10.08.2012 - by Plug In America
Let Big Oil Buy You an EV!

Let Big Oil Buy Your EV!

Since turning from EV activist to EV advocate to EV salesman, I’ve watched the development and ultimate sale of the Nissan LEAF, and from more of a distance, the Volt, as they burst into the market early last year. At first, we couldn’t come close to keeping up with demand. The first year, we were several months behind filling orders to eager customers intent on kicking the oil companies out of their lives for good.

Then, shortly after the new year, the demand fell off rather quickly. I was surprised, and somewhat dismayed that there weren’t more early adopters, but so be it. It just meant that we’d have to take longer to educate the rest of them than we first thought.

Nationwide, we’re now pushing 40,000 plug in cars on America’s roads. This is a huge step up from the 3,000 we had just two years ago. From my perspective, the growth is significant, but the potential is massive. We have over 250 million vehicles in the U.S. and are currently selling about 14 million new vehicles per year. This is a decades long endeavor, and while I am grateful to be a part of the beginning, there’s no way I’ll see it to the end. I am thrilled our thousands of Plug In America members are pitching in to help.

Nissan has recently introduced some pricing changes, including an eye-popping new approach to LEAF leases. NEWS FLASH! The payment for a lease has now dropped to less than what many people are paying for gas each month!

When I realized that there were people who could, in essence, let the oil companies “pay” for their cars, I got the word out. I’m now very busy delivering LEAFs to happy customers who are paying less for their cars than they were paying for just the gas for their internal combustion cars. I had one customer who was just finishing a $325/month lease for a car on which she was spending an additional $275 for gas, AND she had to get it smog checked, oil changes, and so on. She’s now driving a clean, red LEAF right past the gas station she used to give her money to.

Many customers figured out they could trade their 2011 LEAFs for the new 2012 and drop their lease payment by a decent amount. The first of these saved $50 per month and got a new car to boot. In just one week, half a dozen LEAF drivers followed suit, including myself. Better yet, this gave me my first batch of used LEAFs to sell, a good 18 months before I thought that would happen.

I’m now making good deals on used LEAFs as well as encouraging customers to let the oil companies pay for their new cars. Business is booming! I’ve sold more EVs in the past three weeks than the past three months. It’s a good feeling to have hit the price point for a large group of people. Apparently, it’s not just me. Nissan reported close to a thousand LEAF sales last month. More than we’ve sold in one month since last year.

The Volt is doing even better. Several of my friends, including Plug In America’s communications rock star, Zan Dubin Scott, have leased Volts for the same reason. The lease price got too close to what they were paying for gas, so using that money to instead get a plug-in car became a true no-brainer.

I’m very encouraged that this new pricing paradigm will accelerate the transition from dirty oil to renewable electricity for our transportation. Let’s spread the word!

Paul Scott, a Plug In America co-founder, now sells Nissan Leafs full-time.

8 comments on “Let Big Oil Buy You an EV!”
  1. Anonymous says:

    My wife & I both bought 2 Think, Cities, all electric cars. We’ve had them since July, 2012 and I have nearly 4000 miles on mine and both, are extremely pleased with these cars. With a 100 mile per charge rating, 5 star crash test rating, dual air bags, air-conditioner/heater, 2 passenger, with a large trunk area. But, best of all is they are being offer in Oregon for only $16,000, so after the federal tax credit of $7500 our effective cost was only, $8500. We both drive roughly 18 miles each way to work so, averaging roughly 40 miles per day. Even though we both also own Priuses, we’ve been saving $250 to $400 a month on gas. These cars have allowed us, to not only discover the many benefits of electric vehicles like; huge savings on transportation costs, no oil, air, transmission, antifreeze fluid changes, tune-ups, or timing belt issues, while allowing us more energy security using our solar PV system to not only offset our business energy costs but transportation costs, too. We plan on putting some our savings towards more Solar PV and possibly wind energy, so we won’t be a the mercy of the energy companies for home, transportation and even our business energy needs. Although, I invested in both solar hot water and photovoltaic systems for my laundry business, our Think cars have given us the greatest overall savings. Although, I think it great people are willing to buy EV’s for $35,000 or more to help the development of a better future, I thought others who are interested but unable or willing to spend that much might be interested in Th!nk, which is made in the U.S., in Elkhart, ID with 70% US components. Go, EV’s!!!

  2. Akil Marsh says:

    Great article Paul. You make an excellent point as to why high mileage drivers should switch to an EV/PHEV at current gas prices!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’m sure you tell them about range, battery degradation, recharge time, etc. They can probably drive 50-60 miles per 8 hours in a couple of years. (50-60 miles of driving in 1 hour, and 7 hours charge time).

    It works for some, but it’s different than a gasser.

    [I’ve an EV fan, mine can charge in 3 1/2 hours.]

  4. Robert says:

    It sure is great to hear about gasoline prices going up to $5.00/gal. For all the proponents of electric vehicles, this hit to a commuters pocket book should persuade more people start thinking seriously about driving an EV. Unfortunately, big oil is here to stay. There are still millions of gas powered cars and trucks on the road that many people drive because an EV will not fit their driving needs. The EV manufacturers still need to develop the 300mi/charge batter pack. Considering the advancements in battery technology, those types of batteries should be available soon. I hope that Tesla is successful with theirs. When the scale of EVs on the road reaches 1 million vehicles, then we can really celebrate. When you start to see gas stations closing, then we’ll know that EVs have truly made an impact to the American driver.

  5. Osvaldo Hermida says:

    I drive 50 miles a day from LaPuente to Los Angeles. I work 5 days a week. That’s a total of 250 a week.
    My car gives me 350 miles to the tank. Fills up at 75$ when gas was at 4.00. It’s safe to say I spent easy over 300.00 in gas a month. Im know a proud owner of a leaf! I use the 300 I spend on gas on my leaf. What’s the best part of having a leaf aside from driving the car pool lane.. Well this car is free!

  6. luv4EVr says:

    That’s awesome that the number has jumped from 3.000 to 40,000 in two years! Word of mouth is more powerful than any advertising dollar. It’s blogs and websites like these that will help the consumer understand a new technology that has so many questions surrounding it.

    Keep it up!

    1. Ed K says:

      Hi Paul,
      You’re doing great work as a truly passionate EV ambassador. Thank you.

      One question about the used LEAF buyers (and it applies to new LEAF buyers too) – how well versed are they with “EV preparedness”, specifically are their homes equipped with 240V chargers or at least prepared to get the garage EV ready?

      I know Volt buyers have it easier with a backup ICE, but LEAFers really need to be EV ready before they jump in the pool.

      Keep up the good work!

      1. Paul Scott says:

        Ed, most of my customers are brand new to the EV world, so they are starting from scratch. I give them information on how to install the charge station, and I tell them to let their utility know they are getting an EV. The utility can then offer them a “time of use” rate for their EV charging which will save them money if they charge late at night.

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