Colorado Woman Gets an EV for $700

Talia Lee
June 11, 2024

During a recent radio segment discussing the affordability of electric vehicles, Sam Brasch, a journalist with Colorado Public Radio and National Public Radio, shared an intriguing anecdote. He came across an individual who purchased a functional Nissan Leaf for under $700. While the car’s listed price was closer to $7,600, the buyer benefited from Colorado’s substantial taxpayer-funded incentives for electric vehicle purchases.

Cindy Torres, the individual in question, conducted extensive research to explore options for reducing the $7,600 price tag on the advertised 2015 Nissan Leaf.

According to Brasch, “The initial price was far too steep, but Colorado boasts some of the most generous EV incentives in the nation.” Torres discovered that she qualified for a state program aimed at lower-income drivers willing to retire older or high-emission vehicles, in addition to a rebate offered by her power utility. These combined incentives amounted to $7,000 in discounts. Torres now proudly parks her new car in front of her home. While it offers a range of only about 80 miles, she asserts that it suffices for her daily errands and trips to nearby trailheads.

This sheds light on the driving range dynamics of contemporary electric vehicles. A significant factor contributing to the high cost of electric cars is the expensive nature of their batteries—oftentimes, the battery constitutes the single most costly component of an electric vehicle. Given that modern electric vehicles typically offer ranges between 250 to 500 miles, it’s understandable why models from manufacturers like Hyundai, Kia, Lucid, Tesla, and Volkswagen often surpass the $50,000 mark upon final purchase.

However, is there a niche for lower-priced electric cars with shorter ranges? Mazda’s MX-30 attempted to cater to this segment with a range of about 100 miles. Nonetheless, it still landed near the price range of many other electric cars boasting more than double its range. For instance, a 2024 Nissan Leaf S is priced at less than $30,000, whereas the all-new 2022 Mazda MX-30 had a base price of approximately $35,000. Notably, Mazda has discontinued the MX-30 after 2023.

Purchasing a functioning car for less than $1,000 is undeniably a bargain, regardless of how you analyze it. If individuals are genuinely committed to reducing their resource consumption, perhaps opting for used electric vehicles (EVs) could be a viable option. Each state, and even each county, may offer different incentives to encourage more buyers to transition to electric vehicles. Torres leveraged Colorado’s Vehicle Exchange Program to significantly reduce the price of her pre-owned Nissan Leaf.

However, it’s important to exercise caution when considering the purchase of a used electric car without a warranty. Nevertheless, there’s a woman in Colorado who managed to secure an outstanding deal on a used Nissan Leaf and is completely content with its limited range.

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