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Putting aside the moral issues around climate change and if going to a pure electric car is better for the environment or not... I found myself inside my local Kia dealership who happened to have a couple of the PHEV cars parked outside, and me inside wondering if it would be smart to take my 1 year old Niro EX (hev) and change. BTW: i didn't.


But this thought got me wondering what does make more sense? I can't speak for everyone else with their driving habbits, conditions or rebates that they might get. I live in southern Ontario and we get really nothing in the form of insentives to go electric. So for us it is more based on cost and return for that investment.


The HEV, in my case I went with the EX that cost new around the $30k msrp. For this, I have gotten an average of 4.9L/100km and have done about 10,900km of travel over the past year. My total gas paid has been $588. This is about my usual average for any given year. Of that, there has been about 3500km of longer distance travel. The rest has either been around town or trips in and around the GTA that would likely fall into a plugin charge range. Now I know there have been some days that I drove more than others and if I was using a plugin other than the EV, I might have depleted the charge and had to switch to gas. As well, as there is a chunk in winter and winter does require an engine to heat the car, I would say that the amount of gas used might exceed the 3500km over the course of the year.


There is Niro EV and the most comparitable trim level to my Niro is the EX that sells for $47000 - $5000 in federal credit, giving a difference over the HEV of $11000.


There are also two models of PHEV here in Canada. The EX Premium get a price closest to my current car at $36000 msrp, but minus a federal tax credit for $2500, so the difference would be around the $3500.


The EV is hardest to quantify the actual cost or running it but even assuming zero cost, just the price difference alone puts it outside of any running. So that leaves the PHEV. This is where the interesting questions come into play. I would plan on keeping the car for 10 years, far more than most people, so what is the break-even point? As there are some longer trips, I know that even though those are in the summer time, that extra 3500km will be running on gas. as the trips were between 450~800km each. That is more than you get in a plugin EV so there will be gas involved. As well, during the 5 month period between December - April that is it the coldest here and you needed to use a heater, I purchased around $260 worth of gas during that time period in my Nero. Now assuming that I would get better than that with a PHEV, if I took 1/3rd of the cost towards the engine running to warm up the car, or about $50, and my long trips of [email protected]/km = $192.50 would mean I could expect a savings of $445 each year in gas savings. But as the PHEV costs $3500 more than the HEV, the break-even is about 8 years to achieve.



But there is also the need to add in the cost of electricity that is the most expensive in the country, along with those days when you drive more than the 45km in a single day and cannot recharge. The cost of gas will go up if we vote in a Liberal, NDP or Green government. Right now gas prices are at quite a low compared to prior years where we have seen gas average the $1.34~1.40. Right now this past year has been an average of $1.13. But needless to say even if the cost of gas does go up, the break-even point will likely only move slightly closer. it would take quite a drastic change, like the cost of gas to double to make a sizeable change, and looking at what is going on in BC with their gas prices, I think there would be a civil war if gas prices jumped to over $2/L here.


So it looks like for me the cost of going PHEV was simply not worth it anyway I looked at it. And considering that I own the HEV, the trade-in value would be much lower than what I paid for the car, so selling it and buying a new PHEV would be even more of a loss.
 

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<< So it looks like for me the cost of going PHEV was simply not worth it anyway I looked at it. And considering that I own the HEV, the trade-in value would be much lower than what I paid for the car, so selling it and buying a new PHEV would be even more of a loss.>> Yup, you got that right!

Like you, we drive around 10,000KM (6,200) miles a year. I repeatedly did the numbers on HEV, PHEV, and BEV both new and used for several months.

Ultimately I came to the conclusion that no amount of financial gymnastics could justify the cost of any EV that I might keep for less than 10 yrs -- especially when I factored in the current (and unpredictable future) depreciation of EVs. Nor would buying any of the above save the world or halt climate change.

So, for us the decision to purchase a Niro PHEV boiled down to the desire to stop a whole lot less at gas stations (while realizing that given the overall cost to own there we would not be saving any $$$) and have a pretty darn nice, albeit pricey hatchback that met our current and foreseeable needs the next 5 -7 yrs. Beyond that time it is truly a roll of the dice as to what will be available or what we will want to be driving.

