Author Topic: Best way to go minivan + EV in 2021?  (Read 961 times)

ketchup

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Best way to go minivan + EV in 2021?
« on: May 28, 2021, 05:48:33 PM »
Hey guys, I've been doing a lot of fumbling around with researching this move, and I'm hoping to have a sanity check on my numbers.  Very open to other/better options if I'm totally missing something.

Current cars:
2001 Volvo V70 with 208k miles
2010 Hyundai Accent with 132k miles

The Volvo has been our "big car" for about five years, but with our needs and with the general lack of station wagons these days (booo), a minivan feels like the logical successor.  And it's getting to be time.  Some deferred bigger maintenance items have piled up, it needs a timing belt soon, and there are a few other expensive repairs it could use (AC).  Basically we either need to throw a bunch of money/time into it to keep it going, or move on, and at 208k it's getting harder to want to throw a bunch of money at it.

Minivans are more expensive in general than other cars I've looked at in the past, though also right now the used car market in general has gone a bit bananas.  It looks like we can get a 2012-ish Kia Sedona with 120k-ish miles for around six grand.  Toyota Siennas are more, but not as much more as I thought.  As someone that hasn't ever paid more than $2500 for a car (the Accent two years ago), six grand sounds scary, but it feels like the optimal bang/buck ratio there.

On the EV side of things, it seems like with the current weirdly-good lease deals out there, it's hard to lose going that route.  A 2020 Bolt pencils out to about $0.24/mile all-in for 36 months and 45,000 miles.  With adding in an estimated $0.03/mile for electricity, that's basically the total cost of driving my Accent when accounting for gas, maintenance, and repairs, presuming an EV won't need any of that at all in three years.  The range of a current Bolt (259 miles) seems just about perfect for our use case.  And if it's not enough for something, the minivan would be a fallback.  Most longer trips would be in the minivan for other reasons anyway.  A used 2017 Bolt can be found for around $15k, but that seems to pencil out to a worse deal than a new lease with the deals going right now.  Other EVs for the most part feel either too low a range (first gen Leaf) or bonkers expensive (Tesla etc.).  Seems like the Bolt is the sweet spot right now.

With selling both current cars after buying a minivan and leasing an EV, we'd only be tying up a few grand more in our cars after the dust settles.

Am I missing anything?

AccidentialMustache

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Re: Best way to go minivan + EV in 2021?
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2021, 10:09:32 PM »
How far would you drive a used bolt if you bought it and drove it till it died? More than 62.5k miles? If yes, it should be cheaper than the lease, even if you assume its resale value was $0. Less miles maybe, depending how you insure it vs insuring the lease.

Kia's Kona EV might be worth a look. It is a gas conversion, but has a good range like the bolt.

That said, there may be advantages to hanging out on the sidelines to let some of the electricification dust settle before buying in. A lease would be good in that sense.

ketchup

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Re: Best way to go minivan + EV in 2021?
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2021, 05:57:50 AM »
How far would you drive a used bolt if you bought it and drove it till it died? More than 62.5k miles? If yes, it should be cheaper than the lease, even if you assume its resale value was $0. Less miles maybe, depending how you insure it vs insuring the lease.

Kia's Kona EV might be worth a look. It is a gas conversion, but has a good range like the bolt.

That said, there may be advantages to hanging out on the sidelines to let some of the electricification dust settle before buying in. A lease would be good in that sense.

Thanks for the reply.

That's part of my logic for sure.  I've never leased a car before, definitely the opposite of the kind of person that typically leases a car.

I'm also not someone that's dropped 15k on a car before either.  Having that much tied up in a car would have significant opportunity cost compared to what I'm used to (1-2k cars) or compared to the lease.

I'll also look at the Kona, I hadn't heard much about that one.

Weisass

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Re: Best way to go minivan + EV in 2021?
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2021, 06:48:35 AM »
Why not wait it out a little and move to an EV minivan? Then you could go from two cars to one, and get both of the things you were looking for in one vehicle. That would seem pretty mustachian to me.

Paper Chaser

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Re: Best way to go minivan + EV in 2021?
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2021, 06:56:38 AM »
Can you charge nightly where you live?

The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid might scratch both of your itches in one vehicle. It's a PHEV, with a 32 mile EV range, so a pretty large percentage of your daily driving could be done as an EV (cheaper, cleaner, smoother, less maintenance) but you'd still have the ICE for longer trips. You're not going to find them for $6k though.

