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Discussion Starter #1
Hi ,

I currently drive 2015 MB B Electric and currently lined up to get Tesla Model 3 sometime(?) next year....I believe I am ~250,000th person in queue.(per tesla I should get mine sometime Apr~June 2018) While I am waiting, I am having some second thoughts about the Model 3 and have started looking at Bolt which gets similar range for lot less.
Reason for my doubts is as follows;

1. Federal EV credit of $7,500 may run out by the time I get my Model 3 and I highly doubt that current administration will renew/extend this credit.
W/o the credit, this would put me out of range as far as my budget is concerned.
2. I am ok with the min range on Model 3 w/o the extended battery($9,000 option) but I do want the autopilot feature which will put me at ~$40k.
3. I normally lease my cars, especially cars with new tech, but I have yet to see decent leasing terms from Tesla. I drive less than 12k miles/year.

Based on my driving patterns, I got rid of my 2nd car w/ ICE back in 2016 and have been fine with B Electric w/ sub-100 mile range.

I am looking forward to getting some valuable insights from the Forum before I settle on my 2nd EV.

Thanks and have a great day!


-JasonSFO
 

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Being comfortable with a sub-100 mile range gives you MANY options. While the Bolt has super driving confidence aids (lane departure assist, reactive braking, etc.) it is NOT autonomous, nor does it have adaptive cruise control. The new Nissan Leaf has more of the features that make someone desire "autopilot" and the lesser range should not be a factor for you.

I am surprised that a Model 3 w/autopilot can be had for ~$40K. My (minimal) research led me to believe that the base price of $35+K would be raised by ~$15K, making a $50K estimate more likely. (You have undoubtedly done more research into this than I have.)

You won't go wrong with the Bolt. You just may be disappointed.
 

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I wouldn't be too concerned about missing out on the tax credit, you may get half but you have a good chance of getting full. It isn't cut off at the exact number, it works like this.

When Tesla hits 200,000 cars the tax credit will continue in full (7,500) for that fiscal quarter and the one following it. So if they hit 200,000 cars Q1 of 2018 the tax credit would not lower until Q3 of 2018. Right now estimates expect Tesla to hit 200,000 sometime in Q1 of 2018 and if true this is what would happen with the tax credit.

Q1 2018 and Q2 2018 would still be the full 7,500. Then begins the one year phase out. Q3 2018 and Q4 of 2018 would be 50%, 3,750. Q1 2019 and Q2 2019 would be 25%, 1875.
 

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Teslas are nice but I won't buy one.

  • More expensive than the Bolt once you do the typical/minimum options
  • Tax credit as you say
  • Status symbol - some people like bling but I don't want a ride that screams to look at me
  • No physical knobs. I find that using the screen takes too much attention (it requires visual processing in my brain), the physical knobs (volume, temp) is automatic.
  • Tesla uses their fanboi base as their beta testers.
  • Chevy has been making cars for 100 years, Tesla for how many? And I'm entrusting myself to ...?
  • Bolt has the longest range (beating the existing Teslas) of any EV Consumer Reports has ever tested, even with a smaller battery than the Tesla.
  • Buying a beta 'Autopilot' feature isn't a good practice. By the time we get to fully autonomous it's a good bet that this gen of hardware won't support it. Plus, by then (5+ years) you might want a new car anyhow. Again the safety, it's neat to think you're buying a car that can be upgraded to auto, but I think you'd be better on waiting for that until it's fully baked, for financial and other reasons (don't be an early adopter of autonomous).
  • Tesla is in the Luxury class, everything is expensive about them
  • And frankly who knows how long they'll last or be able to support their cars? They'll probably be around but it's not like the fact that we know GM will be around.
  • The Bolt is cheap, rangy and has style
Big advantage at the moment is the Tesla charge network, but I'm not finding it a hardship getting a charge.
 

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I wouldn't be too concerned about missing out on the tax credit, you may get half but you have a good chance of getting full. It isn't cut off at the exact number, it works like this.

When Tesla hits 200,000 cars the tax credit will continue in full (7,500) for that fiscal quarter and the one following it. So if they hit 200,000 cars Q1 of 2018 the tax credit would not lower until Q3 of 2018. Right now estimates expect Tesla to hit 200,000 sometime in Q1 of 2018 and if true this is what would happen with the tax credit.

