Leasing questions for the newbie

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Aug 21, 2017
Hi there,

Never had an electric car. I am in Houston, TX. My other vehicles are Dodge 1500 and 911. At this stage in my life, want to reduce carbon footprint and overall cost.
Weekday, to and from office = 84 miles (42 miles each way).
Weekend, average 130 miles.
MPG from either of my vehicles - 16MPG. Currently, unleaded and 93 are $2.15 & $2.79, respectively.

Since the new E-Golf, Leaf... are coming with increase range, I would like to lease a 2017 from California. By end of lease, the electric car landscape should be clearer for more prudent purchase.


1) Can a CA dealer lease E-Golf to Texans?
2) Can I get E-Golf service among Houston dealers? I called around and no one can give me a definite answer.
3) With my mileage, I know I will have to pay a substantial penalty at end of lease. However, given that my gas bill averages $285/month (with Dodge. More with the Porsche due 93 requirement, forgetting more $ maintenance), is this still a good path to embark on?
4) My Garage is same as other garage - 110V except for my dryer. How much additional $ will it cost to convert?

Thank you so much for your sage thoughts.
1. Unless thing change, you can't lease or finance from VW unless you live in a state where they are presently marketed.

2. no idea, we live in NH and bought a eGolf outright (see above) but our closest dealer is in VT where they can sell/service them.

3.That's totally up to you IMO.

4. You probably will want to have a 220V charger, we installed one that works well with our solar tracker. Cost, totally depends on where your main panel is, can it handle the additional load, costs in your area etc? I suggest calling around and getting some estimates. If your running a new line you might want to be sure it can handle a larger charger in the future.

you'll love driving electric I would bet, make sure you get one with a heat pump for efficiency and consider buying one used.
Since you are a high mileage driver, you will have to buy out the lease at the end anyway to avoid the over-mileage charges. So, the main difference will be your tax situation. The lease will deduct the tax credit from the capitalized cost and your federal tax owed does not matter. However, if you purchase, you will have to owe more than $7,500 in the tax year in order to get the full benefit of the tax credit. This amount is not your payment when you file, but rather your total tax owed. On my 2016 Form 1040, it looks like Line 47 is the one of interest.

The 2016 e-Golf is not suitable for your requirements because you would be driving at the range limit every day. You should wait for the 2017's which are not available yet. They have increased the range from 84 EPA miles to 125 EPA miles of range.

1. A CA dealer may not lease an e-Golf out of state. This has been shown to be a problem on the east coast, so I assume the same applies to CA.
2. When it comes to a recall, VW corporate will figure out a solution. There is not much routine maintenance to do on an EV.
3. If you do get a lease, you can just buy out the lease and that avoids the whole problem of the mileage allowance. If you want to keep it longer, just keep driving it. Otherwise, just sell it for whatever you can get for it. Your gas savings will have already far exceeded any loss you take on depreciation.
4. If you have an electric dryer in the garage, there are devices like the $250 Dryer Buddy Plus that can safely split that 240V circuit for you so that you can dry your clothes and charge your car at different times without unplugging anything and without overloading the circuit. The alternative is having an electrician pull a new 240V circuit to your garage. The price would vary a lot depending on your situation.
Call Pacific Volkwagen in LA - they were potentially going to ship one out to the East Coast for me, but I've decided to wait 2-3 more wk or perhaps even get the Kia Optima Plug In Hybrid. But, very friendly, and if you finance they still might send it out to you.