EV Vehicles and Rebates

As I begin this journey, I have been thinking a lot about switching to an electric vehicle. My current 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Luxury is an insane gas sucker. I am so disappointed in myself that I trusted my sales guy to give me a good deal. The more research I do on it, the more I see how badly I was screwed. Now, one thing I can do to make this better, is to save up that $10,000 deficit I have right now, and sell it for $17,000, thus ending all outstanding loans. I know Mr Money Mustache spoke about the incentives his state and country offer for buying an electric vehicle, but here in Canada, the incentives are much lower. The BC Hydro website does make this a bit easier, as this site shows you which vehicles qualify and for what size rebate they qualify for (as in, just the BC rebate, or both the Government of Canada PLUS the BC rebate). Now, as much as I’d love having a plug in electric car, I live in an apartment that just has 4 units, so I don’t see my management company being interested in installing an EV charger for this one building alone. I will ask, but I expect that answer to be ‘hard pass’.

The BC Hydro site also has a ton of information on getting buy-in from your strata and property management company (where needed) on why it’s a good idea to get the plug-ins installed. I am going to go through the process for apartments and see how far I get.

Now, you may be thinking, hey, wasn’t this girl going to get rid of the expensive vehicle and invest all the money into ETFs? Well, the answer is yes, but once I get to the point where I’m able to buy a car for cash, I’d like to get an electric one, and I can’t do that where I live. However, I just searched how many charging stations there were in town, and that prompted me to remember that there’s one right across the street from where I work. It takes about 30 minutes to get up to 80% at a cost of about $0.23 per minute, so about $7. This sounds like a massive savings, and it is, but not as big as I’d like it to be. What I mean is, the average cost of a tank of gas so far in this current vehicle is around $70. However, it goes about 400km, which equates to about 68 trips total, or around 34 there and 34 back. Now, I like to go home for lunch. so that means 17 work days, or just over 2 weeks of travel on one tank of gas. That doesn’t include my weekly visit to a dear friend/parent figure that has a little highway time, or any grocery trips. It also doesn’t account for the extended idle time thanks to the construction on the bridge that is a whole block from my home. Waiting for the crazy traffic to move means a hell of a lot of idling.

Anyway. If I had let’s say, a 2021 Nissan Leaf, the current estimated range is 240km. This means 20.5 trips each way, or if I continued to eat lunch at home, 5 days of work total before having to charge. So, this means a per week cost of about $7 (charging to just 80%), compared to the approximately $35 for this gas powered vehicle. Now, I do drive a bit more than that, and head to neighbouring towns occasionally, so more planning would need to be done to make those trips worth the cost.

Economically, were I already in the possession of enough money to purchase a Leaf outright, I likely would head to the dealership right now and pick one up, as the rebates would absolutely make it worth it. Since the Scrap-It program is ending in 2022, now is definitely the time to get one, since it adds another $6000 (max) onto the rebate stack. However, I can’t trade the vehicle in, it has to be dropped off at one of their locations, which means economically, it couldn’t make less sense for me to pull the plug (see what I did there?) right now.

I still think a scooter is the way to go. I found one that’s 150cc, which means I’ll have to get a motorcycle licence, but it goes up to 72km/hr, which is enough for me to navigate this town for a long time. It looks really solid and the reviews on it are good. It’ll still be a good $9000 or so though, so I think what I’ll do is just get a much lower cost scooter ($3000ish) and see what that’s like. I’d like to get an electric one, but there’s only one plug outside, and my neighbour is constantly using it. He has nothing but tools in his storage room and is always building or working on something, so that plug is constantly in use. That said, I could charge it overnight, when everyone is asleep. More research clearly needs to be done on that one.

Have you considered buying an EV/Hybrid vehicle? What’s stopping you from getting one? Is it the cost? The inconvenience? Comment below.

Thanks for reading.

Published by Frugal Squirrel

I'm an early 40s Canadian who just plain doesn't want to work anymore. Join me on the ride as I learn about Canadian Finance!

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