AccidentialMustache

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Re: Best way to go minivan + EV in 2021?
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2021, 07:18:10 AM »
If you paid $2500 for the accent two years ago, that's $1250/yr, and you're already looking at replacing it.

We paid ~15k for our 2009 honda fit sport w/nav, new, all-in (with the CARS program on a car that blue booked for <2k). The fit will be 12 years old in a couple months. 15k/12 = $1250/yr. Yes I'm hand-waving the residual value of the previous vehicle as a discount to this one (and treating this one as $0 residual value), but that means I can do the math without estimating what I can sell the fit for.

Point being the same as "how long will you keep it?" Yes, we did have more tied up in our car (we paid cash, of course), although as a one-car family that 1250/yr is it, no "times two" for a second vehicle.

ketchup

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Re: Best way to go minivan + EV in 2021?
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2021, 08:48:36 AM »
We do need two cars, and presumably EV minivans are a while out while also presumably being quite expensive.  Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is like $40k and a new model so that's not happening.

I'm looking at replacing the Accent only if the total cost pencils out similar for an EV.  The car is fine and would surely serve me well for many years.  Resale value wise, I could probably get $2000 back for it so I wouldn't be losing too much there.

RWD

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Re: Best way to go minivan + EV in 2021?
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2021, 09:24:42 AM »
Probably hard to beat the Bolt lease deals right now. But some other EVs to consider (assuming you are looking for 200+ mile range):
Hyundai Kona EV
Kia Niro EV
Nissan LEAF Plus
Mustang Mach-E
Volkswagen ID.4

Next year will have even more options (e.g. Ioniq 5 / EV6), but I identified the above as the most attractively priced 200+ mile range EVs available in the US currently. You may also consider waiting to see if the EV incentive reform is passed as that might make the Bolt and Teslas eligible for incentives again (and likely more money back too).

Paper Chaser

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Re: Best way to go minivan + EV in 2021?
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2021, 11:30:39 AM »
Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is like $40k and a new model so that's not happening.

It sounds like it's more than you want to spend, but just for the sake of clarity, Pacifica hybrids have been on sale since 2017 so there are some decent off-lease deals hitting the market. I'm seeing 2018s with under 25k miles in the low 30's which seems like a nice deal given the current inflated market. If the used car market cools in the next 12-18 months they probably get a lot cheaper. That could probably give you a super low cost per mile for another 150-170k miles. You just have to weigh that against the expected fuel, and maintenance costs of a cheaper van with less life remaining.

ketchup

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Re: Best way to go minivan + EV in 2021?
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2021, 01:49:54 PM »
Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is like $40k and a new model so that's not happening.

It sounds like it's more than you want to spend, but just for the sake of clarity, Pacifica hybrids have been on sale since 2017 so there are some decent off-lease deals hitting the market. I'm seeing 2018s with under 25k miles in the low 30's which seems like a nice deal given the current inflated market. If the used car market cools in the next 12-18 months they probably get a lot cheaper. That could probably give you a super low cost per mile for another 150-170k miles. You just have to weigh that against the expected fuel, and maintenance costs of a cheaper van with less life remaining.
Ah, thanks for the correction.  From my quick Google-fu, I had assumed it was a brand new model.  I did find some low mileage 2018s for high 20s to low 30s.  As you surmised though, still about 25k more than I'd like to spend. :)

nereo

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Re: Best way to go minivan + EV in 2021?
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2021, 02:14:19 PM »
Serious question - what about a mini van attracts you that you can get in other vehicles?

ketchup

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Re: Best way to go minivan + EV in 2021?
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2021, 06:02:42 PM »
Serious question - what about a mini van attracts you that you can get in other vehicles?
Four 36x24 dog crates set up in the back.  Last car that could truly do that for us was our 1992 Buick Roadmaster Wagon.

Weisass

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Re: Best way to go minivan + EV in 2021?
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2021, 07:46:22 PM »
Serious question - what about a mini van attracts you that you can get in other vehicles?
Four 36x24 dog crates set up in the back.  Last car that could truly do that for us was our 1992 Buick Roadmaster Wagon.

Four dog crates? That seems like an awful lot of dogs. Sure you need to pay the insane extra cost of fueling a minivan for the privilege?

ketchup

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Re: Best way to go minivan + EV in 2021?
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2021, 08:52:52 PM »
I'm pretty sure.

