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Rethinking ELECTRIC or HYBRID as my next car purchase (1 Viewer)

Ronald Epstein

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Believe me, in theory, I am on the electrical vehicle bandwagon.

I currently lease a 2019 Lincoln MKZ hybrid and really love it.

My lease is up in less than 8 months and I have been eyeing getting another hybrid or an all-electric vehicle.

Top Hybrid choices (as of today): 2022 Lexus NX
Top Plug-In Electric choice (as of today): 2022 Lexus NX, 2022 Lincoln Corsair
Top all-electric choice (as of today): Kia EV6, Audi E-Tron, Cadillac Lyriq, Fisker Ocean

You will notice that all the prospects are compact SUV luxury vehicles. I really prefer luxury with a superb stereo system (as we are all audiophiles here). You will also notice I left out Tesla. I just don’t like their vehicles and I have read too many negative reviews about their build quality.


Before I talk about why I am leaning away from anything electric, let me tell you that my DREAM gas vehicle is the Genesis GV70. If I decide to stick with gas for the next 10-12 years with my next vehicle, it will be a GENESIS or a LEXUS (NX or RX).

======================

Please feel free to correct me on any of these issues. These are all things I have picked up from my own research.

From everything I have read and watched (and I will include some videos below), there are tremendous advantages to a hybrid or all-electric vehicle when it comes to gas mileage. Most Hybrids will give you around 36-41 MPG (pending on vehicle) while the plug-in electric will give you 40-50 miles EV range and al all-electric vehicle can go up to 300+

Those are all approximate numbers.

Right now, at this moment (as things could change in a few short years), there seems to be a lot of major downsides to owning a hybrid or all-electric vehicle.

The battery is the main issue. I believe the batteries are only rated for 10 years. They are extremely expensive to replace including labor. I would suspect the residual value on these cars drop significantly due to the expired life of the battery.

Now, GM is supposedly working on a battery that will last a million miles. That will be the industry game changer. However, as of today, we are not there yet.

The other issue is electric range. While a vehicle could be rated for 300 miles, that greatly decreases when on the highway at 70MPH. Like my own hybrid, the outside temperature effects mileage as well. I don’t get nearly the same mileage in the winter cold as I do in the Summer.

The way you charge your battery, the level of charge you keep it at, and how often you charge it affects its life.

Power wise, the electric vehicles seem to have terrific 0-60 power while the hybrids absolutely do not.

Maintenance-wise, without a motor, oil changes and the such are no longer an issue. According to Consumer Reports, EV drivers pay half as much to repair and maintain their vehicles. Consumers who own an electric car can expect to save an average of $4,600 in repair and maintenance costs over the life of the vehicle compared to a gas-powered car.


It’s really a shame that I am in a position where I need to buy a new vehicle soon. We are just at the beginning of a huge transition from gas to electric transportation and the technology still has not been perfected. Had I another 3 years to wait, I might be looking at an EV with a million mile battery.

At the same time, I read raves from people who own a Toyota RAV4 and brag about getting up to 50 miles EV range on top of gasoline. The RAV4 would be a top choice, but it’s not luxury.

For me, however, purchasing any type of EV vehicle in the next year or two is risky given the depreciation and the fact that the technology hasn’t matured.


Would love to hear your thoughts!



 
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Scott Merryfield

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A few thoughts:

As you mentioned, Ron, replacing batteries can be very expensive. I would only consider leasing, not purchasing, if you go the hybrid / electric route again.

Electric plug-in is not an option for anyone who takes long road trips. The range isn't there, and who wants to (1) try to find a place to plug in while traveling and (2) wait around while the car charges?

Hybrids are not as gas mileage efficient compared with gas if you are doing lots of higher speed driving (road trips again).

Personally, an electric or hybrid doesn't work for my circumstance. We make two round trips per year in our vehicle from Michigan to South Carolina, plus we will make other road trips - - especially with the current state of the airline & rental car industries.

I could see an electric working for our second car that we mostly just drive around here. We had been without electric power for the past day due to a storm, though, and may be out for another day. Our two vehicles work now (and I have been charging my phone using them), but an electric car could be an issue in this circumstance.
 

Ronald Epstein

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A few thoughts:

As you mentioned, Ron, replacing batteries can be very expensive. I would only consider leasing, not purchasing, if you go the hybrid / electric route again.

Electric plug-in is not an option for anyone who takes long road trips. The range isn't there, and who wants to (1) try to find a place to plug in while traveling and (2) wait around while the car charges?

