The VW eGolf is cheaper than the VW Golf

EVs have earned a reputation for being impractical and expensive. However battery prices have fallen to roughly 1/10 of an decade ago, meaning EVs are starting to look like a really good deal.

Take for example the EV version of the VW Golf – the eGolf. The eGolf SE trim costs $22995 after federal rebate, while the gas powered Golf SE costs $24145!

Now say you drive 15000 miles a year in the NW. The electricity for the eGolf will cost about $375, the gas for a Golf around $1363 assuming gas stays at $3/gallon. Not only will you save about $1000 on fuel, but no oil changes, brake service, etc.

Admittedly the eGolf is a lower range EV, about 120 miles. So it’s definitely fine for day to day use, but not the Golf you want for a road trip. But before you dismiss it, keep in mind if you have a two car household you probably don’t need both cars to be road trip ready.

On the extra cost side you’ll also need a charger – if this is a second car for commuting you might get by with a normal 120v outlet but you may need to spend another ~$400 plus install for a 240v charger.

Besides cost why should you care about an electric vehicle? According to the Union of Concerned Scientists an EV driven in the US averages the same cradle to grave emissions as a gasoline car getting 80mpg (96 for my friends in the NW). Given that no conventional or hybrid car on the market gets that kind of MPG, its a pretty impressive improvement which will continue to get better as more utilities switch to renewable power.

Even if you’re not compelled by the eGolf, here’s what’s cool – a bit less than a decade ago the battery pack alone for the eGolf would have cost more than the whole car. Given current trends in a matter of years EVs with much larger batteries will be the same purchase price as a gas powered car while still maintaining their low operating cost.

Besides price I actually really enjoyed my eGolf test drive – its agile, well balanced, and punchy off the line. Plus it looks like a normal Golf, which pretty appealing for those who don’t want to drive around in something that looks like an alien bug.

Bottom line – if you have a place to charge, an EV is starting to be a practical reality for more new car buyers and will keep getting more practical every year.

Is the Kia Niro worth the price premium?

The Kia Niro is a new subcompact crossover with a class leading up to 51mpg average fuel economy. But it also costs more than other subcompact crossovers – leading to the obvious question of is the Niro worth paying more for?

Niro Overview

The Niro is a stealth hybrid – a hybrid that looks and drives like a normal crossover. If you’ve driven a Prius, you’ll get what I mean – the older models drive like a washing machine and they all look weird. Kia’s choice to make the Niro a crossover certainly will broaden the appeal. Continue reading

Why You Shouldn’t Buy Cars In Cash (and ignore the finance gurus)

This is part two on buying vs leasing cars. In the first installment we looked at getting a loan vs a lease. I recommend reading that post first if you haven’t as we’ll reference costs better explained in that article.

Rather than get a car loan or lease – a number of finance gurus think you should save up and buy cars in cash.

While the pain of writing a check for your dream car may temper your spending, with a bit of impulse control and math you’ll see buying a car in cash isn’t a great idea.

Continue reading

Why You Should Lease a Car (and Ignore the Finance Gurus)

I got into a debate the other day about leasing vs buying cars. While most people were in the anti-leasing camp, I have to dissent IF (and its a big if) you do it right. By the way, this topic is 100% about finances, not at all about being eco friendly.

Now right off the bat I’ll say a lot of links were shared to “personal finance gurus” like Natalie Bacon and Dave Ramsey. These links were nonsensical at best (Ms Bacon’s main argument against leasing and for buying is because you should accumulate assets that go up in value, though cars do the opposite) and I’ll argue also offer financially poor advice.

Continue reading

Why the Kia Soul EV is the Perfect Car For Seattle

If there’s any two things I love, its being cheap and being green – two things that rarely go hand in hand. But I must say in the case of cars, the Soul EV does both well.

Lease Cost

In Seattle Lee Johnson Kia is the local place with the best deals on the Soul EV (I visited six dealers). Right now a Soul EV is $119/mo with $2636 up front ($192/mo) while a gas base model Soul is $136/mo and $1999 up front ($192/mo). But the EV delivers more value with the traffic nav, 8” touchscreen, heated seats and steering wheel, etc. Score one for the Soul EV – delivering more value for the same price as an equivalent gas car.

Continue reading