Electric to the Rescue?


Someday We'll Be Able to Says That We've Been Rescued by the Electric Vehicle

Someday We’ll Be Able to Say That We’ve Been Rescued by the Electric Vehicle

In a recent article titled “Electric to the Rescue”, the Los Angeles Times argues that, especially in California, electric vehicles seem to be on the verge of really taking off.

As the LA Times writes:

 “Spurred by escalating government demands, high fuel prices and greenhouse gas emissions standards, automakers are rolling out a whole new crop of electric vehicles that are affordable to buy or lease and cheap to run.”

“Among the EVs are the $27,000 Smart Fortwo ED, the $27,000 Chevy Spark EV, the $29,000 Nissan Leaf, the $32,000 Fiat 500e, the $35,000 Ford Focus Electric and the lease-only Honda Fit EV.”

“Toss in more expensive options such as the $50,000 Toyota Rav4EV and $68,000 Tesla Model S, and Californians now have quite the selection when it comes to going all-electric.”

More options are key, but there are a few other reason why electric vehicles are becoming ever-so popular in California. As Robert Langford, manager of plug-in electric vehicle sales and marketing at Honda, told the LA Times:

“A growing electric charging infrastructure, consumer incentives like single-occupancy carpool lane access and a temperate climate make Southern California the ideal place to own and drive an electric vehicle.”

Data shows that over one third of electric vehicles purchase in the US in the first half of 2013 were registered in the Los Angeles and San Francisco metropolitan areas. By 2017, California is expected to be home to 360,000 plug-in vehicles. That’ll be at least twice what any other state can lay claim to at that time.

But the real reason that actual vehicles are taking off is killer deals. As the LA Times explains:

“Financial incentives have also made EVs more desirable — in particular, long-term leases with very attractive terms. After tax credits are taken into account, the actual cost of most EVs falls below $30,000. This results in lease rates of $200 to $300 per month, which is about as much as you’d pay for a gas-guzzling compact car.”

Price parity is what we think matter most in driving electric vehicles into the mainstream. How ’bout you?

Source: LA Times

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6 Comments on "Electric to the Rescue?"

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To Eric’s challenge of Price parity In most cases , thanks to the credits, we have price parity now. That is if you are in the right tax bracket to take advantage of the credit. If anything needs adjusting is this vs raising the price of the credits. I don’t know if any country has a more convoluted tax system than the US but it is what it is. So accessing the credit is a fair question, but what is the logic of worrying if the credit goes away? And much more importantly Americans (I am one) have to stop viewing the US as “the world”. Removing the credits (which we should in time) only happens one country at a time and for our US credits, one manufacturer at a time. It is not a left or right agenda. It is a global agenda. Currently China offers over $9000 to our federal $7500. So back to Eric’s question. If we do have it now (with the credits), why not make the move to an EV now? Is there the fear of the industry collapsing if that happens? The Volt is heavily dependent on the US market. For the rest, they… Read more »
Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Credits are rolled into leases, so folks who can’t get the full credit on their income can get it if they lease. Not so great if you rack up the miles, but it’s an option.

I don’t think the tax rebates/credits make as much difference as everyone thinks. The dealer increases the price and/or drive off down payment because they know you are getting that rebate. Its basically just another corporate welfare system, sorry.

Cal remains its own animal. What would parity be without federal, state, ZEV and HOV support? All things distorting parity, or at least forsing a higher price on the externalities of ICE vehicles. LA Times cites “gov’t demands, high fuel prices and GHG standards”, but it is mostly the first one. High fuel prices are relative to high electric rates, which average more than $.15/kwh and climb above $.30, nearing the gasoline break-even. ~$12 per ton carbon prices (Cal auction) translate roughly to $.12 premiums on gasoline, if that’s how AB32 is working on the fuel side.

I’m not trying to suggest electricity is more expensive anywhere in the conti-US, than gas, but if you are doing attribution a lot comes down to the above, not to mention a hospitable political amd physical climate.

Nah. Sure, regulations pushed some reluctant manufacturers into converting a few thousands gas cars into EVs, but had probably very little influence on the only two big players in this market so far, Nissan and Tesla.
I also don’t think that the general public will change behavior much for 12c/gallon.

Another important factor LAT forgot though: EVs are just so ridiculously pleasant to drive.

I’m sure most people reading those pages tried an electric already, but if you haven’t, go test-drive one. Environmental and financial benefits sure weight in the balance, but it’s that “wow, niiiice!” moment which sealed the deal for me.

We still need more choices! There are no mini-vans, no pick-up trucks, no station wagons, no convertibles, no SUVs, no sports cars (other than the discontinued Tesla Roadster). We have econobox hatchbacks galore though.

I want a convertible with a 200 mile range.