longer stand to drive gas cars. You risk wanting to replace all of your gas vehicles.

  3. LuckyRobin Says:

    I can't really justify buying a new vehicle when our van and truck are in such good condition and both are Toyotas. The Sienna may be a 2011, but it has less than 55K on it. The truck is a 2007 and has 211K, but Toyotas easily go to 300K as well as they are maintained properly. It just gets used for driving to work when DH isn't working from home, which is one day a week, and hauling stuff from Lowe's home. I'd say if you eventually want an electric car, just start saving for it now. If you can afford it, put the amount of a car payment in savings every month with that being your goal and then when you have it saved up you can buy your new electric car debt free.

  4. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    Nope LuckyRobin I'm with you. I can't justify it in my head.

    MM I looked into the numbers a bit more deeply and I would get $18k for Subaru and $19k for minivan. But a Kia DV6 is $55k used. Um no. And a used 2016 Kia Soul EV with 73k miles is $16k. That's more miles and I might save a few dollars on the trade but i'm not sure I want a used car versus what I know.

    If my cars break down or get into an accident I would say all bets are off. I would probably splurge and buy a EV even if it costs more. But situationally I don't want any sort of car payment and the potential repairs on a car that I don't know is more negative than like LuckyRobin and sticking with what I have and know.

    Part of the problem right now is how expensive all cars used and new are.

  5. MonkeyMama Says:

    The Kia EV6 *just* came out. My point was, what about other cars besides Tesla? What do you think of these cars? The Kia and Hyundai EV prices will drop like a rock on the used market in another 1-3 years. & they sound like much better cars.

    As to MSRP on EVs, no one actually pays that. Many in my Bolt group were getting brand new Bolts for $20K for a while (when MSRP was $40K). Those were the people who worked hard to get deals, but it can be done. $30K might be a good price point to go out there and see what you can get (if you reach a point where you'd spend $30K on a $50K MSRP vehicle). & pricing will factor tax credits. The newer models do have tax credits, so it may be that a more realistic price is $37,500 but then you get the $7,500 tax credit. I just throw out a number because obviously it's not worth the time/hassle to scope out real pricing if you aren't ready to pull the trigger. But that might be a price point to test drive and test the waters.

  6. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    But right now nothing is being sold below MSRP. Car prices are through the roof. I wish our cars weren't great but they are so it doesn't seem reasonable to replace them. Are people still getting below MSRP on your bolt group?

    I do agree that the Kia and Hyundai used are feasible. I thought it was more feasible a few years ago to get the BMW i3 electric car was like $10k for used electric. But again at that time we thought well we just got two newer cars so it didn't seem smart to trade it in to save a few bucks.

Leave a Reply

(Note: If you were logged in, we could automatically fill in these fields for you.)
Will not be published.

* Please spell out the number 4.  [ Why? ]

vB Code: You can use these tags: [b] [i] [u] [url] [email]