Q1 2018 and Q2 2018 would still be the full 7,500. Then begins the one year phase out. Q3 2018 and Q4 of 2018 would be 50%, 3,750. Q1 2019 and Q2 2019 would be 25%, 1875.
PB: More ominous than the phase-out plan is that the Congress may stop the program altogether. This should be a larger concern, in my opinion. We are TOO small of a "special interest group" to be important to the "vote-whores" who run the halls of government. Add to this the fact that some ICE drivers actually feel animosity to us. "Hope for the best - plan for the worst!"
 

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PB: More ominous than the phase-out plan is that the Congress may stop the program altogether. This should be a larger concern, in my opinion. We are TOO small of a "special interest group" to be important to the "vote-whores" who run the halls of government. Add to this the fact that some ICE drivers actually feel animosity to us. "Hope for the best - plan for the worst!"
True, that could certainly happen. I just hope if it does that they don't make it retroactive, that would suck.

I will say I am not that concerned it will happen this year. I assume it would be part of the tax reform they have been talking about which right now does not appear likely to get done this year.

Now for next year, I actually think it has a high likelihood of being axed if they are able to get their tax reform done.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Being comfortable with a sub-100 mile range gives you MANY options. While the Bolt has super driving confidence aids (lane departure assist, reactive braking, etc.) it is NOT autonomous, nor does it have adaptive cruise control. The new Nissan Leaf has more of the features that make someone desire "autopilot" and the lesser range should not be a factor for you.

I am surprised that a Model 3 w/autopilot can be had for ~$40K. My (minimal) research led me to believe that the base price of $35+K would be raised by ~$15K, making a $50K estimate more likely. (You have undoubtedly done more research into this than I have.)

You won't go wrong with the Bolt. You just may be disappointed.
As far as the pricing goes, I am hoping they keep true to their word.
However, this may rise as you mentioned and this would keep me from purchasing the Tesla all together.
Another major factor is the leasing term which they have not specified, and historically, Tesla leasing terms are not favorable.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Teslas are nice but I won't buy one.

  • More expensive than the Bolt once you do the typical/minimum options
  • Tax credit as you say
  • Status symbol - some people like bling but I don't want a ride that screams to look at me
  • No physical knobs. I find that using the screen takes too much attention (it requires visual processing in my brain), the physical knobs (volume, temp) is automatic.
  • Tesla uses their fanboi base as their beta testers.
  • Chevy has been making cars for 100 years, Tesla for how many? And I'm entrusting myself to ...?
  • Bolt has the longest range (beating the existing Teslas) of any EV Consumer Reports has ever tested, even with a smaller battery than the Tesla.
  • Buying a beta 'Autopilot' feature isn't a good practice. By the time we get to fully autonomous it's a good bet that this gen of hardware won't support it. Plus, by then (5+ years) you might want a new car anyhow. Again the safety, it's neat to think you're buying a car that can be upgraded to auto, but I think you'd be better on waiting for that until it's fully baked, for financial and other reasons (don't be an early adopter of autonomous).
  • Tesla is in the Luxury class, everything is expensive about them
  • And frankly who knows how long they'll last or be able to support their cars? They'll probably be around but it's not like the fact that we know GM will be around.
  • The Bolt is cheap, rangy and has style
Big advantage at the moment is the Tesla charge network, but I'm not finding it a hardship getting a charge.

Thanks for your detailed feedback.

Personally, I can care less about the status symbol Tesla may bring. Sure with their current line up, it is exclusive but Model 3 is supposed to be for the masses, right?
I do it mainly for the cost of operation and environmental aspect.
I know that there may be a lot of debate on the environmental aspect but I did select renewable energy(wind) to be 50% of my electric use.(we can do that here in California)
Also looked into solar but at this stage, BEP is so many years down the road and I just can't afford the upfront cost at the moment.

