Author Topic: Rebates & hybrid cars / prius prime vs chevy volt  (Read 3677 times)

fallstoclimb

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Rebates & hybrid cars / prius prime vs chevy volt
« on: January 06, 2017, 10:15:16 AM »
I'm sure this discussion has happened before but I wasn't able to find it. 

My Matrix is starting to near the end of its days at 150K/10 yrs.  Yeah its not technically driven into the ground YET, but with the incoming administration I assume we are about to lose the federal rebates for buying electric cars.

Normally I'd buy a lightly used car for all the usual mustachian reasons, but the rebates have me thinking about buying new.  I'm looking at the new Prius Prime Plus, which after federal and state rebates would only be about 20K (plus tax) -- not all that much more than I'd pay for a lot of good used cars.  I could save another 2-3K if I went with a used Chevy Volt, which I'm also considering.

I would prefer full electric, but cars with a sufficient range (200+ miles) for our lifestyle are well out of our price range.  Our daily commute for work is within 20 miles roundtrip, so we should be able to swing full-electric most days even on the limited prius electric range.

We already share one car, contribute a very healthy amount to retirement accounts, no debt other than the mortgage.  We are building up cash reserves (this was our last priority) - 16K cash now, increasing at 1K a month.  We won't be paying full cash for either car, will maybe pay half in cash and fund the rest on a low interest loan.

Thoughts on new prius prime vs used chevy volt?  They do seem to be fairly comparable cars, but I've always driven Toyotas so am partial to that brand.

mtn

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Re: Rebates & hybrid cars / prius prime vs chevy volt
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2017, 10:20:34 AM »
Chevy Volt is a really, really cool car. It is probably going to be a much better EV car than the Prius, with a range of about 40-60 miles on electric.

Prius is to me, very boring (never driven the Prime though). And good god is it UGLY. Looks like a bloated mosquito. But, it is probably the better CAR overall.

If you're dead set on getting a new car, I'd lean towards the Prius or a more used Volt, but at 10 years and 150k miles your Matrix isn't even broken in yet--to the point that maybe you should consider a full electric like the Leaf and keeping the Matrix. Or just keeping the Matrix and ignoring the conversation, if you really want to be Mustachian.

Reynolds531

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Re: Rebates & hybrid cars / prius prime vs chevy volt
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2017, 11:11:20 AM »
Third vote to keep matrix. I'd vacuum it and apply wax to add speed and you're good for another 3 years.

fallstoclimb

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Re: Rebates & hybrid cars / prius prime vs chevy volt
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2017, 11:35:56 AM »
Waiting a little longer was my original plan, but I don't know that a new electric car will be in the price range without the rebates, and I don't think we'll be able to nurse the matrix along until those hit the used market.

mtn

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Re: Rebates & hybrid cars / prius prime vs chevy volt
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2017, 12:04:24 PM »
Waiting a little longer was my original plan, but I don't know that a new electric car will be in the price range without the rebates, and I don't think we'll be able to nurse the matrix along until those hit the used market.

What are you having to do to "nurse it along"? My wife had a 2004 Corolla (basically the same exact car as the Matrix). It had 160k miles on it when she wrecked it (and we drove it for another 2 months after the wreck!)

I hated the car--It is a FWD car, and feels like a FWD car. For the most part, I just don't like FWD. Not justified, but I don't need to--that is my opinion. It had an automatic and with 375 pounds of human it is anemic. I couldn't get the seats to a comfortable position for more than 10 minutes. The interior is horrible--fake wood that looks worse than the plastic, drab grey, lots of road noise... But do you know what? That thing would have run until the apocolypse if we didn't send it on to collect the check. If I didn't hate it so much I would have fixed it up and continued to drive it for another 400k miles. And I really legitimately think it would have done it.

What has gone wrong with the Matrix? Is it really stuff that has gone wrong, or is it just due for a bunch of maintenance? Be honest--if you want a new car because you want a new car, that is fine! Really, it is. But I don't think you need one.

