If you live in the Bay Area, you would noticed there are more Teslas than the popular Honda Accords or Toyota Camrys at least per our perception of daily commuting to/from work. It seems the Bay Area is full of Green people or just people following a fad. Tesla cars are no doubt high tech, an advanced computer on wheels with a charging network second to none. We’re also support alternative energy, but to us, EV is a commuting vehicle and not a luxury car. Yes, it’s only sound if it really saves money and headache from owning a petrol vehicle.
We’ve been driving EVs since 2015 and we love them, we even had solar panels installed on our roof and level 2 charger in our garage.
The benefit of driving an EV is the initial cost of purchasing one – State rebate of $2500 if you’re making less than $300k house hold – $7500 Federal rebate if you pay more than $7500 in income tax – $800 rebate from PG&E regardless of your income.
I’m sure a Tesla model 3 is more comfortable than my e-Golf, longer range and more powerful, but we don’t race with anyone and we only use our e-Golf for daily commute of less than 50 miles a day to/from work. Our 2019 e-Golf SE net cost would be: $33400 – $10500 (dealer discount) + 10% tax – $2500 – $7500 – $800. The e-Golf SE has CarPlay/Android Auto, side blindspot assistant, adaptive cruise, front-rear impact prevention and the range of 120 miles fully charged with fast charging capability.
How reliable is VW e-Golf? Our 2015 SEL with 38k miles in 3 years, we had to spend $0 for maintenance until the day we traded it in for a value of $13500. Our 2017 SE with 18k miles traded it in for 2019 with a trade in value of $14,500 which is the same net cost as when we bought it in 2017 with $0 cost of driving besides free charging at our company. One thing about e-Golf is the brakes and the tires don’t wear out much, hence at 38k miles, we didn’t have to replace anything. They’re not extremely fast but faster than most gas cars out there.
Now why wouldn’t we want a comfortable car to go on a long trip like Tesla people? Well, ask my wife, no cars is more luxurious, comfortable and sturdy than our Audi A8L or Q7 on any long trip to the Sierras or Southern CA which we do often. Saving gas on vacations is overrated.
For the price of a new Tesla 3, we could get a new e-Golf and a nice used Audi A8L. My wife really likes the idea but our A8L and Q7 are still driving so nicely without giving us any problems – our 2008 Q7 is so reliable that since new to now 60k miles, we haven’t had to spend a dime to fix anything and it performs amazingly in the snow and high altitude.
Yes, we like the Tesla self driving, self parking and smart phone integration, but at the end of the day, how often we really use those. It seems that people claim they hold their resale values well, how much does one lose in depreciation? In the next few years, all EVs will have 200-300 miles range, self driving and hopefully by then, we still get the rebates from our car manufacturers.