Bait & Switch In EV Leasing Offers — Why We Appreciate CleanTechnica Commenters


Published on November 28th, 2019 | by Cynthia Shahan

November 28th, 2019 by  

Photo by Kyle Field | CleanTechnica

I was hesitant while writing a recent CleanTechnica post, “Say What? $79–$178 Monthly Lease For An Electric Car?” Sure enough, another take on that article emerged in the comments underneath. The offer was too good to be true for many. We extend a genuine thank you to all who helped bring more information and context to the story.

I mentioned that I wondered how much extra money would be tacked on after talking with the dealers and being baited by low monthly payments.

One CleanTechnica commenter reported under the article that his uncle had leased one of these Hyundai Ioniq Electrics. It sounds as if at least one dealership was actualizing the promotion. Steve reported, “My uncle in western NY was able to get this deal.”

On the other hand, a variety of comments expressed a different experience. The situation raised by one commenter added a new dimension, or rather an old sales technique. Mark shares, “The 79 lease requires dealer participation. None of the dealers In NJ would participate. They wanted 159 plus 1800 down. Bait n switch.”

Furthering the metaphor of bait & switch, Joe comments, “I can sell you a brand new 10,000 sq ft house for $1. See? Here it is. I don’t have any available, however, so instead here is this 2,000 sq ft one that I have plenty of at $250,000.”

One of our occasional CleanTechnica writers, Daryl Elliott, weighed in as well: “Went through the Hyundai site for the Ioniq EV. I had to go through 3 pages that all had the EVs at the bottom of the list, then on the next page when I searched for one in my area, I got a page that said there aren’t any EVs in the Las Vegas area, but would you be interested in a gasoline car?”

Sounds like Daryl’s experience is on par with the findings in the Sierra Club’s recent nationwide study on the EV shopping experience. Reading through the report, the Sierra Club points out that automakers and dealers often talk a good game, but then it turns out it’s only lip service. Although dealers and automakers claim low EV sales are simply a matter of supply and demand, they are directly oppressing demand.

Another thing everyone finds out at dealerships — the added costs keep on coming, and coming, when leasing. Solarrumbee1 added, “Something to remember when leasing your required to have a minimum $100,000/$300,000 auto insurance coverage which increases your monthly cost unless you already have that coverage.”

Thelastairbenderhate helped out by letting readers know of a valid location: “$69 a month in NYC well the outskirts closer to long island @ south shore hyaundi location. 700 credit score or higher 2500 down.” Of course, with $2500 down, the true monthly cost isn’t just $69. Jim weighed in, “The headline is deceptive. The Ioniq lease is $2500 down, $109 per month and thousands of dollars in additional fees. Don’t forget you get just 10,000 miles per year rather than the industry standard 12,000. A very bad deal.”

For those of us who are still content with our smaller range, more affordable EVs, Rick shared a positive story: “Almost 4 years ago I leased a Chevy Spark EV for $75/mo. The down payment was completely covered by CA rebate. Limited range is not an issue if you have a second car or you just rent a car for the few long trips. If you do lots of long trips then forget it, unless you can afford a Tesla. I love the Spark so much I bought it at lease end.”

ChargePoint curbside charging — Nissan LEAF and Chevy Spark EV. Photo by Kyle Field | CleanTechnica

Yet, like Daryl’s experience, it seems geography is the biggest variable. Mark let us know, “Yeah, good luck on this. I live in LA and could not even find one. It is like a BOGO sale on unicorns.”

You won’t know until you explore your area. I encourage you to read through more of the comments. Mostly, it seems to me that reliable used EVs are abundant enough and an amazing deal.

Here are some more articles on dealing with dealers:

Fresh Buyer’s Guide For Used Electric Cars

Plug In America’s recently released Used Electric Vehicle Buyers’ Guide (PDF).

The Sierra Club’s Nationwide Study On The EV Shopping Experience

CleanTechnica Buying Guide

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About the Author

Cynthia Shahan started writing by doing research as a social cultural and sometimes medical anthropology thinker. She studied and practiced both Waldorf education, and Montessori education. Eventually becoming an organic farmer, licensed AP, and mother of four unconditionally loving spirits, teachers, and environmentally conscious beings born with spiritual insights and ethics beyond this world. (She was able to advance more in this way led by her children.)