Things that are attractive for the Bolt are;
1. As you mentioned, range. ~230 miles/charge is more than sufficient for my needs. I picked up surfing recently and will need a wee bit more than 100.
2. Cost of ownership. Leases are extremely attractive. I found a few leases here in the Bay Area that have $9k overall cost of ownership over the 3 years, including drive off based on 10k per year.
Deduct California EV credit $2.5k and it will bring it down to ~$6.5k or ~$180/month.
3. Autopilot-yeah I agree that it is still in the beta stages but I think Model S was the alpha...I can live with the beta...just won't do it daily but it's something that I want to embrace as this technology will enhance our driving experience in the future.
4. Styling is debateable but I personally don't think Bolt is bad. It's a simple hatchback and it will do the job.

As far as supercharging is concerned, I am not too keen on it because of my driving pattern.
I have a level 2 at home and if I need to, I can charge using one of the networks such as Chargepoint/Blink/etc...

I have some time to do more DD before I make the decision so this forum is most helpful.
 

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Personally, I can care less about the status symbol Tesla may bring.
Right, but be aware it will be viewed as a status car regardless (everyone I've talked to viewes it as such, even the Model 3

Also looked into solar but at this stage, BEP is so many years down the road and I just can't afford the upfront cost at the moment.
Mine is 3-4 years after purchase. In California electricity use skyrockets above 20kWh with the knee at 30kWh/day. A battery car will eat anywhere up to 60kWh depending on your driving.

1. As you mentioned, range. ~230 miles/charge is more than sufficient for my needs.
I have four colleagues with Bolt's and they easily get 300 miles +

FWIW I'm not a fan of leasing, unless you are Steve Jobs (who didn't want a license plate so had a new leased Mercedes every six months) or you really like a new car every 3 years. Fundamentally it will cost you more than buying, no two ways about it, if it didn't then the finance company would be handing you money, which they're not known to do. But like I say there are many circumstances where it is attractive, for personal reasons.
 

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Fundamentally it will cost you more than buying, no two ways about it, if it didn't then the finance company would be handing you money, which they're not known to do.
Historically, this has indeed been the case.
If you leased an early(ish) LEAF, then took the $5-7K reduced buyout offer from Nissan, you paid less than if you had purchased initially. Very low mileage Fiat 500e's are going for ~$4K at auction or ~12% of MSRP.

Any lease deal with an artificially high residual puts the finance company in the same boat. At lease end, they must either reduce the buyout to something close to fair market value, or send the car to auction where they will get the wholesale value (even less $$).

Bolts are being leased with a ~60% residual. Any bets on whether a 3 yr old LT with 30K miles is worth $23K+?

The likely best scenario to own a Bolt (or most any EV) long term is to lease for 3 years, then purchase at the end of the lease - either the one you have been driving or choose from a multitude of lease returns. Maybe upgrade from an LT to a Premier at the same time.
 

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Historically, this has indeed been the case.
I'm not versed in the details of leasing, other than to point out the other costs of leasing which are 'nanny limitations' (miles, damage, etc). So I'll put it in other terms, you seem to be saying there is an advantage to leasing in that the Leasing company is willing to give you terms where they eat some residual lost value of the car. First, is that what you mean? And second, why would the leasing companies do this?

Tl/dr
A pattern in the finance world is to package up debt or equity in some fancier (and harder to understand) instrument that can then be sold. The advantage is that these instruments (derivatives) can be or appear to be attractive, and that you can have rider fees/costs that make it profitable for you.

There are also cases where you're not making profit off the transaction so much as transferring risk (or they are transferring risk). Or maybe you lose money on a lot of transactions, only to make a lot of money on a few which makes up for it.

Anyhow leasing cars is a pretty staid part of the market so I have trouble seeing the incentive
 

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An added bonus is the fact that some employers will give you a credit for buying a car like this. Don't know anyone that has but I heard that a growing amount of employers have started doing just that.
 

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From fool.com
Other options packages will also add significantly to the Model 3's price. A $5,000 package upgrades the interior to something more in keeping with luxury car standards. It costs another $1,500 if you want 19" wheels instead of the standard 18" wheels, $1,000 for a color other than black, and $5,000 to activate Autopilot. An extra $3,000 will unlock "full self-driving" capabilities -- once regulators give the green light.

