Monday, June 22, 2015

Living the life electric

So that just happened. I'm the poor-man's Jeremy Clarkson. I love petrol. I love the smell of it, I love the internal combustion engine, I love the power, I fix things with hammers, and I just bought an electric car.
Wait, what?
So I need to backtrack a little bit here. This spring we had a 4kW solar panel installation put on our garage. Spendy, yes, but this year, in this state, the Federal and State rebates add up to a whole lot of win, which is why we did it.
In parallel, I'd asked a car dealer friend of mine to keep an ear to the ground for an electric Ford Focus, Nissan LEAF or Fiat500e, with the thought that one day we'd buy one and use the solar electric to charge it. Last week, in one of the California car auctions, 92 Nissan LEAFs suddenly appeared. Yep - a whole crapload of electric cars, and they were going cheap. I mean really cheap. These were all lease returns, all appearing at the same time, so the sheer number of them meant they were literally a steal. Bear in mind the LEAF is $27,000 plus taxes when new. The SV version is closer to $34,000. The auction prices started at $7,000. That's not a typo.
My dealer friend had his eye on a 2013 SV model with the premium package installed, registered in May 2013, with 18,000 miles on it. It was rated 4.7 out of 5 for condition, which in auction terms basically means "new". And it was metallic red (yes! not monochrome!) Price? $9,100. The exact same vehicle, new from our local dealership is $34,520. Sure you get $5,000 back from the Fed but that's still $29,520, or to put it another way - $20,000 more than the one in the auction.
Next week : what happened next.

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