Bubba’s Experience Leasing an Electric Vehicle

Hello! My name is Bubba Rustowicz and I’m what some may call a tree hugger. I’ve always loved being outside and I truly believe that we have a duty to preserve the Earth for future generations. Throughout my life, I have always looked for ways in which I could lessen my carbon footprint. I’ve done a few things, like trying to cut down on the amount of beef I eat, always using a reusable water bottle, etc. However, there was always one thing that really bothered me that, for a long time, was an unavoidable part of my carbon footprint – driving a car that runs on gasoline.

In the United States, the transportation sector is the biggest piece of the pie chart in our emissions spectrum, making up about 29% of our economy’s annual emissions (U.S. EPA, 2019). When I understood this, it really dawned on me that if I were to make the biggest impact on my carbon footprint, it would be through reimagining the way I get around. After looking around for a little bit, I landed on a lease for a 2019 Hyundai Ioniq, a fully electric sedan.

After government rebates, the lease was only $1000 down and $99 a month for three years and 30,000 miles. Compared to many gas cars, this lease is practically nothing. On top of that, there are no oil changes and the only maintenance required is windshield wiper fluid and tire rotations. To add even more to that, there are many public chargers around NYS that offer free charging. In my town, I have a NYS Welcome Center that has free DC Fast-Chargers that only take around 20 minutes to charge 80%. To summarize, I do not have to pay for charging, oil changes, and my initial lease is quite cheap compared to other leases; so, you could say I’m quite happy with my EV! In fact, that is why I am one of NYCP’s Jr. Clean Power Fellows – to advocate for clean power technologies, like EVs, so they become more accessible to our society via a greater investment in public, clean transportation infrastructure and EV rebates.

As with anything in life, there are some downsides to my car. In particular, the range can be a bit of an inconvenience. During the summer, it has a range of about 130 miles. In the winter, however, that range goes down to around 110 miles. This does not even factor in the energy use attributed to heating and cooling. Both of these processes are very energy intensive and can decrease your range by up to 20 miles (depending on how high you run the heating/cooling). For me this has never been an issue as I’m rarely driving more than 50 miles round trip. I have only done one long road trip and that was about 300 miles. This was a rather frustrating experience, to put it simply. The drive was supposed to be four hours, yet it took me eight and a half. It wasn’t necessarily due to a lack of chargers. Rather, some of the chargers that I planned to stop at were not working, so I was forced to use a slow charger that only adds around 20 miles an hour. This alone added about two hours to my trip (I will admit that my mistake of taking a wrong turn accounted for another 30 minutes, so it wasn’t all my EVs fault!). This problem is not very pertinent with more modern EVs though, as the new model of the Ioniq has a 170-mile range that would have only required one stop for that trip. And, with the higher quality EVs like Tesla’s, the base models have over 250-mile ranges and would make this a non-issue. In general, I strongly feel that the positives of owning an EV easily outweigh any of the negatives!

Overall, I would recommend an EV to everyone I know. Especially given the current state of politics, where President Biden has friendly policies towards EV owners and purchasers, this is a perfect time to buy an EV. Even when the government rebates start to slow or get removed, EVs are going to remain at least cost competitive with gasoline cars, if not end up being even cheaper. Additionally, the amount of EV charging infrastructure is only going to increase, making the range problem irrelevant. Finally, with every passing year, EV technology is getting better and better. EVs are going to continue getting cheaper while also increasing their range. The best part of all of it: you are helping save our planet from climate change!