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Hoping this has not been a beaten to death topic.
We have a Pro S Gradient RWD on order. First thoughts were to outright purchase and take the federal tax credit. After thinking about it for a couple of weeks we are leaning toward a 36 month/17,000 mile per year lease. At this moment VW is offering the $7,500 federal tax credit as a CAPCOM reduction on a three year ID.4 lease. We are obviously at the forefront of the EV Age. Today we are buying high tech. In three years the battery and overall EV tech should be leaps and bounds ahead of 2021. Today, an ICE vehicle can easily go several hundred thousand miles given proper maintenance and TLC. How long is the true expected life of the current MEB platform battery? And, how much is the replacement cost of that battery after its warranty has expired? I equate EVs and the ID.4 in particular to the evolution of the personal PC. First we had the IBM PC, 286, 386, 486, Pentium until today's 10th generation Core X processors. Almost every 18 months the previous models were obsolete. I feel that our 2021 ID.4 might be equivalent to the 286 or 386 computers in three years. We do drive quite a bit because of where we live and that we only have one vehicle. I have even factored my age, mid-70s, into whether this makes sense or not. In three years there will be exponentially more roadside high capacity chargers whether or not we get an infrastructure bill passed.
So, please express your opinions and be honest. I welcome all and thank you all.
 

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2021 VW ID.4 1st Edition, Dusk Blue <3
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I will say, always expect the auto companies to go slower than you think they will. I leased a Bolt in 2017 with exactly your mindset, that 3 years from then the market would have way more better and cheaper options to choose from, so I didn't want to get locked in with purchasing the Bolt. But I just turned in that 39-month lease, and the ID.4 I have reserved is just about the only option that really feels like a noticeable improvement compared to the Bolt, and even then the ID.4 still has plenty of its own compromises here and there to lower costs.

Now, I'm not saying there's been zero improvement in the market in the last few years, there has been some, but it's not really what I had been envisioning. I'm sure things will pick up speed as we keep moving forward but I still don't expect a whole lot in the near term.

The biggest improvement since 2017 has been non-Tesla fast charger build out actually, with all the Electrify America chargers everywhere, it's now actually possible to do a non-Tesla EV road trip in several directions that weren't possible before, and most of those chargers 150-350 kW, no less. That's pretty impressive compared to the paltry 50 kW chargers scattered too far away from each other that were the best we had a few years ago.
 

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I personally will be leasing because I believe in 3-4 yrs a 250 mile range of today will be what the 80 mile range of the likes of an E-Golf is. Current battery tech isn’t new anymore. Sure energy density has increased and small changes have been made but if you believe the hype that Quantamscape is growing closer to getting their SS battery functioning and that it’ll be an 80% increase in range and 15 min charge to 80%. What will the value be of a ‘21 ID4 be? Will it be 4X% or will it be significantly lower. I’m betting it’ll be in the 30% range if indeed we are on the verge of a whole new battery technology.
I think it’s a unique individual decision based on what you see for your future. Will you keep it long term and get your value out of it or do you want to dump it and move on to the latest and greatest.
As for battery cost after warranty that’s a long way off being it’s 8 yrs 100k warranty. But the best I can say now is you mostly won’t be buying a whole battery. You’ll buy 1 or 2 modules and replace those. We’re all ready doing that with current EVs. Charge levels are based of the weakest cell or module if it’s bad the whole battery is relegated to its charge state. Replace that bad cell module and now you’re back to the next lowest and so on.
 

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I will say, always expect the auto companies to go slower than you think they will. I leased a Bolt in 2017 with exactly your mindset, that 3 years from then the market would have way more better and cheaper options to choose from, so I didn't want to get locked in with purchasing the Bolt. But I just turned in that 39-month lease, and the ID.4 I have reserved is just about the only option that really feels like a noticeable improvement compared to the Bolt, and even then the ID.4 still has plenty of its own compromises here and there to lower costs.

Now, I'm not saying there's been zero improvement in the market in the last few years, there has been some, but it's not really what I had been envisioning. I'm sure things will pick up speed as we keep moving forward but I still don't expect a whole lot in the near term.

