The new onslaught of vehicle technology, including electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, hybrid vehicles, has consumers and experts alike confused, or so it seems.
Kelley Blue Book has started a new rating called ‘Total Cost of Ownership’ and awards, and the winner in the electric vehicle category for 2012 was the Chevy Volt. KBB says that the Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf were neck and neck throughout the ratings, but the Chevy Volt had a slightly less 5 year cost of around $40,000 while the Nissan Leaf cost was around $42,000. The ratings included all “key costs to own a vehicle’. KBB says the Volt’s slightly lower maintenance and insurance costs gives it the advantage over the Nissan Leaf.
We find this interesting, since the Nissan Leaf costs about $5000 less to purchase. For cost to drive, the Nissan Leaf would be the same cost to charge for pure electric driving, but then when the Volt kicks over to gasoline range extending, the Nissan Leaf would still be using electric power. Maintenance on the Nissan Leaf and the electric part of the Chevy Volt should be the same, and then there’s all the additional maintenance costs on the Chevy Volt for the gasoline and range-extending parts.
Insurance costs might make sense to us – but a $2000 difference over 5 years means the Nissan Leaf costs $400 more per year to insure than a Chevy Volt. If this is the only price difference between the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Volt, then why does KBB say the ‘lower maintenance and insurance costs’ are what make the difference? Are they unaware of the low maintenance costs of a fully electric drivetrain, or are they anti electric vehicle like so many other people seem to be these days?
There is no mention of the Mitsubishi i, so it perhaps wasn’t included in the contest even though the Mitsubishi i was first delivered in the US in late 2011.