Hybrids are not as gas mileage efficient compared with gas if you are doing lots of higher speed driving (road trips again).

Personally, an electric or hybrid doesn't work for my circumstance. We make two round trips per year in our vehicle from Michigan to South Carolina, plus we will make other road trips - - especially with the current state of the airline & rental car industries.

I could see an electric working for our second car that we mostly just drive around here. We had been without electric power for the past day due to a storm, though, and may be out for another day. Our two vehicles work now (and I have been charging my phone using them), but an electric car could be an issue in this circumstance.

Scott,

I was hoping for a reply like this. I really thought, out of the gate, I would get a lot of opposition to my opinion. That’s fine, but at least for the moment, I know that my mindset is on the right track.

As far as sticking with a gas vehicle for the next 10+ years...

The nice thing about driving a Lincoln is that it takes regular fuel. The next purchase will most likely be a Lexus which takes only premium. That is going to increase my fuel costs overall. However, as you stated, for long road trips without having to stop and constantly recharge, gas is the way to go.
 

Scott Merryfield

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Yeah, that premium gas cost can really get you. In the past, I had a couple of vehicles that required higher octane fuel. Now, getting one that uses regular is a required feature when choosing a vehicle.
 

Scott Merryfield

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Ron, one other thing. You mention the Toyota RAV4 as getting great reviews, but dismiss it because it's not a "luxury" model. If you purchased one fully loaded with all the options, I would guess it would be very comparable to the Lexus model built on the same chassis / drive train.
 

Ronald Epstein

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Yeah, that premium gas cost can really get you. In the past, I had a couple of vehicles that required higher octane fuel. Now, getting one that uses regular is a required feature when choosing a vehicle.

I don’t know any European and/or Japanese cars that take regular gas. Maybe Hondas do. I have stuck with Lincoln all these years mainly because they take regular and the engines can function well on it.

I was leasing the Lincolns. However, for purchase decision, I would rather go Lexus for its high dependability ratings and less depreciation.


Ron, one other thing. You mention the Toyota RAV4 as getting great reviews, but dismiss it because it's not a "luxury" model. If you purchased one fully loaded with all the options, I would guess it would be very comparable to the Lexus model built on the same chassis / drive train.

Yes. Probably very comparable.

Here is the breaking option: Mark Levinson sound system in the Lexus. Supposed to be superb. I know the Revel in my Lincoln is fantastic.

Not many understand this, but I would think most in this group would, but the stereo system is one of the most important features I look for in a luxury ride.

My priorities are always wrong.
 

Peter Apruzzese

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Maybe I'm missing something, what's the difference between a "plug-in electric" and an "all electric"?
 

Ronald Epstein

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Maybe I'm missing something, what's the difference between a "plug-in electric" and an "all electric"?

Peter, both are plug-ins.

However -- and I may have the terms wrong -- the plug-in combines gas and battery as opposed to an all-electric.

You know what? I don't want you to depend on my guesswork of how they are classified. I want to provide real information you can better digest.

Look at this page. It explains the three different types of vehicles from plug-ins to just hybrid

 

Clinton McClure

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Base model Hondas and Toyotas (and almost every other non-performance or luxury car) still run on regular 87 octane fuel. I drive a Civic Sport hatchback that, while it doesn’t require higher octane premium fuel, it is recommended because the engine performs better, has a higher power output (174 hp with 87 octane fuel vs 180 hp with 91-93 octane fuel), and the engine will knock because of pre-ignition if I don’t use premium fuel.
 

David Norman

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I don’t know any European and/or Japanese cars that take regular gas. Maybe Hondas do. I have stuck with Lincoln all these years mainly because they take regular and the engines can function well on it.

I was leasing the Lincolns. However, for purchase decision, I would rather go Lexus for its high dependability ratings and less depreciation.

Lexus NX Hybrid87 Octane (Regular Fuel)

"no Toyota, (Other than the Toyota Supra that has a BMW engine) uses a grade of gasoline above higher than 87. The electronic control module of most Toyotas is tuned to 87 Octane."

Acuras SUV are OK with 87 Octane though the manuals suggest Premium for certain situations. Some of those reasons seem to be highly disputed by many of the leading Car Evaluation/Review/Mags

Pretty much all Honda Engines are designed for 87 except for a couple of the high performance styles. Apparently strongly advised not to use e85 though


VW made after 2016 for the US market are designed for 87 Octane.


I think a lot of these requirements do change a bit if you do a lot of towing, high altitude driving, and a few other activities that it doesn't sound like are on your schedule.

