OK, that’s somewhat of a loaded question. Obviously, the biggest, baddest, loaded up Tesla Model S or X Plaid is what most will want. Like most folks, around my house we live on a budget. So for that reason, we will focus on the more affordable EVs.
Tesla Model Y Long Range
I just purchased a Tesla Model Y Long Range. Not only is this car the most fun I have ever had driving, it is very safe. Even without Tesla’s $10k Full Self Driving package, the Model Y (and all other Tesla cars) has an impressive array of safety features. Just the other day I was driving home from Houston in the rain. My Model Y actually saw what could have been an accident happening in front of me and alerted me, turned the cars that would have been involved in the accident red on the screen and applied a touch of brake to keep me behind the accident, since I was in the process of passing both cars that would have been involved.
The instant speed this car generates is something that requires some getting used to. It sure is helpful when navigating highway traffic. I am not advocating that you drive your car at high or unsafe speeds, but just being able to jump from 65 to 75mph so quickly and so quietly means that you can get where you need to be in traffic quickly, easily and safely.
The Model Y LR costs about as much as any nicer pickup or SUV. You can go to their web site and see for yourself that this is about a $51,000 car. There are plenty of vehicles in that range, but you will never have to do an oil change, buy gas or perform most any of the other maintenance that cars with a combustion engine require. You will want to buy a charger to take advantage of Tesla’s 48kW charging capability if your model is set up for that. Adapters are available as well so that you can charge your Tesla on most any commercially available charger.
Tesla Service Experience
I live 25 miles from the closest Tesla service center. I had an issue with my windshield washer when I got my Model Y. They sent a tech out to my house. He arrived on time, fixed it quickly and was happy to take time to answer any questions etc. that I might have had as a new Tesla owner. This was certainly a car service experience like no other.
Are you interested in buying a Tesla? If so, please use my referral link (https://ts.la/scott20427). We’ll both get some free Supercharger miles if you do. Thanks 🙂
Nissan Leaf Plus
My wife drives a Leaf Plus. This Leaf has a 200(ish) mile range and can be purchased for a little over $30k. It has most of the same features as the Tesla, but it seems like the features on the Tesla are just a bit nicer than they are on the Leaf, which makes sense of a more expensive car.
For instance… both cars have adaptive cruise control, but the Tesla will actually follow the car in front of you to a stop, then when the light turns green, it continues on following the car in front of you after stopping. The Leaf requires you to reset adaptive cruise after a full stop.
The Leaf Plus maintains the fun feel of the Tesla. It has plenty of power, and even a switch to put it in regenerative braking mode, like the Tesla has by default. This mode means that when you take your foot off the gas, your car acts as if the brake has been applied. You end up driving using only the gas pedal. (we need to change that term, gas pedal)
I see the Nissan Leaf as one of the best values in a car available. You can get a used Leaf from the 2014-2017 era for a really low price, usually with very low miles. I’ve seen Leafs of this order in the $10k-$15k range on Carmax. The older Leafs only have about 80 miles of range, but for a car to go to work in, if you work within 20-30 miles from home, the value is there in these older cars.
Of course, there are other EVs on the market. I write about the ones I know. We are on our second Leaf and our first Tesla, so I write about these two models. More and more EVs are hitting the market every month. These are really exciting times in the world of EVs.
I spent several years selling cars as a young man. I am familiar with how most car dealerships work and the hassles related to dealing with them. I will say that none of that applies to Tesla. I did the complete transaction for my Model Y online and they delivered the car to me. I did not even have to leave the house. That option is wildly attractive to me, and likely to anyone else who has spent an entire afternoon in a typical car dealership haggling over paint sealant, pin stripes or floor mats.
Whatever flavor of EV you get, good for you! Chances are high that it’ll be your favorite vehicle yet.