Papa bear

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Re: Best way to go minivan + EV in 2021?
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2021, 09:14:18 PM »
Serious question - what about a mini van attracts you that you can get in other vehicles?
Four 36x24 dog crates set up in the back.  Last car that could truly do that for us was our 1992 Buick Roadmaster Wagon.

Four dog crates? That seems like an awful lot of dogs. Sure you need to pay the insane extra cost of fueling a minivan for the privilege?
30mpg highway is “insane extra cost of fueling?” You need to haul stuff? A minivan probably is one of most economical.


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RWD

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Re: Best way to go minivan + EV in 2021?
« Reply #15 on: May 29, 2021, 09:48:46 PM »
Serious question - what about a mini van attracts you that you can get in other vehicles?
Four 36x24 dog crates set up in the back.  Last car that could truly do that for us was our 1992 Buick Roadmaster Wagon.
Four dog crates? That seems like an awful lot of dogs. Sure you need to pay the insane extra cost of fueling a minivan for the privilege?
30mpg highway is “insane extra cost of fueling?” You need to haul stuff? A minivan probably is one of most economical.
Other than the hybrids (2021 Sienna and 2017+ Pacifica) there are no 30 mpg (highway) minivans. The best you can find is 28 mpg and that's only on certain 2017+ models. It sounds like ketchup wants to spend ~$5k on a minivan which would get you a minivan with low to mid 20s mpg (highway). Probably an extra $200 per 10k miles than a 30 mpg highway vehicle or $450 more compared to 40 mpg (estimating $3/gallon). I agree that is not an "insane extra cost" but don't overstate the fuel economy of commonly available used minivans.

It is kind of sad that the 2010 Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey get the same highway fuel economy as OP's old Buick Roadmaster Wagon (a vehicle half a foot longer than a modern Chevy Tahoe SUV) despite being nearly two decades newer.

reeshau

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Re: Best way to go minivan + EV in 2021?
« Reply #16 on: May 29, 2021, 09:54:08 PM »
Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is like $40k and a new model so that's not happening.

It sounds like it's more than you want to spend, but just for the sake of clarity, Pacifica hybrids have been on sale since 2017 so there are some decent off-lease deals hitting the market. I'm seeing 2018s with under 25k miles in the low 30's which seems like a nice deal given the current inflated market. If the used car market cools in the next 12-18 months they probably get a lot cheaper. That could probably give you a super low cost per mile for another 150-170k miles. You just have to weigh that against the expected fuel, and maintenance costs of a cheaper van with less life remaining.
Ah, thanks for the correction.  From my quick Google-fu, I had assumed it was a brand new model.  I did find some low mileage 2018s for high 20s to low 30s.  As you surmised though, still about 25k more than I'd like to spend. :)

It's still more than your high price, but new Pacificas have $6,000 in incentives (despite the shortage!) and are eligible for the full $7,500 federal tax credit.  So they are around the used price, if you can float the tax money--and you get a full 10 years on the battery warranty.

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Re: Best way to go minivan + EV in 2021?
« Reply #17 on: May 29, 2021, 11:31:54 PM »
I am thinking about the same thing, but I think I will stick with our current minivan.
2009 Honda Odyssey LX with 190k miles :).

Chevy Bolt is really tempting though....

Papa bear

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Re: Best way to go minivan + EV in 2021?
« Reply #18 on: June 01, 2021, 06:20:47 AM »
Serious question - what about a mini van attracts you that you can get in other vehicles?
Four 36x24 dog crates set up in the back.  Last car that could truly do that for us was our 1992 Buick Roadmaster Wagon.
Four dog crates? That seems like an awful lot of dogs. Sure you need to pay the insane extra cost of fueling a minivan for the privilege?
30mpg highway is “insane extra cost of fueling?” You need to haul stuff? A minivan probably is one of most economical.
Other than the hybrids (2021 Sienna and 2017+ Pacifica) there are no 30 mpg (highway) minivans. The best you can find is 28 mpg and that's only on certain 2017+ models. It sounds like ketchup wants to spend ~$5k on a minivan which would get you a minivan with low to mid 20s mpg (highway). Probably an extra $200 per 10k miles than a 30 mpg highway vehicle or $450 more compared to 40 mpg (estimating $3/gallon). I agree that is not an "insane extra cost" but don't overstate the fuel economy of commonly available used minivans.

