Now it was time to move on but to what? Range is a concern but also have to look at value. The Bolt seems to be the only option that provides a significant range difference but it was probably at least 3 months out and its my prediction that pent up demand for a 200 mile EV will insure that the supply remains tight for most of the year meaning the Bolt will go for premium prices for most if not all of 2017. This is verified at least initially by reports from the first orders of the Bolt where buyers reported there was absolutely no negotiations on price. So an average out the door price of $40,000+ would be my likely scenario. Now WA only waives the first $32,500 so I would be taxed on the extra. So pencil math says I maintain the 2.1 cents per mile on the Bolt which is HIGHLY unlikely and that will be explained below, and a target of 22 cents per mile, on a purchase, I would have to be around 175,100 miles based on a $40,000 purchase price, $675 sales tax, onl $6,000 of the fed tax credit, $5,000 down and 7 year loan at 3%. So your results may vary but I give you my data so you can figure it separately.
Of course it doesn't make sense to compare purchases to leases but with no way of knowing what the Bolt will lease for, I really don't have a lot of options. But its 238 miles of range! Sorry but purchases require a long term commitment and 175,000 miles on an unproven and unseen car is not gonna happen here. So chalk it up to bad timing cause not gonna lie, if the Bolt was on the streets, I could make real comparisons, but bad timing I excel at! Nevertheless, in trying to make it work, I tried dozens of different scenarios including a $20,000 down payment to reduce interest but again, it was that 175,000 mile commitment that held me back. But I was still hesitant. Then election day came. Again, bad timing but I fear its for all of us, not just me...
So on to the LEAF option. Here lease was easy and HUGELY beneficial financially. For those that don't know, leasing another LEAF could potentially save you thousands.
*Disposition Fee of $395 for lease termination; IGNORED!
*Up to $500 of damage to your returned lease vehicle; GONE!
*Welcome Back (cause you never left) Loyalty Cash $1,000!! ; YOURS!
So in reality, the Bolt didn't have a chance. $40,000 minus whatever you qualify in the fed tax credit might be affordable to some, but not to me.
So off to my Employee discount page! It didn't take me long to find out I don't get to choose what dealer my interest is sent to so it took some finagling and 8 errant offers to finally figure out how to get who I wanted to see. In examining the EV movement and the dealers doing the most to promote it, I immediately eliminated everyone who did not have a fast charger. This I knew I would do several months ago so then I started monitoring how often these fast chargers were working and how long it took to get them fixed when they broke. I can't blame the dealership for the equipment but I can blame them if they are dragging their feet to fix them!
Well, the dealer track record on this issue has not been stellar and I soon realized I had to expand my radius to get 3 options so my "circle" went from 50 miles to 83 miles. Anyway, the winner was a near coin flip, but won because of his involvement with the Seattle LEAF Facebook page, his gushing customers, etc. It definitely wasn't because he was convenient! So yesterday, I charged up my old dilapidated LEAF and started on my 82.2 mile journey to see Ray at Campbell Nissan in Everett.
So we started out with the S30 (naturally) MSRP just over $33,000 after destination and some sort of protection package. Discounted the protection package and my employee discount did not get the memo on the MSRP change so the discount for a plain S24 was around 800ish. Discounts on the higher trims ran $2000-$2500. Either way, that was applied plus Dealer discounts, new price $29,330. Notice this price is basically back to normal employee discounts when comparing MSRP of $30,860.
Then we apply loyalty cash as returning Nissan customer of $1,000. New price $28,330
Federal tax credit which Nissan applies at 100%. FYI; not every manufacturer does this. New price $20,830
Finally we have manufacturer's incentives. Keep in mind, if you are buying, incentives are larger but "Lease Cash" is nothing to sneeze at at $4,125. New price $16,705.
Well that was fun, but unfortunately we have to add fees, $150 doc, $250 registration (which will be partially refunded) title fees $37.50. Bottom line; Zero down, 15,000 miles for 3 years and $245.99 a month, rent charge (basically interest on lease loan) $29.20, residual $9157.05. So I get a new car, 6 more kwh for 24 cents per month over my old lease. But more importantly its 18.9 cents per mile (includes a perk I hesitate to mention at this time) Add the 2.1 cents per mile "fuel" costs and I am still well below the 22 cents per mile figure used on the Bolt.
Now, earlier I mentioned that getting 2.1 cents per mile on the Bolt would likely not happen and my reasoning is that it would not have happened for me either in my 2013 LEAF but I was able to take advantage of Nissan's "No Charge To Charge" program for 90 days (NCTC) as part of the battery settlement. I won't lie, I took MAJOR advantage of the program. My alternative was a $50 check. So I decided I would use $50 PER MONTH in public charging; a goal I accomplished quite easily.
I also mentioned earlier that I was prone to bad timing. This is my 3rd LEAF lease and first NCTC qualification because yes, I barely missed qualifying for it my first two leases. This time instead of 90 days of charging, I get 2 full years!! My only question; Can I use it for the last two years of my lease instead of the first two years? Cause I don't see me needing it, at least not right away. :)
Anyway, after the math exercise was done AKA negotiating the cost. (all done by Facebook Messenger. This was the "real" reason why Ray was chosen. He was simply easy. ) It was time to pick a car. I had a choice of Red or Blue but Red looked too much like the old Red but the Blue was nearly identical to my 2010 Prius so why not!
The 2nd consideration was time on the lot. The S30 simply hasn't been around long enough to worry about that. So I fully expected a battery at 100%. So build date was 10/16 so far so good. So I hooked up LEAF Spy and.... 99.91%... a bit of a disappointment. But I already knew she just needed a bit of exercise and the next morning pretty much confirmed this.