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To Buy an EV or to Lease an EV?

To Buy an EV or to Lease an EV?

That is the question. So, you’ve been reading our various blogs. You’ve done all this research, determined that you’re ready to bring an electric vehicle into your life. You’ve decided on the model, whether it’s a PHEV (Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle) or a full BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle). The next question is whether you want to buy the model you’re looking at or lease it. Full disclosure, I lease my Bolt EV, and it is our hope that my experience can help you answer this question for yourself. Most of our team are EV drivers, and so for this article, I’m going to discuss my decision process, and the reasons why I chose to lease instead of buy. Keep in mind, when I signed the lease for my Bolt EV, it was the end of 2019.

WHY A LEASE?

Let’s start with the great lease deals out there. It has been possible in MA to lease:

  • Hyundai Ioniq Electric for $169 a month ($2,199 due at signing)
  • Kona Electric for $239 a month ($3,999 at signing)
  • Nissan LEAF Plus for $189 a month for (with $2,500 due at signing)
  • Chevy Bolt EV for $145 a month for a ($2,500 due at signing)

And because drivers who lease are also eligible for a $2,500 state MOR-EV rebate, for many of these deals it’s like putting no money down. Long story short, thanks to federal incentives, and growing competition, you can find some seriously good deals out there to lease an EV. But how do I know a lease is what works for my situation?

For me personally, the answer to this question is technologically based. Electric vehicles have been around since the dawn of the personal car, but the last decade has been the fastest level of electric vehicle advancement in the history of the automobile. I expect to see that technology continue to advance at an even faster rate as demand rises, supply chains evolve, and more breakthroughs are made for battery technology. Normalization of the electric car so-to-speak.

For a small example, my 2019 Bolt EV, which I leased in 2019, had its range increased from 239 miles to 259 miles for the 2020 model. There were several factors at play at the time, which is why I signed a lease in fall of 2019 instead of waiting. But knowing the change was coming, I managed to get a better deal on the model I was looking at, because of the coming range bump. I also utilized the Green Energy Consumer’s Alliance “Drive Green” deals to find the best deal I could get on my lease (contact us for more information on how to leverage GECA’s Drive Green Program!)

Ultimately, I chose to lease instead of buy my Bolt because of the significant jumps when a new “generation” of EV comes to market. These jumps could mean: increases range and performance, variation in models and brand choices, faster outputs and consumption of fast charging (the Bolt still tops off at 50kw of charging, compared to other models that are 80kw and up to 350kw, although there are almost no fast charge stations that can put out 350kw to charge an EV, yet!) All these possible technological advances were why I took a 36-month lease, because come 2022, the EV market is supposed to have a drastic increase in choice, options, and competition.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Again, this isn’t designed to tell you the reader that a lease is better than a purchase. Many EV models are retaining their value at astonishing rates, as they just don’t break down as much thanks to less moving parts (you’ve probably heard this one a hundred times from us). Two other members of my team are EV owners and have no regrets on their purchase!

At the end of the day, here at the Wellesley Drives Electric program we’re here to help you answer all your questions, and my lease experience is designed to provide you with my personal thought process for why I landed on leasing rather than buying. There isn’t a perfect answer, as everyone’s situation is different. Among our EV support staff are EV drivers who purchased their EV and who have owned the same EV for over 8 years.

So feel free to email us at ev@ene.org and we will happily help you think through which option fits your needs best! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

 

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