So far -- after driving about 400 miles including two 90 trips, we still have a pretty full tank & are liking it - costs be cursed! It boils down to what you want, can afford, and are comfortable with.
 

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If money is no object and it fits in your budget, go for the Electric. No gas, no oil changes, no belts, no spark plugs, no transmission fluid, no clutch fluid, no engine air filters, no evap system, etc. You'll never lose a time out of your day for schedule maintenance. GO ELECTRIC IT IS THE FUTURE. :)

If you're on a budget then highly recommend the PHEV. You still have to deal with the ICE maintenance but at least you'll get a break on your gas bill.
 

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If you needed a new car, I would go with the PEHV, but since you already have a one year old car, it doesn't make financial sense to sell that and buy a PEHV. I would never trade in a year old vehicle to buy a new one unless there was something seriously wrong with that car or your circumstances changed that you need a totally different type of car (you bought a smart car and are now expecting a child, you inherited a farm you are going to work and need a truck, etc.).
 

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I agree that purely on economics, it's tough to justify the EV or PHEV over the HEV, but there are other factors. Particularly in the EV, the instantaneous power can put a smile on your face every time. I come from driving a VW diesel, which has somewhat similar low end power. Even my PHEV I can feel the immediate pull of the motor, although it's nothing like the EV.

For myself, the difference between gasoline and electric costs is noticeable. While gas is still relatively inexpensive in the US, here in WA we pay higher than the national average (but not as high as CA or HI), and have particularly low electric rates. Even at the higher tier (after 600 kWh it increases) I still pay under 11 cents a kWh. I estimate I'm using no more than $20 of electricity per month. And unless I have to visit my parents (a 100 mile round trip) I do about 80% or more under EV power, so I have only been buying gas about once every 6 weeks, and even then I still have a half tank. Naturally colder weather is going to require the ICE for cabin heat, so I'll probably need gas once a month. :)

I traded an '18 Subaru Outback 3.6R for my Niro. Between the lower monthly payment and the low amount of gas I have to buy, I'm saving about $300 per month. Over my 3 year lease, that's almost $11,000, and if gas prices rise (a distinct possibility) those savings will only go higher. For me, the PHEV has been the smartest vehicle choice I've made in years. If there is any environmental advantage to my purchase, so much the better. :D
 

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I would never trade in a year old vehicle to buy a new one unless there was something seriously wrong with that car or your circumstances changed that you need a totally different type of car (you bought a smart car and are now expecting a child, you inherited a farm you are going to work and need a truck, etc.).
I agree with you, but that's exactly what I did. :D My Outback was only 18 months old, and was flawless. But it used a lot of gas (21 MPG overall average), and I was really impressed with my daughter's Pacifica PHEV minivan. It didn't make financial sense, as I did lose about $2000 on the Outback, but I am enjoying my Niro tremendously. And my greatest enjoyment is stopping for gas so seldom.
That in itself is quite rewarding. 0:) But I have no doubt I'll go BEV when my lease is up. If Kia makes me a good enough deal on a Niro EV, I'll go that way. But the upcoming VW ID.4 really has my attention. Have to wait and see it in the flesh about a year from now. Since my lease isn't up until May 2022, they'll have time to iron out any kinks and make sure they're available.
 

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We faced this choice when we bought our 2019 Niro EX PHEV. We were trading in a 2008 Prius on the vehicle. We keep our vehicles at least 10 years. We had a 2004 Sienna Van and a 2008 Prius and decided to trade the Prius in and keep the large van for towing and family vacations.

Buying the PHEV was based on economics for us. We will keep the vehicle at least 10 years. Our 2019 Niro EX PHEV cost $30,500. We bought it over the internet and had dealers competing with each other to sell us this model We used Edmond's new car buying service. It cost about $4000 more than the similar NIRO HEV but has many more standard features. Received $2000 trade in for Prius.

We received the tax credit, we will apply to our taxes at the end of this year making the price differential between the HEV and PHEV very small.

We make two 35 mile trips each day about 6 hours apart. Our Level 2 charger allows us to make both these trips on electric. For current gas and electric rates this saves us about $1.50 a day or about $550 a year ( this number will increase as gas prices increase). $5.50 x 10 year ownership = $5,500 savings in gas.