And I personally would not worry about the options being cheap enough in two years if they're cheap enough now. This stuff isn't going away--remember, cars are now a global commodity, and the USA isn't the only nation on the earth that has restrictive emission laws. There will be advances, and they will be affordable--even without the rebates. If you're that worried about it, go find a low-mileage Prius for $10k.

Oh, and how much do you actually drive in a year? I'm guessing you won't see much of a difference in 35 to 65 MPG.


mtn

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Re: Rebates & hybrid cars / prius prime vs chevy volt
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2017, 12:13:43 PM »
Ok, just read your post closer. Lets make some assumptions for this discussion:
  • You drive 20 miles a day, 365 days a year, for 7300 miles annually
  • Your current car gets 25 MPG
  • An upgraded used car gets 35 MPG
  • For the sake of this discussion, playing conservatively, a Prius Prime or Volt gets 65 MPG
  • Gas costs $4.00 a gallon, and all the cars take the same gas.

Ok, so to go from your current car (25MPG) to a new EV (65MPG) you will save $718.77 annually.
To go from your current car to a 35MPG car, you will save $333.71 annually.
To go from a 35MPG to a 65MPG car, you save $385 annually.


Lets take it further--lets say the car gets 1000MPG. Your current car to that new car only saves you $1,138 annually. And the 35 to 1000MPG is only $800. How much more expensive is that new EV car?

If you want to do this from an environmental perspective, fine, but as a money saving proposition you're just not going to see it at only 7300 miles a year.

lbmustache

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Re: Rebates & hybrid cars / prius prime vs chevy volt
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2017, 12:26:48 PM »
Ok, just read your post closer. Lets make some assumptions for this discussion:
  • You drive 20 miles a day, 365 days a year, for 7300 miles annually
  • Your current car gets 25 MPG
  • An upgraded used car gets 35 MPG
  • For the sake of this discussion, playing conservatively, a Prius Prime or Volt gets 65 MPG
  • Gas costs $4.00 a gallon, and all the cars take the same gas.

Ok, so to go
 from your current car (25MPG) to a new EV (65MPG) you will save $718.77 annually.
To go from your current car to a 35MPG car, you will save $333.71 annually.
To go from a 35MPG to a 65MPG car, you save $385 annually.


Lets take it further--lets say the car gets 1000MPG. Your current car to that new car only saves you $1,138 annually. And the 35 to 1000MPG i only $800. How much more expensive is that new EV car?

If you want to do this from an environmental perspective, fine, but as a money saving proposition you're just not going to see it at only 7300 miles a year.

Right. OP, fueleconomy.gov will allow you to compare mileage between different cars to see what will save you money in the long run. Better use this site while it's still available LOL. This is something I have been thinking about too because I would like to get a PHEV (don't think I can do full electric just yet... ugh) in the near-future too.

My concerns with the incoming admin are probably similar to yours, *but* I believe the federal tax credit is set to expire in the next year or so/it's based on sales numbers which are close to being reached (someone can correct me on this - it's my understanding based on the below info). States like California are likely to continue to offer their own credits/rebates, but I think for a Prime it's like $1500 so nothing overly impressive. 

Quote
Each automakerís eligible plug-ins receive a $7,500 federal credit, that is until the 200,000th plug-in is sold in the US.

At that time, and so as not to disrupt/confuse those buying the EVs, the full $7,500 continues through the end of the current quarter and to the completion of the next quarter.  After this period ends, the credit is reduced to $3,750 for the next 6 months, then to $1,875 for the next 6 months before expiring completely.


fallstoclimb

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Re: Rebates & hybrid cars / prius prime vs chevy volt
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2017, 12:28:36 PM »
We probably drive closer to 10,000-15,000 per year, but I get your point.  Going electric/hybrid isn't a financial decision for me, it's an environmental/moral decision (and, if I can go full electric, I love that there are fewer parts that can break).

