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For those on the fence, how has your buying / prospecting experience been with other EVs?

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by internalaudit, Jul 15, 2017.

  1. internalaudit

    internalaudit Member

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    I usually don't feel the need to test drive cars I purchased in the past as they are mainstream, well-liked models such as the 8th gen Accord coupe and the refreshed RAV4 Hybrid. I am sure the Model 3 will be no different with all the positive reviews on the S.

    I can only tell from reading other Canadians experience on forums that shopping for competing BEVs seems like a pain and with the Bolt, some dealerships even require a $1,500-2,500 deposit to secure a vehicle. Then there's the 2017 Ford Focus EV that have sold out. Even the Ioniq seems to be very difficult to secure and it's not even the 200-mile version yet.

    Allocation to Canadian dealerships seem to be too few and far between and can be very frustrating. For us who put down reservations on the first or second day, the wait can be excruciating but at least we can likely get a hold of a Model 3 based on an orderly process.

    For those on the fence and are comparison shopping, how has your experience been shopping other electric cars?
     
  2. Park2670

    Park2670 Member

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    I leased a Volt and found the experience to be extremely difficult the first time around. I ended up traveling from Utah to California for my vehicle. The process wasn't great, I knew more than the person walking me through the car, and they continue to send me coupons and deals for oil changes (and I live 680 miles away).

    When I went to replace my Volt, it was the same problem. I knew more than they did. HUGE waste of my time as they quoted me over $650 per month on a Volt lease. Went to walk out and they dropped it $200. Still too much compared to other dealerships. I constantly get emails from that dealership now asking when I am going to come get my oil changed. They also have a used Spark EV listed on their website, and it says FRESH OIL CHANGE! This local dealership also has never charged any of their cars on the lot, so you go to drive one, and its dead. They don't care.
     
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  3. alevek

    alevek Member

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    It may be an orderly process but the wait time may still be over two years for some. I still have a reservation but meantime I'm extremely pleased with my Bolt. It has some really way cooler tech than my Model S and is a blast to drive around town.
     
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  4. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    It depends on your needs and religion.

    If you commute less than 40 miles a day, you can enjoy a year round EV experience with zero range anxiety in the Chevrolet Volt EREV.
    Available with AEB/ACC/CrossTraffic/Blindspot/PredictiveCamera/AutoPark/LKA/CarPlay/AA/Nav/etc.

    They are the most popular plug-in in Canada IIRC.
    Your choices: https://plugndrive.ca/electric-cars-available-in-canada

    However, the range extender while almost silent, runs on gasoline. A typical owner goes more than 900 miles between gas stops, but >5,000 miles is not unusual depending on your driving habits. Our 3 Volts average about 2,500 miles between gas stops for the fleet. It is not unusual for me to use the shop Volt to visit a customer on a 58 mile roundtrip and arrive back at the shop without using the generator, I do this loop all year long about twice a week.

    Unlike most PHEV's, the Volt EV drive is more powerful than the range extender, but Chevy fixes that by buffering the battery. You still have full acceleration even when the battery is 0 miles when running on the generator. It has better EV-only performance than all but the Teslas, Bolt, and i3 when in pure EV mode and goes 101mph (limited) uphill on EV.

    But I suggest you drive one. Call first to make sure they charge it. Dealers are dumb that way. It will perform the same if not charged, but you should prove to yourself that it has max power on battery, not ICE.

    Virtually all PHEVs need to run the ICE (and have terrible throttle response) to achieve full acceleration. The Volt is the opposite. The electric motor is the big one (161hp), the gas generator is the small (101hp) one, and never has lag. Because even if the ICE is in it's warmup cycle, there is enough buffer to supply 120kW of thrust on EV.

    You can test the sound and smoothness of the gas generator system by pushing the MODE button near the shifter 3 times to get into HOLD mode, which saves the battery charge by using the ICE when necessary to maintain battery %.

    Like any car purchase READ THE OWNERS MANUAL BEFORE YOUR TEST DRIVE if possible. However, the Volt can be driven just like any ICE car (except no throttle lag) if you wish. The controls will be familiar.
     
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  5. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    While I'm in California, that is not the only state I've purchased cars in.

    First, do not go into a dealership to discuss price. If you cannot get them to agree down to the dollars and cents prior, you avoid them. It will be a long primitive experience like it was back in the 1970's. If somebody at ANY time asks you 'how much can afford a month?' ...

    RUN!!!

    Next they will be asking you if you like Gladiator movies or whether you've seen a grown man naked, or if you like candy. You are about to get violated in an embarrassing way.