Thus, a fully loaded Model 3 would cost nearly $60,000 today. This doesn't even include future upgrades like a dual-motor configuration and "Ludicrous" mode, which will undoubtedly cost even more.​

Although the tax credit may be administratively extended after Tesla reaches their limit, it would be rolling the dice if Tesla can not achieve their production capacity. You may hold Tesla crowd-funding ticket # 250,000, and in reality this may be # 150,000 as there may be a 30% defection rate if Tesla can not start mass deliveries by Q1/18, but if you don't get a delivery before end of Q3/18 - your tax credit may be worthless.

Also looked into solar but at this stage, BEP is so many years down the road and I just can't afford the upfront cost at the moment.
I hope you reconsider this perception. I submit you can acquire both a Bolt and 10Kw of solar (I doubt if you need that much) for less than a TM3. Moreover, the Solar ITC (Investment Tax credit) is probably more valuable than the EV tax credit - and it too will begin to phase out in 2019. Additionally there should still be California rebates/credits for home Solar. A Bolt-like EV w/Solar ...especially in California where the utility sends You a check for excess power your system puts into the grid... pretty much means a Total Cost of Ownership that approaches Zero.
 

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In my earlier lifetime, leasing was "nearly only" for those who could deduct their driving expenses, because it changed depreciation cost (only recognized at asset liquidation) into an expense (recognized in the year it was accrued). Many incorporated physician groups provided a lease vehicle for their full time principals. Not wanting to mess with LIFO or FIFO, they "expensed" the total cost of vehicle use. While leasing was "more expensive" to the driver who could not deduct the expense, it was "less expensive" if you could. For the current driver/owner, it really boils down to individual preferences, affected greatly by the number of miles driven per year, the anticipated years of ownership, and the modifications you wish to make to the vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Right, but be aware it will be viewed as a status car regardless (everyone I've talked to viewes it as such, even the Model 3
When I got my MB B, it was based purely on my budget and driving experience, nothing else.
At the time, I considered BMW i3, VW eGolf and MB E which all these 1st gen(mass produced anyways, no knock on EV1) had an approx range of ~100 miles.
I test drove all three and found MB E to behave and appear more like an ICE car.
If you ever sat in any of these cars, I am sure you will agree.
MB E had the most space of all 3 cars (being 6'2 space is important), including storage space.
i3 had the biggest promotion at the time but my buddy over at MB dealership in Santa Clara called me with an offer that blew all the others away, with most options.
Even now, people don't recognize the B Electric as a Mercedes, which is completely fine with me. :)


Mine is 3-4 years after purchase. In California electricity use skyrockets above 20kWh with the knee at 30kWh/day. A battery car will eat anywhere up to 60kWh depending on your driving.
I live in a tri-level townhouse with very small footprint. With the amount of electricity I use(~$120/mo), it would take me something like 12 years to recoup the initial investment.
My intention was a financial one as well as an environmental one.
With that said, I came across Arcadia Power which will substitute 50% of my usage with renewable energy without incurring any additional cost.
Although, I am not reducing my presence on the power grid, I feel that it is important to support these companies which add renewable energy into the grid.
I will still consider solar panels down the road and will need to fight my HOA to get approval.


I have four colleagues with Bolt's and they easily get 300 miles +
I have tried hypermiling on my B but obviously limitation on a 100 mile car has its limits.
Nonetheless, good to know the range can be extended on the Bolt.



FWIW I'm not a fan of leasing, unless you are Steve Jobs (who didn't want a license plate so had a new leased Mercedes every six months) or you really like a new car every 3 years. Fundamentally it will cost you more than buying, no two ways about it, if it didn't then the finance company would be handing you money, which they're not known to do. But like I say there are many circumstances where it is attractive, for personal reasons.
For me, cost/expenses over 3 years wrt depreciation, I normally choose leases becauses I feel that the technology is advancing quicker thus making current EVs somewhat obsolete.
And I admit, I don't mind getting a new car every 3 years as long as I am not in the red too much :)
 

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I live in a tri-level townhouse with very small footprint. With the amount of electricity I use(~$120/mo), it would take me something like 12 years to recoup the initial investment.
If my deductive math is correct ($120/Mo. x 144 Months (12 years)), I come up with $17,280 (Roof Solar price including tax credit - $23K if you have excluded it) as the all-in pricing assumption you are using for ROI.

