I’m not really a ‘car guy’. I can tell you a tailpipe from a car door. But things get a little shaky after that. That said, I’d been thinking for a while that either my next car, or at worst, the car after that would be electric. I figured by then that there would be enough of a second hand market to make this a viable option.
That is somewhat true, really. You can go take a look at the likes of TradeMe (NZ’s equivalent of eBay) and see quite a decent range of Electric Cars ranging from 2013 Nissan Leafs all the way through to a recent Tesla Model S — complete with all the bells and whistles. (And a price tag of over $150k NZD. Second hand.)
Like most people, I would suspect — a car with a price tag of $150k just isn’t in reach. Not even on tippity toes. Or with a jump. Or even an extension ladder. That is crazy money, which if I had would be far better invested in a second property or any number of alternate things.
So far, so logical. But from here… The geeking out might’ve started to override cold rationality.
You see, while in concept I was happy with taking up a ‘cheap’ second-hand EV, I made a mistake. The mistake of researching what’s going on in the EV space, including the 2019/2020 models.
Battery size and range are of course some of the obvious advances as the years roll by. Just looking at the 2017 Nissan Leaf — something at about the edge of what I could ‘reasonably’ consider — there is a 30kWh battery. The new 2020 model jumps that up to 40kWh. Or in measures perhaps more practically useful, a jump from 172km on a charge up to 270km per charge.
My daily commute though? Only about 40km. Originally I was considering a PHEV — or Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle. These things have electric engines on top of a standard petrol engine. 50-60km range on the electric component is fairly typical for these things, after which the petrol engine kicks back in to carry you the rest of the way.
PHEV’s have a fair bit of appeal if you only have one vehicle and you also need to rely on it for any long range trips you might want to do. But that isn’t our house — my wife and I both have our own cars as our work travel doesn’t intersect at all. (It is in fact in opposite directions.) Given that, the added maintenance of having two engines in a single vehicle simply wasn’t appealing and I quickly moved on from considering these.
Plus, let’s be real. Drive around in a Prius anywhere and every time you stop people will be asking if you’re their Uber. ;)
In any case — the point! I don’t really need to get that extra range. This is a thing my rational mind knows full well. But then there are all the cool new features added in more recent years! Active Lane Keep Assistance? Woo!
I don’t have an immediate need to buy again today. My current vehicle is still functioning perfectly well. So I think I just need to sit on this again for a little bit. Let the hype of the new vehicles I researched die down somewhat, then take a fresh look at just the things actually within price range, i.e., 2017 and before. It seems that depreciation hasn’t really worked it’s magic very well (speaking as a buyer) on the 2018 line-up just yet.