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Leasing an Electric Car: Reasons to Lease or Buy Instead

Leasing an Electric Car: Reasons to Lease or Buy Instead

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A recent piece in Bloomberg highlighted the fact that many US EV drivers lease their cars instead of buying them. This is an interesting statistic and while not completely reflective of our own experience with selling and leasing electric vehicles, it does make some sense.


According to the piece, 80% of US EV drivers lease their car. The reasons are actually refreshingly simple. The potential for battery degradation and the speed at which technological advances are being made. Both of which are legitimate concerns for EVs. As always, that isn’t the whole story.


Reasons for leasing your next EV

One of the primary reasons given for majority leasing of EVs is battery degradation. All batteries degrade over time and charge cycles so that their maximum effective range reduces over the years. Depending on the make and model of your EV, this could be up to 10% over several years.


Different manufacturers use different technologies to help prevent this degradation. Some are more effective than others.


The second main reason for leasing an EV is the rate of change. If you read my piece on the 2018 Nissan Leaf this week, you will know that range has now been certified at 151 miles by the US EPA. That’s up from 84 miles from older models and could potentially increase again with a planned new battery pack.


Add all the other innovations being introduced and the sheer rate of change for EVs and you have a compelling case for changing up every couple of years. Something not everyone could afford to do when purchasing.


Reasons for buying your next EV

To combat this, there are two good reasons to buy an EV. No restrictions on mileage and the willingness of manufacturers to support EV owners.


Many leases come with restricted mileage limits before you begin paying surcharges. For many, driving less than 10-12,000 miles in a year is no problem. For others, it is a significant limitation. Canada is a huge country, one or two road trips a year or a long drive across country to visit relatives and your yearly limit could be used up. Depending on your deal, you could then incur some pricey surcharges.


EV manufacturers are aware of the battery degradation issue and work with owners to address it. Nissan will replace the batteries in the Leaf and other automakers will do the same. This is not always free and often requires investment from the owner but given the lower maintenance and service cost potential of EVs, can even out over the period of ownership.


In the end, the question of whether to lease or to own comes down to your personal circumstances. We have owners who have been driving their EVs since the very first models and are still perfectly happy with them. We also have lease customers who like the ability to take advantage of new technology every lease cycle.


Whatever way you go, Car Nation Canada has a range of EV options for every situation. Contact one of our dealerships today and see what we can do for you!

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