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Shhh, EVs aren’t selling…

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Surprise! Electric cars aren’t selling, including the BMW iX. Just how bad is it?

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Question

Mike, I’ve seen a bunch of news regarding dealer inventory for EVs getting backed up for months, big discounts, etc. Should I buy one? Seems tempting. Why doesn’t anyone want them? Am I missing something?

– Jenn

Answer

Seems like once a month, we’re due for an EV mailbag question. The funny thing is that I’ve noticed a bunch of BMW iXs sitting outside a local dealer, but didn’t think anything of it. Turns out, there’s quite a bit happening.

The BMW iX and other EVs are not selling

tesla
Even Teslas are getting discounted. Photo: Tesla

Let’s actually take a look at the BMW iX. Right now, the average time it takes to sell one is 131 days. That’s the most of any car from any brand.

Then we have the Ford Lightning receiving a $10,000 price cut last week. That’s huge because Ford already loses money on each one they produce – before the discount.

Tesla is offering discounts on all of its models – up to $7,500 on the Plaid. Tesla’s funny – they put out so much positive value in stock, but their cars are dated, pooly made and expensive. Are they really doing that well?

The list goes on, and remember, the government is still offering you a discount for buying one. At a time when interest rates and MSRPs on ICE-powered cars are at an all-time high, you can finance an iX at 2.9%.

So why doesn’t anyone want one?

EVs are still expensive, right?

Hummer
The Electric Hummer is very expensive, but it’s price (and production) prevents it from reaching the mainstream.

Yes, and no. The average new car price in the US hovers right around $48,000. The average price for an electric car? $53,000. Considering the discounts from the government, a new EV is actually cheaper than its ICE counterpart.

But there is no cheap option

Kia EV6 GT
Even a base Kia GT is still expensive. And expensive to charge in an apartment setting.

They might be cheaper, but they aren’t cheap. For instance, there is no “economy” electric car, say the size of a Nissan Sentra.

And as I’m sure you know, the EV charging network is still in its infancy. If you live in an apartment complex as oppose to owning your own home, how do you charge it?

Think of this – if you’re the average person buying a luxury car, you’ve probably never had a hard time affording gasoline for it. Electric cars solve a problem that you don’t have.

But the people that buy Sentras and Civics? Money might be tighter for them – just the sort to find an electric car appealing. Too bad there’s no cheap option.

And by the way, when you don’t own your own charging station, companies can charge (as in money) any amount they want for you to use their electricity. When I filled up the Kia EV6 GT, it cost 45 dollars in electricity at the ChargePoint station.

So EVs are selling better then ever?

BMW i4
I don’t see many of these at car shows.

I’ll quote this report:

“Electric vehicle sales continued to rise during the first half of the year to more than 557,000 vehicles, or 7.2% of all new vehicle sales. In all of last year, consumers bought just over 807,000 EVs, or 5.8% of new vehicle sales.”

But I’m willing to bet something here – they might be selling more EVs in 2023, but judging by how much of a discount manufacturers are giving, I believe those are combined sales from leftover 2022 models.

Something doesn’t add up.

Companies are lying

tesla model S
You will never get the range they advertise. Photo: Tesla.

The poster child for EVs right now is Tesla. It’s my opinion that they are among the worst cars you can buy.

And so imagine purchasing one and seeing the dashboard display a range of 400 miles. Nice. But drive it a bit to let the computer actually adjust to your real-world driving conditions, and the range drops by half.

So, people complained, and Tesla actually built a secret team to handle these complaints and sweep them under the rug.

Will these people buy another electric car? If they do, it’s their own fault for being duped.

Should you buy a BMW iX?

Back to Jenn’s question of “should you buy” – and my answer is, if you fit the demographic and like the car, by all means.

I’m surprised by how many BMW iX’s are on the lot at my local dealers – some may have seven or eight to choose from. It’s not a bad car, nor is the i4 – and if it fits your lifestyle, might as well get it cheap while you can.

But something tells me these discounts are here to stay.

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