It sounds like the sound system issue is critical, but I guess there is still possibility the SUV you might rather have for a much lower price and put a high end after market stereo. With all the electronic front end stacks now, I really don't know if this still an option, but if it is it seems saving 10-15+K upfront and putting 2-3+ K into a Levinson or similar stereo unit might be something to consider IF you are buying the car. I'm guessing a leased car might be a bit harder to clear.

Just an aside
As far as Battery replacements - it's an argument I've heard and honestly from reading various forums over the last few years I'm not sure I've actually read many reports that it's really been needed. I do knwo quite a few of those mid 2000 Priuses with 200-300K miles still have a battery that is almost as good as new as well as many Taxi Hybrids that are pushing 300K. Of course changing depending on model, climate, mainitenance, driving habits, etc.

I think Toyota now warranties their primary battery for 10yr/150K
 

Ronald Epstein

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Wow. Thanks for that information, David. I had thought all the European and Asian vehicles required high-octane fuel.

That’s very good news!!!

I don’t think, until GM produces a million-mile battery, that electric is the clear alternative for most.

At best, I would put a lot of thought into the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) from Lexus.

Purchasing is really the only choice for a $50k+ vehicle. Otherwise, to lease, you have to put a lot of money down just to get affordable monthly payments.

I’d rather put 50-60% down on a vehicle I plan to purchase, thus reducing loan interest and getting small payments. I walk away owning the vehicle and having a little residual for trade-in at some point down the road. So, hopefully, the Mark Levinson upgrade makes sense in that case.
 

David Norman

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As always -- double check the math. The information on the Lexus models are more than a bit confusing with one place saying 87 for certain models and 91+ for others. I don't know is all the information is available for the 2022 models yet


From CarBuzz. Sounds like the hardest part may be actually finding one. Apparently like the Rav4 Prime which is virtually impossible to find and is literally being scalped by the dealers for huge Premiums, it's expected to be difficult to source for a while at least
"
Though the news regarding the NX PHEV isn't too rosy, we did manage to extract some information that should please prospective owners. Aside from the new 2.4-liter turbocharged mill in the NX 350, all the NX engines are shared with the RAV4. Specifically, the NX 250 has the same 2.5-liter four-cylinder used in the base RAV4, the NX 350h uses the RAV4 Hybrid's setup, and the aforementioned NX 450h+ is identical to the RAV4 Prime. In theory, this means you should be able to run these cars on regular (87-octane) fuel rather than the recommended premium (91-octane).
"The recommended octane level that Lexus provides is the octane required to reach the maximum potential of what the vehicle was developed for," Kato explained. "With that being said, the vehicle will operate with an 87-octane gas rating. If you are using a lower octane, the ignition timing will adjust."

So there's some good news for current NX owners looking to trade in on the new model; you can save a few bucks at the pumps."


My wife is currently finally making comments about getting rid of her Honda Odyssey (2007 so it's time) and I'd love to be able have her to at least consider the the Rav4 Prime to CRV Hybrid. Once it gets past 2-3 choices the panic sets in and she throws her hands in the air so I have to narrow things down to the minimal. She's been in a Honda since her 87 Accord other than a short 3 year experiment with Volvo 850 Wagon that didn't go well
 
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Dennis Nicholls

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Consumers who own an electric car can expect to save an average of $4,600 in repair and maintenance costs over the life of the vehicle compared to a gas-powered car.
That number will change drastically depending upon whether you do your own maintenance or take it to the dealer for everything. I've had my 2018 Miata for going on three years and have only spent about $100 on maintenance (3 oil changes plus an air filter).
 

Ronald Epstein

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David, as you are aware, the Honda CRV is a solid car. I see so many of them out on the road. If it were me thoug, I would definitely go with the RAV4 over the CRV hybrid.

Going with a PHEV almost sounds like the better way to go, though only getting 35 miles of EV sounds kind of pointless, that is, unless you are running small driving tasks every day on a fully charged vehicle. In that case, the amount of gas you would conserve would add up significantly.

David, you might really want to point out that factor to your wife. The car can be charged overnight using your 120 volt outlet (level one charging). The only downside, as the videos in the original post points out, the efficiency of the battery deteriorates over the years.

I have been sitting here all morning watching videos on the the 2022 NX. It looks like this will be my next car, but I really want to wait and see reviews of it being driven. Cabin noise and handling is a huge issue.

The car should go on sale by November. I don’t need one until next April, so hopefully if I shop and reserve early, I can get one.

