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2018 Bolt EV Premier Nightfall Gray
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Discussion Starter #1
Lurked for a while, decided this is one of the better forums on the subject, so will come here more often.

Bought my Nightfall Gray Bolt in 4/18, it now has 56k miles thanks to a healthy 130 mile daily commute through the heart of Denver, CO. I love this car, mostly for the economics.

My prior cars were a '13 Fusion Hybrid, and a '07 Audi A6 2.7T.

So far, maintenance has been negligible. I had a traction control warning just before the factory warranty expired, it turned out to be a brake pedal sensor that appears to cost about $25. I put new tires on it at 50k miles, the stock Michelins just couldn't deal with snow and ice anymore. That was $700, and roughly $100 more in Cabin Air Filter, Wipers, and one tire rotation (all the others were free).

Back to the economics topic. Thanks to CO and Fed tax incentives ($12,500 combined), my net price was a bit under what I paid for the Fusion 5 years earlier. So, started saving out of the gate. My monthly fuel bill went from $300+ (Audi) to $150+ (Fusion) to $50 on the Bolt. Coupled with some appliance and lighting upgrades and my electric bill since getting the Bolt is only $20 more than before buying it. My longer commute seriously helps with the savings, as does being able to charge from home almost exclusively. In CO, there are plenty of free L2 plugs thanks to grants the state awards to businesses to install EVSEs. So, most public charging other than trips has been free L2.
 

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Welcome aboard! I have a 2017 Premier which I smuggled in from Maryland in May, '17. I got only the Fed. tax credit of $7500. My insurance actually went down due to safety features which my Nissan Murano did not have. My wife and I keep fairly detailed financial records and found that our electric bill went up ~$200/year while our gasoline costs dropped ~$2000/year. She has a hybrid, but we usually drive the Bolt EV when we are together since it still costs significantly less to drive. Good luck and keep us posted on your experiences.
 

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Excellent comments! Too many ICE owners have no idea how much they can save with an EV. I suspect very few of them even know how much they pay for each kWh. Cost savings mount up over time. I long for the day a sales person can say---You can have have this ICE car for $25,000 or this comparable EV with a 600 mile range for $22,000. And, by the way the $22,000 EV has much lower "fuel" and maintenance costs.
 

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2018 Bolt EV Premier Nightfall Gray
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Discussion Starter #5
Excellent comments! Too many ICE owners have no idea how much they can save with an EV. I suspect very few of them even know how much they pay for each kWh. Cost savings mount up over time. I long for the day a sales person can say---You can have have this ICE car for $25,000 or this comparable EV with a 600 mile range for $22,000. And, by the way the $22,000 EV has much lower "fuel" and maintenance costs.
I have participated in 5 NDEW events since buying my Bolt. 2 events were in Golden, CO (near Denver\Boulder) and 3 in CO Springs\Pueblo. Politically, these two regions couldn't be further apart, but I have always taken the approach that avoiding political discussions with potential EV owners is a win\win for the advancement of EVs. By now, "tree huggers" (I don't use this term disparagingly) are the 2% of the population who are already driving EV, so the remaining 98% are most likely to be motivated by financial and other benefits.

My financial benefit story always catches people's attention, they want to hear more. Then, all the other topics are icing on the cake. The few times I have started conversations with environmental benefits, I lost audiences quickly, even in Golden.

No matter where you fall on the spectrum of clean air, the masses are somewhat ambivalent or at least, not willing to foot the bill to change things. Even the most die hard right wingers see the benefit in clean air. It always comes down to how much people are willing to sacrifice to "save the planet". So when they see benefits outweighing sacrifices, they are all ears.

The biggest fear potential EV buyers express is where will I charge? After sharing the ultimate convenience of home charging, I remind people that CO is making a big commitment to EVs. They are using the extra $50 EV registration fee, along with VW settlement money to offer grants to pay for up to 80% of the cost to install public EVSE. The result is a lot of free L2 at libraries and government agencies, growing workplace and retail charging, and more hotels adding plugs. In two years, CCS plugs are at least 3-4 times more prevalent than when I bought the Bolt with all major Interstates now covered adequately. The next phase is already in motion, add L3 to scenic highways. Within the next 2 years, I expect to be able to go anywhere in the state without range anxiety. CO will soon be an EV vacation destination!