I really don't know the status of the Matrix.  This week we thought the transmission was going, which is why I started looking around a bit, but thankfully it was just the alternator.  The passenger side door makes a clanging noise when its closed, the steering wheel creaks when turning on hot days, there's lots of dents and scratches (which I don't mind at all) - it feels like the car is nearing the end of its life, but I could be wrong.  Once it starts becoming unreliable, though, we need to replace it as its our only car. 

(And I do not want to have two cars, its just more to worry about.)

I do kind of want a new-to-us car, but not enough to actually make a move it it doesn't make any financial sense.  I'm not really a car person.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Rebates & hybrid cars / prius prime vs chevy volt
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2017, 12:34:30 PM »
You can get used EVs and PHEVs for a huge discount. Keep in mind the Prius Prime seats 4 and the second generation Volt's fifth seat is pretty fake. My family of 5 does fit in the used C-Max Energi I got with 27k miles on it for $12,600.

Use the Compare EVs page on the InsideEVs website to get a good idea of the options.

ETA: also I can see out the back of my C-Max unlike with a Volt or Prius.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2017, 12:43:29 PM by ShoulderThingThatGoesUp »

mtn

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Re: Rebates & hybrid cars / prius prime vs chevy volt
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2017, 12:46:20 PM »
Then go and test drive both the new Prius and the Volt, then test drive a bunch of used ones, and the C-Max and anything else that is out there in your price range, and pick from there. I would personally stick with GM and Toyota for this, but take a look around and see what you like. Maybe check out the plug-in Prius's from 2013-14. Should be around $10-$15k by now.

Also keep in mind that better MPG does not mean better emissions. A new Corolla will be better than an old Prius emissions wise. Probably.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Rebates & hybrid cars / prius prime vs chevy volt
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2017, 01:12:47 PM »
Better MPG absolutely means better emissions when you're improving your MPG using grid electricity.

mtn

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Re: Rebates & hybrid cars / prius prime vs chevy volt
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2017, 01:27:37 PM »
Better MPG absolutely means better emissions when you're improving your MPG using grid electricity.

Yes, but "Better MPG" does not inherently mean better emissions. A 1986 Honda CRX could get better than 50MPG, but it is worse for the environment than a brand new full size truck.

That was my point--that if they wanted to have less emission output, a brand new Corolla will [likely] be better than an old Prius. It is incredible how far we have come with emission control [and incredible how much further we have to go].

WyomingGuy

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Re: Rebates & hybrid cars / prius prime vs chevy volt
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2017, 01:45:23 PM »
Better MPG absolutely means better emissions when you're improving your MPG using grid electricity.

Not quite. It depends on where you live, based upon a well-to-wheels GHG lifecycle analysis: http://www.afdc.energy.gov/vehicles/electric_emissions.php.

In most areas of the United States, EV's are fueled by coal, natural gas and nuclear -- the only three baseload electricity power sources pending the arrival of technically demonstrated, commercial-scale, grid-scale storage technologies, which at present do not exist. Nobody is driving a wind-powered car, and you are kidding yourself if you think otherwise.

Battery production and recycling also have a non-trivial environmental footprint.

There is no such thing as a free lunch.

And personally, I would never ask another taxpayer to help pay for my vehicle, which is what those using tax credits are doing.

EV's are largely luxuries afforded only by the well off.

Connemara

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Re: Rebates & hybrid cars / prius prime vs chevy volt
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2017, 09:53:09 AM »
Based on reviews, it sounds like the new Volt may have de-throned the new Prius. The Volt is really an extended EV because it can handle most daily driving without turning on the ICE at all.

I sometimes have anti-Mustachian thoughts about selling my 2012 Prius and buying a Volt...but my Prius is barely broken in at 45K miles. :)

CCCA

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Re: Rebates & hybrid cars / prius prime vs chevy volt
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2017, 03:51:32 PM »
drive the matrix until it really dies and then in 3-4 years, buy a used Volt or Prime for about $10k or less.