    Last car was a $92k? Cadillac, agreed to $80k out the door including all taxes and fees with 0% financing (we don't finance unless it's 'free' money, which is a discount since our funds generate income). THEN we drove to the dealer and did our second test drive. Why? First time it was to test the car model, and was lengthy to see if we wanted one. Second one was on delivery day to insure the car needed nothing and ran great. The price was down to the penny. 2 hours total. Temecula Caddy. Great folk to work with.

    Last Volt was agreed to (Rydell Rocks) before we arrived, fully maxed out. $28k after all taxes, fees, incentives. It was $41k before discounts and taxes. AND when we arrived, they found another $1000 discount we qualified for. Understand that tax/fees is $3500 here so the car was $44,500 before discounts, or $16,500 in discounts and programs. This we just cut a check for which was UNDER their FIRM price quote.

    But 3 GMC dealers, 5 Chevy dealers, and 2 Cadillac dealers all acted this way. Price over the phone, quick purchase at the agreed price. Never paid retail except once on a Z06 when they first came out and dealers were scalping them for $5k to $20k "Market Adjustment".

    I cannot explain why some folk have bad experiences. How can I buy 20-30 GMs flawlessly, and people buy just one and get raked over the coals. I don't get it. I dress in shorts, a Hawaiian shirt, and an Aussie hat (validates helmet clearance) and I bring airline luggage with use to verify capacity. So I look like a bum, which is kind of sweet. BMW/Porsche/MB have dicked with me in the past, probably because of my attire. They don't seem to notice wifey is wearing $20-50k worth of jewelry (uggh, her choice) and we ask for OTD down to the penny pricing. It should set off a flag when there is no trade in, you're paying cash, and arrived in an expensive vehicle that is not listed on the credit check (cash).
     
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  6. b team

    b team Member

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    #6 b team, Jul 15, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017
    Gee, if you have bought 20-30 GMs, you must have lost more money on depreciation than most people make in a lifetime.
     
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  7. internalaudit

    internalaudit Member

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    I think it is different for EVs that are in demand. Not a lot of discounting and not many sitting on the lots and a long lead time for at least a few.
     
  8. PeterHG

    PeterHG Member

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    We bought an Audi etron despite a pitifully unprepared/unknowledgeable dealer wrt EVs. Dealer did not have a demo charged with more than 5 miles of electric range, salesperson did not understand how the etron or EVs in general differ from ICEs.

    It was a great illustration of why EVs need dedicated salespeople and dealers. Professional salespeople are steeped in the art of moving to the path of least resistance--they'll never push an EV to a person on the fence.
     
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  9. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    Maybe. Not nearly as much as we have spent racing and vacations though. In 2009? we spent over $100k attending a single race event.
    Some cars were gifts, some were purchased for the business, some were purchased for racing. Several vehicles were over well over 100,000 miles when sold. We used to pull in over $50,000 profit selling racing services and supplies as a side business when were were more actively racing. I personally have over a million miles behind the wheel on public streets.

    5 pickups?
    3 vans?
    3 Corvettes
    2 Cobalts
    2 Cadillacs
    1 Spark
    2 Camaro
    3 Volts
    1 Kodiak MH
    1 Sprint

    This sounds like a lot, but 7 drivers, and 35+ years sort of defrays things. Now we are downsizing, and moving toward EV technology.

    And I probably forgot some. Most were new, but not all.
     
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  10. S'toon

    S'toon Knows where his towel is

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    I talked to a 2nd Gen. Volt owner here, and he said the local dealer made him pay for it in full up front first before they'd bring it in. However I note that same dealership now has Volts on lot.

    An interesting case study:

    A Third Of This Dealer's Sales Are Chevy Volt Electric Cars: How'd They Do It? (article from 2014)

    Cottage town of Rawdon quietly emerges as electric car capital of Canada

    One Quebec auto dealer has pre-sold 93 Chevy Bolt electric vehicles - Cantech Letter

    Charged EVs | A dealership perspective: How we can sell millions of EVs
     
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  11. b team

    b team Member

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    Must be nice. ;)
     
  12. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    The great irony of life for most of us car nuts is by the time you can afford the cars you love, your body isn't what it was when you were 20.
     
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  13. shrspeedblade

    shrspeedblade Member

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    He's just being smart, probably able to write off some of his racing/track time as an expense related to his business. Something I wish I could figure out a way to do, it's an expensive hobby! :eek:

    McRat I'm in NorCal too, if you want to autoX our Model 3s together somewhere shoot me a PM! :D
    (It's not like real track time, but it's still fun!)
     