My guess is your utility rate is 10.4¢/kWh, perhaps more if you have opted for renewable energy as a source. I won't press the issue further, but if my assumptions above are close, your electricity ROI should realistically be closer to 4 years as your total cost of a complete Solar installation seems to be extremely inflated. It is illegal for HOA's to impede a homeowners Solar in most States.

For one that is considering a Tesla, for economic and environmental reasons, I maintain my position that Solar and a Bolt EV would reduce your expenses, and reduce your environmental footprint. For perhaps $15K Less than the cost of a single TM3.
 

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In my earlier lifetime, leasing was "nearly only" for those who could deduct their driving expenses, because it changed depreciation cost (only recognized at asset liquidation) into an expense (recognized in the year it was accrued). Many incorporated physician groups provided a lease vehicle for their full time principals. Not wanting to mess with LIFO or FIFO, they "expensed" the total cost of vehicle use. While leasing was "more expensive" to the driver who could not deduct the expense, it was "less expensive" if you could. For the current driver/owner, it really boils down to individual preferences, affected greatly by the number of miles driven per year, the anticipated years of ownership, and the modifications you wish to make to the vehicle.
Modifications can stretch pretty far, I have seen it for myself, its just a matter of doing things that can easily be undone and show no evidence. I can show you leased cars with so many mods that you would think there's no going back to a warranty-happy state.
 

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Hi ,

1. Federal EV credit of $7,500 may run out by the time I get my Model 3 and I highly doubt that current administration will renew/extend this credit.

-JasonSFO
So to be clear. The tax credit begins to phase out when a manufacturer hits 200,000 cars. Tesla has sold 125,000+ cars as of Q1, 2017.

My wife and I discussed buying a second Bolt. We still have a decade old MB diesel SUV that sits mostly unused for inter city travel and towing.

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Right, but be aware it will be viewed as a status car regardless (everyone I've talked to viewes it as such, even the Model 3



Mine is 3-4 years after purchase. In California electricity use skyrockets above 20kWh with the knee at 30kWh/day. A battery car will eat anywhere up to 60kWh depending on your driving.



I have four colleagues with Bolt's and they easily get 300 miles +

FWIW I'm not a fan of leasing, unless you are Steve Jobs (who didn't want a license plate so had a new leased Mercedes every six months) or you really like a new car every 3 years. Fundamentally it will cost you more than buying, no two ways about it, if it didn't then the finance company would be handing you money, which they're not known to do. But like I say there are many circumstances where it is attractive, for personal reasons.
If my deductive math is correct ($120/Mo. x 144 Months (12 years)), I come up with $17,280 (Roof Solar price including tax credit - $23K if you have excluded it) as the all-in pricing assumption you are using for ROI.

My guess is your utility rate is 10.4¢/kWh, perhaps more if you have opted for renewable energy as a source. I won't press the issue further, but if my assumptions above are close, your electricity ROI should realistically be closer to 4 years as your total cost of a complete Solar installation seems to be extremely inflated. It is illegal for HOA's to impede a homeowners Solar in most States.

For one that is considering a Tesla, for economic and environmental reasons, I maintain my position that Solar and a Bolt EV would reduce your expenses, and reduce your environmental footprint. For perhaps $15K Less than the cost of a single TM3.
I had the quote done by a vendor from Costco called SunRun last summer.
Your assumptions are quite close on the solar panel cost and my rate currently with PGE is ~18¢/kWh(even with EV plan)
Regardless, with TM3 costs climbing before the release, your counterpoint is beginning to make heck of a lot more sense.
I may need to have the solar guy requote and go from there.
 

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I addition to what has already been said, and maybe repeating some of the stuff, and not assuming that these would necessarily apply to everyone:

... I thought Model 3 would have a hatchback- or liftback-style rear door, but it's a regular trunk lid, which limits the size of things you'd be able to carry

... In the Bolt, you sit higher, which is not a disadvantage if you do a lot of city driving in dense traffic

... Where I live, the nearest Tesla place is 1 hr 20 mins away in normal traffic. I have two Chevy dealerships in town, about 10 mins driving time.
 
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