Niro HEV get 50 mpg and is a wonderful vehicle, for us having the choice of using gas or not was a big influence. Example: the current situation with the attacks on Saudi Arabia oil facility may cause gas to increase substantially. We have the choice now to not participate in buying gas just using electric.

We could not make the economic case for a Niro EV so that vehicle was not considered
 

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If money is no object and it fits in your budget, go for the Electric. No gas, no oil changes, no belts, no spark plugs, no transmission fluid, no clutch fluid, no engine air filters, no evap system, etc. You'll never lose a time out of your day for schedule maintenance. GO ELECTRIC IT IS THE FUTURE. :)
I think most BEVs have a single gear step-down oil filled transmission. Very long service interval no doubt.
 

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I'm in a slightly different boat. Drive on average 26,000 km's a year, more than half of that should be on electricity. Today I drove 105 km's on electricity (got to top up before heading out to a restaurant for supper). Gas is relatively expensive in Ontario, and hydro is really cheap. I should break even in 4 years, but I'll also be thru my warranty in that time too. So once I get to that point, or just before I'll need to think hard if I want to keep the car or replace it. There should be more PHEV's and hopefully cheaper EV's too.
 

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For me

purchase price; hev/phev same with tax credit, EV more, advantage hev/phev

Range anxiety; advantage hev/phev

quiet smooth; advantage EV/phev

Cost per mile; advantage EV/phev 0.01/mi

bottom line;

Phev covers all the bases.
 

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If I had to make the choice again, I'd buy one of the three: HEV, PHEV, or EV. There are a few really good, very personal, reasons for that:



  1. My whole adult life has been hugely influenced by energy considerations, starting with the OPEC Oil embargo in the early 1970s, when I was a teenager. It made a big impact on future career decisions.
  2. I really appreciate good technology, and I'm finally at a point in my life financially where I can indulge a bit more than I have in the past and maybe purchase what I want, rather than just what I can afford. The *EV technology appeals to me on a personal level.
  3. I live in a part of the USA that has particularly bad air quality. My wife and I have both experienced medically-significant issues that were brought on in part from the air quality, since we moved to Southern California five years ago.
  4. I have a somewhat unusual situation where I purchased a home that generates surplus solar electrical power, and I don't receive much compensation for the surplus (only about 10% of cost, so my incentive is to use more electricity than I otherwise would).



From one point of view, the PHEV is the worst of both worlds, because when it's running in EV mode, it's carrying around the extra weight of the ICE, and when it's powered by the ICE, it has to carry around all the extra battery weight (the HEV has a bit less extra battery weight and the EV doesn't have to carry the ICE or a full fuel tank). But from my point of view, it's the perfect choice for me: I can drive for several months on short trips in mostly EV mode before putting fuel in the tank, and then when the occasion arises, I can take a long trip that requires me to fill up the tank two or three times in one day, without the hassle of trying to figure out where to recharge and what to do while I'm waiting for a charge.


If you want reliable transportation with maximum financial economy (and you don't have access to a source of low cost electricity), buy a gently used, three to eight year old conventionally powered Honda or Toyota, or maybe a hybrid Prius or Camry. I'm pretty sure that my cost per mile with my 2018 Niro PHEV will be higher than it would have if I had purchased one of those alternatives. But if you have low cost electricity, or you care about air quality or climate change, or you care about geopolitics and the way the energy supply influences things, or if you drive a heck a lot of miles and gas costs really dent your budget, then any one of the three Niro *EV alternatives might be a really good choice for you.
 

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"My whole adult life has been hugely influenced by energy considerations, starting with the OPEC Oil embargo in the early 1970s, when I was a teenager. It made a big impact on future career decisions." quote from deltasmith

I can remember this too. Unless you actually had experienced this it is hard to imagine waiting in line for 45 to 60 minutes to fill up a car and then paying exorbitant gas prices to do it. I agree it leaves an impression on you that you do not forget. It also gives a perspective that you can't understand unless you have actually experienced it.
 

