With me wanting to get another car eventually, I’ve started shopping around here and there. I’ve started looking at EV’s. The Model 3 has honestly piqued my interest, but I didn’t just want to consider Tesla, so I looked at every entry on the market. Nothing has stood out so far.
I don’t know if my situation is unique or not, but I drive, a lot. That’s by nature of me being always on the go and living in Southern California. I don’t think the rest of the county realizes how much people drive here. Which brings me to one of the reasons why nothing has interested me: nothing has enough range for me. But its more than just range.
Most EV’s on the market currently can be broken down into 2 categories:
Mass market: which includes entries like the Bolt and Leaf. Pricing is in the high $30s, low $40’s. Tax credits help, but not by much. Used they are cheap. Often under $15k.
High end: Entries like pretty much all of Tesla, E-Tron, coming players like Rivian etc. Literally the rest of the market.
And within those 2 categories are various plug in hybrids that cover both of those. The problem though is that the choices from those categories are something specific and almost niche like, or don’t make much sense at all for me.
The models that are supposed to be for the masses are pretty much compact. For me to get a Bolt for instance would be like me buying another Sonic. Same thing with the Leaf, which isn’t that much bigger than the old Versa Note. I still don’t get why I cant get a nicely priced EV that’s a roomy family sedan. Makes no sense. Other EV’s from mainstream auto makers are, like I pointed out, one thing or the other: a compact (BMW i3, Hyundai Ioniq Electric, VW Golf EV, etc), an oddly styled crossover (Hyundai Kona EV, Kia Niro EV, Volvo XC40 EV, etc), from a mass market maker but is expensive (Ford Mustang Mach-E), or is just luxury/expensive.
At the other end of the market, Tesla and the bulk of the market cater to the well off. People that have little concern about fuel savings and more about the perception of being seen driving an EV or a Tesla.
The only Tesla that I could afford right now is the thirty something thousand dollar Model 3. This is the model that Tesla said was going to bring EV’s to the masses. The problem though is that it doesn’t exist. At least not in current inventories. You can go on Tesla’s site right now and custom order a standard 250 mile range Model 3. Its starts at $37,990. Looks cheap right? Its not. Tesla tries to be slick and presents the vehicle’s price to you with discounts of tax credits (which, here in California, are only $2k) and potential gas savings. So that $37,990 price includes a discount of $2k and gas savings of $4,300. So the Model 3 really starts over $40k.
And that’s it. The rest of the market is either something I don’t want due to constraints (not enough range, type of vehicle, price). So for the most part I don’t even consider the entirety of the market.
But, as was pointed out on Jalopnik recently, Model 3’s hold their value. I can’t find any Model 3’s for that price new or used. And there are none for sale CPO through Tesla used. Used prices all seem to hover around $40-41k and go up from there. And with Tesla pretty much catering to the well heeled EV buyer, its a no from me on Tesla based on price alone. So far the only other EV that has actually appealed to me is the Lucid Air. It has the range I would want, and its a looker and an actual sedan. But with its claimed $60k starting price, that’s way out of what I could afford. So it looks like until I can get 450 miles of range for under $35k (WITHOUT INCENTIVES), I’ll be sticking to ICE vehicles.