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  14. Big Earl

    Big Earl New Member

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    I've test driven most of the EVs on the market, with the exception of the BMW i3 and some of the other lesser-known compliance cars in California. In general, the dealerships I've visited have been lacking in EV knowledge at best, with the worst ones not even having their cars charged. One particular example was a specialty used car dealer that only had their Mercedes-Benz B250e charged to 12 miles of range. Another example was a local Chevy dealer that had a gen 2 Volt completely discharged, so I could only test it on gasoline.

    While we wait for our Model 3 (or perhaps a used Model S), we decided to pick up a used Fiat 500e from a dealer in Pennsylvania. The experience was surprisingly good - this Fiat dealer brought about a dozen of them over from California. They were helpful, pretty knowledgeable, and even went through the trouble of getting the car covered under a Fiat CPO warranty.

    Our several interactions with Tesla stores both in the DC and Seattle areas have been outstanding. The staff has been knowledgeable, the pressure has been very low, the cars sufficiently charged, and everyone is excited about the product.

    It auto manufacturers think they're going to jump into the EV game and compete with Tesla in any sense of the word, they're going to have to step things up significantly at their dealerships. Sales people need training, charging infrastructure needs to be installed, and traditional high-pressure sales tactics need to be abandoned.
     
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  15. shrspeedblade

    shrspeedblade Member

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    I had a good experience buying my 2nd gen Volt, you just have to go into it with a willingness to educate yourself. I've never had a buying experience where the salesperson knew near as much about the car as I did anyway.

    In a lot of ways, the Volt is the ultimate "bridge" to full EVs and might attract a cautious buyer a full EV wouldn't. As with me, once you get used to it the Volt completely validates that you can go full EV- with suitable range and charging- and it's no big deal at all.

    For the 3rd gen Volt, GM should give it a 100 mile range and an even smaller gas tank. People would probably fill up every 5000 miles then.
     
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  16. EchoDelta

    EchoDelta Member

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    Had a fantastic experience leading a B-Class mercedes benz w the Tesla battery.

    - decided the features I wanted w their online configurator

    - at the time in WA the mb dealers here hadn't figured out the tax incentives and lease approach for Ev. But talked to service manager to get assurance an EV obtained elsewhere would be serviced under warranty.

    - emailed 3 dealers in Oregon wth my specs
    - they called and discussed inventory they had and delays for exactly my config- I decided to flex my requirement and forego the auto parking feature to get one right away.

    - they emailed the specs and price and lease terms (4k down 325/mo 3 y)

    - I accepted and paid $300 home delivery fee. The EV was brought on a flatbed to my driveway, signed some papers, inspection and done.

    - bought a tesla UMC Jesla put on a nema 14-50 . I absolutely love the Jesla.

    - mercedes called with instructions to activate their car app (which sucks compared to tesla's but does some basics like soc monitoring and climate control)

    - service is great - mb quality- just had to take it once on a charger issue (ended up being on my side, my UMC jesla) and A goofy tire pressure monitor



    Had terrible experience with Toyota PHEV Prius 6+ years ago. Will never step again - hopefully- on a Toyota dealership.
     
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  17. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    Internalaudit, you might want to check the regional forums. I know Bolts are very hard to find in Canada. Dealers typically get like ONE allocated to them, so dickering on price just isn't in the cards. The Model 3 will be much more available in Canada, but not for a while yet (but still no dickering on price!)
     
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  18. EchoDelta

    EchoDelta Member

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    There comes a point when the size of the battery and the issues brought by not using the gas engine for so long make it an impractical PHEV option, imo. With the Mercedes b-class 100miles range and charging at home I would have refueled once every year -- at most.
     
  19. eloder

    eloder Active Member

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    Ordered a smart electric drive that was originally supposed to be a 3-4 month delivery. It ended up getting delayed for over 9 months, and after the third delay I decided to skip into a Leaf.

    The salesperson didn't know anything at all about the Leaf, though fortunately the service people don't price gouge me.

    Can't wait until my Model 3!
     
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  20. gregd

    gregd Active Member

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    I don't know if you have any "auto broker" companies in your neck of the woods, but if so, they might be the best alternative to running the dealer gauntlet. These are licensed car dealers that have no inventory, no service, no car lot, etc.; just a small office. They buy cars at-cost for you from other dealers (just like regular dealers do when the specific car you want isn't in stock), put a small fixed mark-up on them, and then sell the car to you. You do your tire kicking research at other places, however you want to, and then buy from them at a lower price and without the dealer hassle. The local folks (Car Dealership | Auburn, CA - Clay & Company New Car Sales and Leasing) are an absolute pleasure to work with. Totally transparent, no up-selling, and always as good or a better price. The one time they wouldn't have been able to do that, they were honest about the situation, and pointed me to the best alternative (such as it was). I bought my '94 Integra from the fleet dealer down the hill, and still remember feeling drained (emotionally and financially) by the experience.
     
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