Author Topic: Used Electric Car- Am i seeing the whole picture?  (Read 1845 times)

distanceman89

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Used Electric Car- Am i seeing the whole picture?
« on: November 01, 2016, 01:28:56 PM »
Hello everyone, this is my first post here so please let me know if i transgress, and sorry if its a bit long, but i think it is all relevant info!

I have been reading MMM for a couple years now and consider myself to be a budding 'stache holder. I bike 7 miles to work and back most days (30" of snow, broken bones, or needing to carry 500 lbs of firewood being the exceptions), am paying down debt quickly(only 20k in student loans between my SO and I!! excited to be free soon.), Bought a nice stone house with the missus on foreclosure two years ago that is being fixed up in my spare time, use a small electric lawnmower and chainsaw for all lawncare and firewood needs, and I enjoy my job tremendously. So all is fairly good there.

Where it gets interesting is our current car situation. Recovering(?) gearhead here.

I'm working on selling my parts/project car that no longer holds interest for me, so that's good. Also selling the motorcycle that doesn't get ridden much in favor of electrifying a bicycles front wheel for snow/towing duty (AWD bike anyone?).

My wife have a recently purchased 2007 Mazda 3 hatch, 32-34 MPG on her 20 mile commute. Low mileage, paid off, and she loves it to death.

I own a 2000 Golf TDI which is great. Its worthless(in a wonderful no-sentiment-attached-to-it way), has 267K on it, gets 44-50 MPG and I can put 1200 lbs of firewood/other crap in the back (beefed up the suspension when i replaced blown struts) or 2000 on a trailer. It also will run on 50% used motor oil(settled, diluted, and filtered), and i can use it as a 'work truck' and not feel bad about it, which i do with abandon. Wife doesn't like to commute in it, as it has an um, 'unkempt' interior, no working AC, and the heat doesnt really warm up for 20 mins or so (her commute) in the winter thanks to the efficient diesel engine.

Early this year, I received a 2004 Mazdaspeed Miata from my father as a gift... It's a seriously lovely car, I love sports cars/convertables, its in great shape, and gets 30-31 MPG (the wife takes this to commute in in the summer) so now i have 3 cars among two people, which makes not too much sense to my logical brain, but it's enjoyable and I'm not too worried as I'm not in any major emergency debt. Now my golf is due for a Timing belt job, which i can happily do, but it made me revisit the situation before i spent money on parts.

I recently did some research and saw that used 2013-2015 nissan leafs with 5-15K miles can be had near me for 10-13K, thanks to the leases being up and people wanting to upgrade to the newer model leaf/bolt/tesla as they come out.

most of my car trips involve getting firewood/building materials, going on hikes/camping, or visiting my parents/in-laws (65 miles one way, both sets, but we usually stay overnight so we could recharge an EV) so fairly short, but occasional longer road trips to national parks happen.

Right now the two options I have (wife recently got the 3 and doesn't want to sell it) are either to keep things the way the are, or to sell the golf (1.5-3k from an enthusiast)and the Miata(8-10K) and purchase a leaf.

It's tricky because my fuel, insurance(comp only) and maintenance costs for the golf are so low, and it will last SO long if taken care of(parts are cheap too), while the long-terms costs of owning a nissan-leaf type car are relatively unknown as the battery prices are high, but keep dropping. The golf will, however, only continue to find new things to break as it gets older, which is enjoyable, but also can be a time suck on a weekend i could be out hiking or on a nice long bicycle backpack tour or something.

My gut instinct which does surprisingly good with this kind of thing says they're close to equal- 2 cars insurance plus oil/engine parts that wear over time, vs battery replacement.

Wife isn't interested in selling the 3 right now unfortunately... but maybe its better to wait for that newish-car feeling to wear off, sell the miata and the 3, keep the diesel beater car, and get a newer model electric car in the future... maybe a used bolt in the future, or a super cheap leaf when the longer range EV's become available.

Thoughts? Is there anything I'm completely ignoring and should also consider??

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Used Electric Car- Am i seeing the whole picture?
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2016, 08:44:54 AM »
Range does decrease in the winter; make sure it would still work for you.

Electric driving is very nice, though.

KCM5

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Re: Used Electric Car- Am i seeing the whole picture?
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2016, 08:50:18 AM »
I'm a little unclear as to why you want the electric car at all? Will you be able to use it as a truck like you do your Golf? And the Miata, are you comfortable selling it considering you just received it as a gift?

distanceman89

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Re: Used Electric Car- Am i seeing the whole picture?
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2016, 03:18:40 PM »
Shoulderthing- thats a good point about the range, as winter would be when I'd depend on the car more potentially. I'll look into it... and I haven't heard anyone yet who had bad things to say about electric driving!

KCM5-That's exactly why I'm hedging right now and haven't plunged headlong into it. I like not caring about my cars interior, but I suppose it would just mean a little more trailer usage that I currently do to circumvent most of that. When I was given the miata I was explicitly told I'm welcome to sell it to get something different, as it was my dad's car and he didn't expect me to love exactly the same thing as him, so that's not an issue. He'd totally geek out on the electric car anyway. I would mostly miss having a fun impractical convertible...

I guess i mostly like the idea of not having as much of a fleet of cars to maintain/clean/inspect, minimalism is quite nice.

Ah the battle of rationality vs mild hedonism.

deborah

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Re: Used Electric Car- Am i seeing the whole picture?
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2016, 06:07:53 PM »
Minimalism is ONE car (or none).

JLee

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Re: Used Electric Car- Am i seeing the whole picture?
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2016, 06:52:49 PM »
I recently did some research and saw that used 2013-2015 nissan leafs with 5-15K miles can be had near me for 10-13K, thanks to the leases being up and people wanting to upgrade to the newer model leaf/bolt/tesla as they come out.

They are cheap because the tax credit has already been claimed. MMM bought a brand new (2016) Leaf for $16k after tax/etc (~$14,775 car).

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2016/10/04/so-i-bought-an-electric-car/

aperture

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Re: Used Electric Car- Am i seeing the whole picture?
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2016, 07:17:38 PM »
You're interest in the Leaf is not well explained and the rationale for considering the deal now seems spurious. I doubt the leaf would serve to carry 1200 lbs of firewood. Also - this is not that good a deal. As pointed out, brand new Leafs go for just a few 1000s more in some states. I would delay the purchase and let this soup cook longer. ap.

KCM5

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Re: Used Electric Car- Am i seeing the whole picture?
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2016, 06:21:24 AM »
Wife isn't interested in selling the 3 right now unfortunately... but maybe its better to wait for that newish-car feeling to wear off, sell the miata and the 3, keep the diesel beater car, and get a newer model electric car in the future... maybe a used bolt in the future, or a super cheap leaf when the longer range EV's become available.

Rereading your situation, I think the above is your best option. You can sell the Miata whenever.

Or just consider that that desire for an electric car is consumerism at its finest and keep riding your bicycles.