The biggest improvement since 2017 has been non-Tesla fast charger build out actually, with all the Electrify America chargers everywhere, it's now actually possible to do a non-Tesla EV road trip in several directions that weren't possible before, and most of those chargers 150-350 kW, no less. That's pretty impressive compared to the paltry 50 kW chargers scattered too far away from each other that were the best we had a few years ago.
I agree with this. While we'll obviously have many more BEV options in 3 years, I don't think the tech will be revolutionary from this year's offerings. Will be interested to see who can offer a 300 mile BEV for <$30k first. Still, I'm leaning toward leasing and do not expect the ID.4 to hold its value well. I may need to do more DC fast charging than I like depending on my apartment situation, which is another reason for the lease...I also like the upfront application of the $7500 credit which just makes things easier.
 

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Now, I'm not saying there's been zero improvement in the market in the last few years, there has been some, but it's not really what I had been envisioning. I'm sure things will pick up speed as we keep moving forward but I still don't expect a whole lot in the near term.
So in hindsight was leasing the way to go? Have you checked what the trade in value or used sale of your car is going for now compared to what you paid?

My wife and I keep flip flopping on it. We don't think the tech will dramatically shift until solid state batteries are thing and that's looking like well over 3 years before it becomes viable for consumers at a reasonable cost.
 

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2021 VW ID.4 1st Edition, Dusk Blue <3
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So in hindsight was leasing the way to go? Have you checked what the trade in value or used sale of your car is going for now compared to what you paid?

My wife and I keep flip flopping on it. We don't think the tech will dramatically shift until solid state batteries are thing and that's looking like well over 3 years before it becomes viable for consumers at a reasonable cost.
Admittedly I am glad I leased the Bolt, just because it was lacking several of the "fancy" features that are more of a must have for me nowadays, like ACC, memory seats, power liftgate, actually comfortable seats, and some other things. But I do feel like it's a bit lucky that the ID.4 actually has all of my must have features for a reasonable price, because my other choices like the Kona or Niro are missing one or two things here and there as well (and I'm not interested in Tesla for various reasons, not the least of which is lack of Android Auto).

I haven't really looked into the resale value of the Bolt and what that situation might have looked like currently if we had decided to purchase instead of lease, but I am leaning toward purchase on the ID.4 since it actually checks so many boxes for me that I'm fairly confident I would have no problem keeping it much longer term. At some point in a few years I expect we'll replace our second/backup ICE car with an EV as well, so that can serve as my avenue for excitement if we do start seeing some more revolutionary new EVs sooner than I expect :)
 

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So in hindsight was leasing the way to go? Have you checked what the trade in value or used sale of your car is going for now compared to what you paid?

My wife and I keep flip flopping on it. We don't think the tech will dramatically shift until solid state batteries are thing and that's looking like well over 3 years before it becomes viable for consumers at a reasonable cost.
If you are flip flopping, I would recommend leasing. If at the end of the three years, you want to keep the car longer (or the actual value is higher than the residual), you have a guaranteed price to buy it at that point. On the flip side, if the used EV value tanks in three years, you can't just walk away from the car if you buy.
 
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I'll echo others in that I self-debated this decision quite a bit myself.

My Engineering side told me that there may well be new battery technologies three years hence. But my Program Management side reminded me that many corporations are slow to move along once they've dramatically shifted their paradigm, understandably wanting to wring profits for as long as possible.

Although I don't think VW produced FE's/1st's at a loss per se, they no doubt did so on razor thin profit margins, so again now need to recoup.

And then my experience came to bear in that I don't really like to lease and have therefore rarely done so and most of the time bought at lease end. Just a personal thing of wanting to know I own my vehicle and not being concerned with mileage, damage, etc. on a lease.

A very subjective matter that only the individual can decide for their specific circumstances and mindset. All the best with your ultimate decision.
 

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The eGolfs and all the other small ~80 mile range EVs were the 286/386 analogues. I do think it's important to note that Intel hasn't released a compelling processor in over five years. There were minor increments but I'm still using a processor from 3 or so years ago and the new iterations are fundamentally the same platform. My processor was a hair better than the one I sold to a buddy and even back then Intel was being criticized for not drastically improving the platform or performance. Much of that was attributed to AMD not getting a solid footing with a viable competitor, which may be different in the next couple years now that both AMD and Apple are moving away from the pack. That was all to say future tech doesn't always come regularly or swiftly and that's double true when speaking about this in the context of a conventional auto manufacturer.

