For the last two years we have had the great pleasure of being able to drive a smart Electric Dive car in the course of business. As our business has grown, we have added a second smart ED, and for the most part this has worked out very well as 99% of our business driving requirements are met by these electric cars.
Like most people and businesses, we are concerned with our budget and can only justify very basic vehicles. This limits our range to about 150 km during the summer, and as low as 50 km in the winter, depending on driving conditions.
We live in a suburban "car culture" where everything is built to be within substantial driving distances rather than being able to walk, ride our bikes or being within the limited range of basic electric cars.
For us, and like most people, a comfortable range for personal driving is 200 km or more, year-round without having to stop and charge or "fill up." With this range requirement, a basic all-electric car, with today's technology, just won't do.
And although there are a number of hybrids and range extended vehicles available, we have yet to find an affordable combination of range and features, even with the current provincial incentives.
There is also the issue of fast changing technology. We anticipate big improvements in battery technology over the next two to three years, so do not want to be locked into any one personal vehicle for longer.
This leaves us with the option of leasing, which should be the answer for anyone who wants to keep up with the technology while making a higher priced vehicle more affordable. Right??
Well... what we have found is that most manufacturers, with the exception of Daimler, seem to have less confidence in their electric / hybrid vehicles. Almost across-the-board these vehicles have a lower residual value and less favourable leasing terms compared to their ICE counterparts. To complicate things further, vehicles that would meet our needs are not yet available in Canada.
So after much agonizing over this, we have concluded that we must continue to keep an ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) in the family, at least for the next two years. It is our hope that the electric vehicles of the future will offer an affordable and reliable solution for our personal driving requirements and yours.
We would be interested in learning your thoughts on this delicate subject and invite you to leave your comments.