If you are thinking about buying a new Tesla Model 3, Chevy Bolt, or Nissan Leaf, you might want to consider leasing instead.
Nearly 80 percent of all EVs in the U.S. are leased, not owned, according to a recent report by Bloomberg.
According to the story, only 1 percent of the global market has gone electric—and the number is much smaller in North America.
“U.S. drivers now lease almost 80 percent of battery electric vehicles and 55 percent of plug-in hybrids,” says Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
It seems logical that savvy plug-in types prefer to lease EVs instead of owning them so that they can trade them in for new models every couple years as the technology improves.
For example, monthly leases for a peppy little Fiat 500e can be had for as little as $182 a month to a little more than $600 a month for a full-sized BMW 530e.
Because of the current imbalance of leasing versus owning, it is actually a deal to buy a used EV, which tends to sell for much less than secondhand ones that run on gas.
Of course, you won’t get the $7,500 federal tax credit, but you can find EVs for a fraction of their original sticker price.
A recent search on Craigslist in Los Angeles yields used, low-mileage and late-model Nissan Leafs in the $5,000 to $7,000 range.
A 2018 Leaf starts at $29,990 and offers up to 150 miles of range versus a range of 80 or so on the older versions. Still, it can be good deal if you don’t mind being a plug-in pioneer.
The report also states that three years from now, a 2017 Chevrolet Bolt will be a bargain. There’s no doubt about that, but why buy a Chevy when you can lease a Porsche Mission E by then instead?