I need an electric vehicle recommendation. My partner and I live in downtown Vancouver and are sick of paying for gas for our 2011 BMW. We love to hike and camp so ideally a car that would get us to and from the mountains, sit in a mountain parking lot for a few hours (or possibly overnight) in the summer and has the power to get to some of the farther-out trail heads.
Our family is in Calgary and we drive out there at least 2-3 times per year, occasionally in the winter. We have a dog and need space for him and would like to have this car well after we have kids. Ideally we would not spend more than $40,000-$50,000. We also would prefer used if possible. – Morrigan
Petrina Gentile: I totally get it – Vancouver has the highest gas prices in the country. I don’t blame Morrigan for wanting to go electric. But with her budget it might be a little tight. Thankfully, living in British Columbia, she can take advantage of some rich EV provincial incentives.
Mark Richardson: She only can if she buys new, and that means a basic EV. She’ll have more choice in her budget for a used vehicle, but older EVs will be a lot less capable for those long drives through the mountains.
Gentile: Exactly – the battery ranges are significantly less on a used vehicle. So let’s stick with new for Morrigan. While it’s not as luxurious as her Bimmer, a Hyundai Ioniq 5 may be a good place to start. It’s spacious, comes with all-wheel drive and has a decent electric range of more than 400 kilometres in summer, and starts at less than $48,000 before taxes, PDI and EV incentives.
Richardson: The $5,000 federal rebate and $4,000 B.C. rebate will drop it to below $40,000, but the taxes and PDI will bring it up close to her $50,000 limit. That’s if she can find one at the most basic trim level, if it can be delivered within a year and if the dealer doesn’t slap on a “market adjustment” fee of a few thousand extra dollars, just because they can right now – which is despicable.
Gentile: It helps that the B.C. government recently increased the provincial rebate from $3,000 to $4,000, but there are still a lot of ifs in the equation.
Richardson: The problem is, electric cars are only just starting to get the range that Morrigan’s looking for, and the lack of supply means everything is expensive. I’d recommend the Tesla Model 3 for its range and charging network and good cold-temperature performance, but even a well-used first-year model will be $50,000 before taxes.
Gentile: I like the Model 3, especially Tesla’s hassle-free Supercharging network, but I’m thinking a Volkswagen ID.4, which is available with all-wheel drive, might work too. At less than $45,000 before incentives, it is cheaper and would fall within her budget, after the federal and provincial incentives.
Richardson: There are still a lot of EVs that begin just below $45,000, because that used to be the maximum price for the federal rebate. If Morrigan can find an Ioniq 5 or an ID.4 that’s in her budget once all the costs are included, then good for her, but the demand is huge for them in Vancouver. Alternatively, she could split the difference and go for a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) to give her the range she wants, like the Mitsubishi Outlander.
Gentile: No. Skip the PHEV option. It defeats the purpose – Morrigan doesn’t want to pay for gas anymore. Morrigan should keep an eye out for the Nissan Ariya, Nissan’s second all-electric vehicle. It’s coming to Canada later this year.
Richardson: That’s all she can do – keep an eye open for it. Nissan’s closed its online reservations for the Ariya because supply can’t meet demand. It’s also too expensive, with a $53,000 starting price. Morrigan should be looking at used long-range options, but the affordable ones are all comparatively small and slow to charge at public stations. The best of them is the Nissan Leaf.
Gentile: But the Leaf doesn’t come with all-wheel drive so I wouldn’t recommend it, especially if she’s driving in the mountains and to Calgary. I’m thinking of a Kia EV6, although I haven’t driven it yet. It’s in her price range at less than $45,000 before incentives and all-wheel drive is available.
Richardson: The EV6 is the sportier-looking version of the Ioniq 5. It’s built on the same platform and Kia is owned by Hyundai so the two vehicles were developed together. She’ll have the same problems getting one, though. These days, with supply and demand being what they are, you really can’t expect to buy a new EV for much less than $60,000 once all the taxes are paid, and the wait is often at least a year. A PHEV will be a viable interim option.
Gentile: If I were Morrigan, I’d skip the PHEV option – most don’t offer a lot of electric range anyway, so she’ll still be making frequent trips to the pump when she leaves downtown. I’d get my name on a waiting list for the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and hang on to the Bimmer until it arrives.
Richardson: Maybe you’re right, though if most of her driving is around town, the PHEV might only need gas for those less-frequent longer drives. We’re not yet at that point where she can have everything – long range, comfortable size and an affordable price – in a new all-electric car, but that day will come soon.
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