Clear Winner in Leasing vs. Purchase for Electric Vehicles

For retail sales of plug-in elec­tric vehi­cles, it’s all about leas­ing. An Exper­ian Auto­mo­tive report says that 93% of elec­tric vehi­cles deliv­ered from Octo­ber to Decem­ber last year were leased.

There’s a few rea­sons for that hap­pen­ing:
1. The fed­er­al tax incen­tive, that varies from $2,500 to $7,500, is wrapped into the month­ly lease pay­ment.
2. Those buy­ing the car have to do a bunch of paper­work for the tax incen­tive and it could take up to 15 months to get that check in the mail.
3. While NADA Used Car Guide says that the resale val­ue of these cars is get­ting ham­mered late­ly (due in part to them being expen­sive cars with var­i­ous incen­tives), the lessor is pro­tect­ed from tak­ing that hit.
4. Leas­ing deals give con­sumers a more afford­able month­ly pay­ment than a loan.
5. Cal­i­for­nia is still offer­ing a rebate of $1,500 to $2,500 in the mail even if you lease.

Does buy­ing the car have any ben­e­fits?
1. The car buy­er owns the asset. It’s a bit ear­ly to see how much val­ue they hold up over time, but own­ers don’t have a month­ly pay­ment and ben­e­fit from much cheap­er fuel­ing cost.
2. For those liv­ing in mod­er­ate cli­mates, capac­i­ty loss may not be an issue for sev­er­al years.
3. For peo­ple who dri­ve a lot of miles per year, their lease won’t accom­mo­date it and there will be penal­ties.
4. Bat­tery elec­tric vehi­cles run very sim­ply and need very lit­tle main­te­nance, so own­ers don’t have the reg­u­lar ser­vice appoint­ments that can add up over time.
5. Plug-in car­mak­ers are start­ing to offer bat­tery-replace­ment pro­grams, which would take some of the wor­ry off EV own­ers.

In the end, one of the core rea­sons leas­ing has dom­i­nat­ed the space seems to be that EV tech­nol­o­gy is very new and dri­vers have a lot of con­cerns – range anx­i­ety, bat­tery life, charg­ing sta­tion infra­struc­ture, and charg­ing time; plus the fact that a lot of new tech­nol­o­gy is rolling out each new mode year with increased effi­cien­cies and low­er stick­er prices. So leas­ing that Leaf, Volt, Fit EV, Mod­el S, etc., makes the most sense for now.

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