I don't see any significant changes to battery technology in the near future. Even if we do get something coming out on the R&D side, I wouldn't expect that to trickle down to consumers in a way that is going to do much of anything for our range or price. The magic number has always been purported to be 200-300 miles for widespread adoption. Let's assume batteries double in capacity in five years. I would expect the range to remain at around 300, but the batteries would be halved, and VW would continue charging $45K while pocketing the difference. They have potentially billions to recoup on the R&D side of things along with retooling and robotics they'll be building out over the next decade.

I would not be surprised to find if the 1st edition was built at a loss or at last broke even on paper (while still being a net loss calculating R&D and infrastructure). I'm pretty sure the eGolf was built/sold at a loss and it was accused of being a market compliance vehicle. Those of us in CA didn't mind it being a compliance vehicle, however, I can understand why others in the country were displeased. Also, if I'm not mistaken, the earliest SELs were pretty darn good bargains at the end of the day for what they were until the last gen eGolfs were released with nearly 2x the range and virtual cockpits. But for the first few years if you didn't get the introduction model the best play was to lease a base model. I anticipate that's how the ID4 will be: enthusiasts on this board should get the 1st Edition or an AWD with all the bells and whistles. Everything in between will be a for the masses car and we're unlikely to see a major increase in range or decrease in price for the foreseeable future.

All that said, I leased because the difference is about $2K and that's cheap insurance for all the concerns already raised.
 

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So in hindsight was leasing the way to go? Have you checked what the trade in value or used sale of your car is going for now compared to what you paid?

My wife and I keep flip flopping on it. We don't think the tech will dramatically shift until solid state batteries are thing and that's looking like well over 3 years before it becomes viable for consumers at a reasonable cost.
Keep in mind you can buy the car when the lease ends, so it’s sort of the best of both worlds. If the tech is vastly improved in 2024, turn the ID4 in and get something else. If it isn’t, buy the car and keep it longer 😎
 

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Okay -I'm really ignorant here. If you buy a car at the end of a lease, don't you end up paying slightly more for the car than if you financed the purchase from the beginning?
 

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Okay -I'm really ignorant here. If you buy a car at the end of a lease, don't you end up paying slightly more for the car than if you financed the purchase from the beginning?
Yes. Some people will approach a lease like a hedge against possible technology improvements. If they improve enough to warrant an upgrade you can return the lease. If you're happy with the car and there's been no groundbreaking must-haves you can buy it out. The difference between leasing an ID4 and purchasing it is less than $2K (I think it's penciling out to about $1,600 difference for me).

I haven't put a single penny into this car and been driving it for two weeks. My first payment is sometime next month. My current payoff quote is $39K. I might have to pay about $1500 in state taxes after that payoff, but VW wasn't sure and I'm not going to take their advice and "call the DMV." I do always get a kick out of non-Californians advising Californians to talk to the DMV as if that's a thing. I know in Oregon you used to just go to a mall kiosk for your driver's license. In CA you have to make an appointment for someone to call you back let alone make an appointment to go into a field office and still wait all day for your appointment to be called. If you try a walk-in...good luck and bring a tent. :D
 

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Well, if you have a three-year lease, and you make a DMV appointment tomorrow... ;)

Thank you, ExCivilian. I appreciate your thoughts on this.
 

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Judging by the number of people and length of the line at my local DMV office over an hour BEFORE they open every day, their next big expense, will be will be to handle lines that go around their entire building MULTIPLE times! No way am I going to encourage that nonsense by asking them a question..
 

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I used to say it was worth the cost of a AAA membership for the emergency roadside assistance. Now I say it's worth it to avoid going to the DMV! Getting my RealID drivers license was a royal pain! Had to go into the DMV. I made an appointment, but on that day half of the staff (quite literally) called in sick, so they couldn't handle anything. A sub at the door merged the appointment line and the walk-up line, so the appointment was of no value whatsoever!
 

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I don't know I shouldn't have said anything :) I heard about them a few years ago and never thought they might decommission them.
 
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