It is kind of sad that the 2010 Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey get the same highway fuel economy as OP's old Buick Roadmaster Wagon (a vehicle half a foot longer than a modern Chevy Tahoe SUV) despite being nearly two decades newer.
I know posted vs actual, but I routinely get 30mpg highway on a pacifica, not hybrid.  No intentional hypermiling.  Just set cruise control at 74 and go.

Best I had was 31mpg over 1000 mile trip with 4 total occupants and luggage. 


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RWD

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Re: Best way to go minivan + EV in 2021?
« Reply #19 on: June 01, 2021, 08:47:50 AM »
Serious question - what about a mini van attracts you that you can get in other vehicles?
Four 36x24 dog crates set up in the back.  Last car that could truly do that for us was our 1992 Buick Roadmaster Wagon.
Four dog crates? That seems like an awful lot of dogs. Sure you need to pay the insane extra cost of fueling a minivan for the privilege?
30mpg highway is “insane extra cost of fueling?” You need to haul stuff? A minivan probably is one of most economical.
Other than the hybrids (2021 Sienna and 2017+ Pacifica) there are no 30 mpg (highway) minivans. The best you can find is 28 mpg and that's only on certain 2017+ models. It sounds like ketchup wants to spend ~$5k on a minivan which would get you a minivan with low to mid 20s mpg (highway). Probably an extra $200 per 10k miles than a 30 mpg highway vehicle or $450 more compared to 40 mpg (estimating $3/gallon). I agree that is not an "insane extra cost" but don't overstate the fuel economy of commonly available used minivans.

It is kind of sad that the 2010 Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey get the same highway fuel economy as OP's old Buick Roadmaster Wagon (a vehicle half a foot longer than a modern Chevy Tahoe SUV) despite being nearly two decades newer.
I know posted vs actual, but I routinely get 30mpg highway on a pacifica, not hybrid.  No intentional hypermiling.  Just set cruise control at 74 and go.

Best I had was 31mpg over 1000 mile trip with 4 total occupants and luggage.
I believe it, I've routinely beaten highway numbers in my vehicles without doing anything special. But for comparison sake you should use EPA numbers as that is what most people will be referencing. Your Pacifica is rated for 28 mpg highway per the EPA. You could also reference Fuelly if you wanted real-world crowd-sourced data (though I don't see the newer Pacifica on there right now).

Also again, ketchup is looking at $5k minivans. You're not finding a 2017+ Pacifica (hybrid or otherwise) for anywhere near that.

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Re: Best way to go minivan + EV in 2021?
« Reply #20 on: June 01, 2021, 09:35:32 AM »
The discussion around EPA fuel estimates always amuses me. They are meant to be an average of how people actually drive. Roughly half the people I talk to complain they never get what the EPA estimate says a car gets. The other half complain that the numbers posted are air low. Hmmm...

ketchup

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Re: Best way to go minivan + EV in 2021?
« Reply #21 on: June 01, 2021, 11:23:23 AM »
The discussion around EPA fuel estimates always amuses me. They are meant to be an average of how people actually drive. Roughly half the people I talk to complain they never get what the EPA estimate says a car gets. The other half complain that the numbers posted are air low. Hmmm...
My experience with EPA numbers definitely varies.  Our old Buick didn't quite meet them, my old Metro beat them handily, our Volvo hits them almost exactly, a Prius I borrowed for a few months exceeded them, and my Accent falls slightly short.  Seems based on my experience that on average, smaller more efficient cars tend to beat the numbers, while larger ones are more likely to land on the other side.  So with that in mind, comparisons are probably mostly valid within the same "class" of car but are likely to fall apart elsewhere.

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Re: Best way to go minivan + EV in 2021?
« Reply #22 on: June 01, 2021, 06:28:45 PM »
The testing that the EPA does in order to determine the numbers on the window sticker evolves over time. There was a big change in 2008 models, and another smaller change for 2017 models. In theory, the tests are getting more realistic, so it's no surprise that a person might beat the estimate on an older vehicle, but they should be getting closer to real world results all the time:

https://www.epa.gov/fueleconomy/basic-information-fuel-economy-labeling

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Re: Best way to go minivan + EV in 2021?
« Reply #23 on: June 02, 2021, 07:58:17 AM »
Even with a 5k minivan from 15 years ago, mpg on minivans were more comparable to a car than to a suv or truck.  For their utility, it is not an “insane extra cost of fueling” that a previous poster argued.


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