It’s been a great Spring, and I’ve gotten into a groove going Car-less in CBUS. However, I knew this experiment would eventually end – it’s just not feasible for me to be without a personal vehicle long-term. This episode highlights some research I’ve been doing on available EV’s and Hybrids in the Ohio market. Believe it or not, some of the most popular models still aren’t available here… but when the time is right, I’ll be ready. I should also mention that the commentary below is just MY OPINION based on my research experience, and should not be treated as anything other than that.

First — the TESLA Model 3. Brand new, smaller sedan than the other models, still not an SUV — you’d have to wait for the X for that. Model 3 only available for order within the last few months or so (in Ohio). Starting price was around $37,000 for the base model, but that didn’t last long. This was supposed to be the Electric Car for the Masses. Standard Range vs. Long Range battery, around 280 miles per charge. The price went well up past $45,000 if you wanted any additional features.

Tesla Pros — Clean simplistic interior; easy to order online if you don’t want salespeople hassles; potential for future auto-driving capability; tons of safety features; proprietary Charging stations – turbo chargers for Tesla only; and they map out a trip plan for you where you can stop and charge up along the way; and they produce their own batteries. The charging network for Tesla is TOP-NOTCH.

Tesla Cons — Expensive; not a lot of amenities that other cars have (hello – Apple CarPlay??); difficult to obtain a vehicle (at least it was in the beginning); not as many dealers for service issues. Feels like they’re still working out the kinks, and ahead of their time. But at the same time, other vehicle brands are catching up… and the federal/state tax incentives for Tesla are no longer available because they’ve sold cars in all 50 states.

This was the one I REALLY WANTED… but alas, it’s STILL not available in Ohio yet. The Hyundai Kona EV is so popular in ZEV (zero emission vehicle) states, that the demand is too high for any other states/dealers to get their hands on one. It’s also quite popular in other countries — EU, UK, Australia, Canada… most of the YouTube videos of test drives seem to be from other countries so far.

Kona EV Pros — I REALLY liked this car a lot — it’s a small SUV, has some nice cargo room, comes with extra fun features like a sunroof, Apple CarPlay, tons of safety features, and is zippy and fun to drive. It had everything I wanted, plus over 250 miles on a single charge! It was also slightly less than the Tesla, even with all the extra features I was planning on adding — let’s just say the one I was looking at would have been $45,000. But Hyundai is new to the EV game, so there is a $7500 federal tax credit available. And it also has tons of safety features.

Kona EV Cons — Uh — AVAILABILITY 🙁 Just can’t get one here yet!! Demand is too high and I didn’t know how long I would have to wait. Also, it’s a first generation EV for Hyundai, so not sure how reliable the technology will be. They offer charging stations that can be installed in your home garage (level 2), but since I had no garage and I’m at the mercy of charging stations being installed in my apartment/city garage, I wasn’t sure how accessible charging stations would be for me. Once again, as much as I wanted to get this car, I felt like it was a bit ahead of it’s time for me in Columbus.

So HERE WE GO!! I’m Really EXCITED about this other option… the new Toyota RAV4 XSE Hybrid for 2019! It’s a peppy little number, completely redesigned, and for only $800 more than the gas version, gets over 40 mpg on a single tank of gas… it’s NOT a plug-in hybrid, so it’s pretty hassle free. The base model starts at $28,500… and even with all the bells and whistles added, it’s an extremely well-equipped reliable hybrid SUV for at least $10,000 less than the EV models above. (Toyota has owned the hybrid engine technology for YEARS – and has even sold it’s earlier generation technology to other brands.)

RAV4 Hybrid Pros — the best of both worlds. A gas-sipper with more zip than the regular RAV4. Less $$ than Tesla or Kona. Reliability of a Toyota that has been making and perfecting hybrid technology for years.

RAV4 Hybrid Cons — good luck finding one. The XSE Sport model is so popular right now, they can’t keep them on the dealer lots. If you’d rather order one, it can take up to 6 weeks to get delivery. May still be worth the wait. Here’s a fun article I found that explains what all the fuss is about!

https://www.torquenews.com/6626/frustrated-2019-rav4-hybrid-buyers-waiting-months-get-their-cars-here-what-makes-hybrid-so-special

Let’s just say, I think I know which one (FOR ME) is worth the wait… thanks for reading, and stay tuned for the decision 🙂