That number will change drastically depending upon whether you do your own maintenance or take it to the dealer for everything. I've had my 2018 Miata for going on three years and have only spent about $100 on maintenance (3 oil changes plus an air filter).

Certainly. Wish I knew how to do my own maintenance. That’s a real cost-saving skill to have.
 

David Norman

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David, as you are aware, the Honda CRV is a solid car. I see so many of them out on the road. If it were me thoug, I would definitely go with the RAV4 over the CRV hybrid.

Going with a PHEV almost sounds like the better way to go, though only getting 35 miles of EV sounds kind of pointless, that is, unless you are running small driving tasks every day on a fully charged vehicle. In that case, the amount of gas you would conserve would add up significantly.

David, you might really want to point out that factor to your wife. The car can be charged overnight using your 120 volt outlet (level one charging). The only downside, as the videos in the original post points out, the efficiency of the battery deteriorates over the years.

I have been sitting here all morning watching videos on the the 2022 NX. It looks like this will be my next car, but I really want to wait and see reviews of it being driven. Cabin noise and handling is a huge issue.

The car should go on sale by November. I don’t need one until next April, so hopefully if I shop and reserve early, I can get one.



Certainly. Wish I knew how to do my own maintenance. That’s a real cost-saving skill to have.

A couple things other than actual availability. I'd love to be able to push the RAV4 Prime.

35yr of Honda's is a pretty strong loyal customer already. The Rav4 Prime is going to be a minimum 5K premium over the CRV and may well be 10+ the way things look right now. She has a bunch of buddies who have CRV and love them, only a couple with RAV4. I might have to add the Ford Escape Hybrid or PHEV into the mix with the new redesign, but since my early 90 Taurus SHO, the last 2 Ford's have each had some issues.

The bigger thing for her is Honda Dealer is in town, closest Toyota dealer is 25+ Miles and the better Toyota dealer in 40 miles. Part of this goes back to the Volvo where it was 50 miles to the dealer for several minor recalls -- she vowed NEVER to get a car that didn't have a local dealer available. We have a local Independent Mechanic for most basic stuff, but it might be some work to overcome that local bias.

As for driving -- now that she doesn't have to worry about going back/forth to her parents out of state, the vast majority of her driving is to work, local shopping, church, meetings almost all are 15 mile round trips. I could easily see her going 6-9 months without ever using gasoline
 
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Clinton McClure

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One of my best friends bought a Prius about ten years ago and loved it. He recently bought a Venza Limited hybrid and gave his Prius to his oldest son who got his license in the spring. He has nothing but good things to say about both vehicles.
 

Scott Merryfield

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That number will change drastically depending upon whether you do your own maintenance or take it to the dealer for everything. I've had my 2018 Miata for going on three years and have only spent about $100 on maintenance (3 oil changes plus an air filter).
Also, many manufacturers and/or dealers throw in some oil changes for free. Between GM points and dealer incentives, I received four free oil changes when I bought my 2018 GMC Acadia, and we got three with my wife's 2019 Buick Encore. I have to get the oil changes done at the dealership instead of the Valvoline place I used to use, but it's not a big deal since retiring. The dealership is a couple of miles from our house, I make an appointment, drop the car off, and my wife and I go to breakfast. By the time we are done, the car is usually ready.
 

Sam Posten

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As you know I’m going all electric with the 2022 Lightning. This does not appear to be a good choice for you and I’m not surprised it’s off your list. For me it has just enough luxury features to have me super excited but many of them don’t rate for a true luxury vehicle.

the battery lifetime IS a concern but not enough to push me away from buying this generation (no pun). If I eventually need a new battery if I keep it past 10 years I will deal with that then
 

Ronald Epstein

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As you know I’m going all electric with the 2022 Lightning. This does not appear to be a good choice for you and I’m not surprised it’s off your list. For me it has just enough luxury features to have me super excited but many of them don’t rate for a true luxury vehicle.

the battery lifetime IS a concern but not enough to push me away from buying this generation (no pun). If I eventually need a new battery if I keep it past 10 years I will deal with that then


I have been keeping up with your posts about the Lightning and I have looked into that vehicle extensively. Ford has put a huge foot forward in its electric fleet which also includes the Mach-E.

The 300-mile rating would be perfect for your drives between NJ and Maryland.

I am going to ease into electric more slowly. Already have with the hybrid I have been driving and most likely going to get the Lexus plug-in/hybrid combo. At the moment, I need petroleum as a backup.

I look forward to reading about your new vehicle once you buy it.
 

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