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"My whole adult life has been hugely influenced by energy considerations, starting with the OPEC Oil embargo in the early 1970s, when I was a teenager. It made a big impact on future career decisions." quote from deltasmith

I can remember this too. Unless you actually had experienced this it is hard to imagine waiting in line for 45 to 60 minutes to fill up a car and then paying exorbitant gas prices to do it. I agree it leaves an impression on you that you do not forget. It also gives a perspective that you can't understand unless you have actually experienced it.
Although if you are an EV owner, I don't think it is hard to imagine waiting 45 to 60 minutes to fill up your car. Main reason I went with a PEHV and didn't even consider an EV. Maybe in the future it will get better.
 

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"My whole adult life has been hugely influenced by energy considerations, starting with the OPEC Oil embargo in the early 1970s, when I was a teenager. It made a big impact on future career decisions." quote from deltasmith

I can remember this too. Unless you actually had experienced this it is hard to imagine waiting in line for 45 to 60 minutes to fill up a car and then paying exorbitant gas prices to do it. I agree it leaves an impression on you that you do not forget. It also gives a perspective that you can't understand unless you have actually experienced it.
Yep, I graduated from HS in '72, and remember it well. Once I even cheated and parked my car and walked to the gas station with a can, saying I ran out in line. The price of gas back then may sound cheap to people now (60-70 cents a gallon), but I was making a touch over $3 an hour at a full time job. It was still a substantial percentage of my income.
 

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I graduated high school in 1973 and the oil embargo affected my career path immediately. Construction in the Gulf of Mexico boomed and worked as a welder setting up platforms off an immense derrick barge. Oodles of money. Particularly remember 1977, bought a BMW R100RS motorcycle for around $7,000 (1977 money remember), and a Datsun B210+ (50 mpg EPA sticker at the time) for $3,000 (about a $1,000 premium over a similar Toyota at the time). Cash! Things settled down in the early 80's and started yet another career.

I also remember taking a picture at a gas pump first time gas hit a dollar a gallon. Big problem for a lot of pumps that didn't have enough digits.
 

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I also remember taking a picture at a gas pump first time gas hit a dollar a gallon. Big problem for a lot of pumps that didn't have enough digits.
Yeah, I remember them having to cut an opening in the panel to show the third column of digits. I worked at a gas station my senior year of HS. Regular was about 28 cents and "super" was maybe 31. That was the self serve island, while for an extra few cents they could have me pump the gas, clean the windshield and check the oil. Most people working at gas stations nowadays probably don't know how to open a hood, let alone check the oil. :D
 

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"My whole adult life has been hugely influenced by energy considerations, starting with the OPEC Oil embargo in the early 1970s, when I was a teenager. It made a big impact on future career decisions." quote from deltasmith

Ah yes, the good 'ol bad days -- most of us geezers are still scarred by that time!
Yet, looking back, it was a good thing; the Arabs did us a favor. >:)

If energy was still as cheap now as then, we wouldn't have today's fuel efficient cars, HVAC, industries and especially the relatively clean ear ... that we now enjoy. Every time I get behind a 60's car or motorcycle, I'm reminded about how bad the emissions used to be. With the amazing number of cars that now are on the planet, can you imagine what our air would be like if we were still using 60's energy technology? :eek:

Classic example of when push comes to shove, humans can do things they didn't think were possible and necessity truly is the mother of invention.
 

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I think most BEVs have a single gear step-down oil filled transmission. Very long service interval no doubt.
80k mile interval for the reduction gear fluid exchange on the Niro EV and 120k mile interval for a coolant flush. Cabin air filter is recommended every 15k but honestly, that could go to 30k+ depending on your environment. Very low operating costs! I'll most likely go with a used Niro EV if I can find one around the same time as my PHEV lease ends. Maybe even a Kona EV or Soul EV since their maintenance schedules should be the same or similar.
 

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Cabin filters are something that can have a huge variance depending on the location. Even though I live in the suburbs (of Seattle), the cabin filter in my Outback was pretty dirty at the first oil change, about 6500 miles. But I changed it myself, as that's something that virtually anyone at all can do. You might need to watch a YouTube video to see exactly the steps to follow, but they all seem to be designed for easy replacement. For $20 it's worth it to do yourself.
 
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