Trips to anywhere along major corridors in the SW states are possible now, but were not even last summer. So, the efforts of many to expand public charging are quickly reducing the fear.

I belong to a local EV club in CO Springs. The topic recently came up about what to say at car events, and even the staunchest tree huggers in the group agreed that the key to keeping people's attention is to avoid the controversial topics, or at least defer them till after the other benefits have been shared. So, I share my personal financial benefit story so that others who may not have as compelling of a story can use it.
 

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During an EV promotion meeting a person mentioned that sales people at a local dealership were told not to mention environmental benefits when talking about EVs. Instead, talk maintenance and "fuel" costs. Makes sense to me---why try to convince an environmentalist the benefits of EVs----you are wasting your time by preaching to the choir. Not everyone is environmentally conscious but most people like to save their money for other items.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
During an EV promotion meeting a person mentioned that sales people at a local dealership were told not to mention environmental benefits when talking about EVs. Instead, talk maintenance and "fuel" costs. Makes sense to me---why try to convince an environmentalist the benefits of EVs----you are wasting your time by preaching to the choir. Not everyone is environmentally conscious but most people like to save their money for other items.
Frankly, I am surprised they even teach them this. I agree with the avoid environmental benefits (can be too controversial), but fuel and maintenance savings, wow. Must be an exception. In CO there are few dealers who embrace EV. Mountain Chevy in Glenwood Springs is the only one that seems to really be on board. They installed solar to power the business, have a 24kW DC charger, and always have considerable stock of Bolts on hand. All others I have looked into tend to have one or two on the lot, most don't even have L2 chargers.
 

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Frankly, I am surprised they even teach them this. I agree with the avoid environmental benefits (can be too controversial), but fuel and maintenance savings, wow. Must be an exception. In CO there are few dealers who embrace EV. Mountain Chevy in Glenwood Springs is the only one that seems to really be on board. They installed solar to power the business, have a 24kW DC charger, and always have considerable stock of Bolts on hand. All others I have looked into tend to have one or two on the lot, most don't even have L2 chargers.
I have seen almost the same thing in Virginia. I have read somewhere that half the income in a dealership comes from the service department. The more EVs sold to the locals, the less income for the service department.
 

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I have seen almost the same thing in Virginia. I have read somewhere that half the income in a dealership comes from the service department. The more EVs sold to the locals, the less income for the service department.
Not sure where dealers make profits. Clearly not the new car sale, but they do get a big slice from arranging financing, selling extended service contracts, and turning trade-ins. It seems the higher price on EVs would give them opportunities in financing and extended contracts.
 

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I think you have it right. There's some money to be made on the sale which is proportional to how long they've been sitting on the car. Most of the financing and "floor plan" programs between manufacturer and dealer are expecting a 2 month carry. If they sell before then, more profits.
I had also assumed that the service department was the golden egg but your points on the ancillary revenue as a result of the sale may be more lucrative. As long as the dealers can keep a thumb on OTA upgrades by the manufacturer, there is still money to made after the sale, even on a fairly trouble free BEV. Unfortunately for the dealers, a lot of the after sale maintenance of BEV's can easily be performed by third party repair shops such as tires, suspension, body work, etc. It's the electronics where they have us by the short hairs.
I think the Bolt's maintenance plan is similar to Tesla's in that I have no required service(other than cabin filter) for the first 6 years. Even the brake fluid is just a test and replace as needed.
And that is just for A/C desiccant.

"Now Tesla tells owners: "Your Tesla does not require annual maintenance and regular fluid changes," and instead recommends only periodic, as-needed servicing of brake fluid, pads, and calipers, filters, and air conditioning."
 
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