Undoubtedly you have heard about the optional lease extension. There is a lot of discussion in the Mini-E community about disappointment in the $650 price. Many were hoping for < $500. I am not sure how each person came to that but I can say for me, I was pretty doubtful at $450. And the deal that was offered didn't change my mind so with a somewhat sad heart, I will be returning #148 in June as planned.
Don't get me wrong. I still love the car. It is a blast to drive and for me totally trouble free. I wasn't one of the ones griping about the price originally. I knew what I was getting into. It was a value proposition for me. As I have said here, I wanted to learn if the car worked for me without spending the $25-$110K I would need to buy one right away. Makes sense to me. I learned a ton. I was a believer in abstract before but now am all in and am ready to buy.
Let's be clear. For most of us, financially, this deal really never made sense. I own a Prius and another Toyota outright and my commute is fairly short at 50 miles RT. And we have had to occasionally drive our other cars for room + going out with friends. I could never make up the $ in the year compared to the cost of ownership and gas in my existing cars. So there has to be something more. Learn about myself and help push the movement forward if possible. Mission accomplished from my perspective. I learned and look there are commercial EVs on the way. I am bold enough to say we had a small part in that.
So I have decided like others I think to save that ~$9k a year to buy an EV in the next year or two. That way I get a car for life that I can hack around on, fill with junk and enjoy.
I learned what I needed to from this. If Mini really wanted me and others to stay, they could have made it make financial sense for us. An extra couple hundred dollars for each of the 400 car out there could not have made any difference to them. It was strategic on their part and so I really don't feel any pangs of loyalty or regret. It was just business.
It was fun and I really enjoyed it. But Mini/BMW had a shot for a customer in the next round and for me, they missed it. I'm looking elsewhere.
It does make me wonder what offer would have made me stay. I am not sure. But one thing that does occur to me is a strategy that I did not expect but that would have made a huge PR splash and would have bought quite a few vocal enthusiasts cheap. What if Mini had decided to offer everyone the second year at the lease price of a deluxe Mini at around $300/month or less. That would have made huge news. It would have cost Mini $1.4M if 400 cars bought in. Seems to me that would be PR dollars well spent against news from other manufacturers. But that is the crazy talk entrepreneur in me I guess. I certainly didn't expect that from Mini. I am sure they have corporate, strategic, or financial reasons for the pricing but it would have been huge. [ED: I realized that the $1.4M assumes all 400 cars would be re-leased at full $600 rate which really would be best case for Mini]
For me Nissan, Chevy, Mitsubishi and others are coming and I couldn't be more pleased. Heck, even the aftermarket price of Rav4-EVs seems to be coming down now that reality of commercial EVs is here. I wouldn't mind picking one of those up for the right price.
Let's check out the cars.
PS: I will be retaining the website and keeping up the EV Charger Finder iPhone app. I may not be able to us the chargers still for a year or so, but I will soon, and I want those chargers to be ready.