Electric Vehicle Welfare Queen

No, we are not talking today about Elon Musk (though the name fits) but about this electric car buyer profiled in the WSJ:

Bronson Beisel, 46, says he was looking last fall for an alternative to driving his gas-guzzling Ford Expedition sport utility around suburban Atlanta, when he saw a discounted lease offer for an all-electric Nissan Leaf. With $1,000 down, Mr. Beisel says he got a two-year lease for total out-of-pocket payments of $7,009, a deal that reflects a $7,500 federal tax credit.

As a resident of Georgia, Mr. Beisel is also eligible for a $5,000 subsidy from the state government. Now, he says, his out-of-pocket costs for 24 months in the Leaf are just over $2,000. Factor in the $200 a month he reckons he isn't paying for gasoline to fill up his hulking SUV, and Mr. Beisel says "suddenly the car puts $2,000 in my pocket."

Yes, he pays for electricity to charge the Leaf's 24-kilowatt-hour battery—but not much. "In March, I spent $14.94 to charge the car" and a bit less than that in April, he says. He also got an electric car-charging station installed at his house for no upfront cost.

"It's like a two-year test drive, free," he says.

I hope you all enjoy Mr. Beisel's smug pride a driving a car using your money.

In my next post, I am going to dive deeper in the operating cost numbers here.  By the article, Mr. Beisel has cut his monthly fuel costs from $200 to $14.94, a savings of over 90%.  If these numbers are real, why the hell do we have to subsidize these cars?  Well, while it turns out that while the Leaf is a nice efficient vehicle, these numbers are way off.  Stay tuned.


  1. norse:

    There is the player/game aspect here just like in the Apple/Tax hearings; the real issue are laws and regulations that make this possible, not the economically rational behavior of the lease holder.

  2. aczarnowski:

    I hope you all enjoy Mr. Beisel's smug pride a driving a car using your money.

    No. No I do not.

    But that's just a base reaction. I have to agree with norse. It's not Beisel I'm really infuriated with.

  3. Sam L.:

    Nooooooooooo! Tell me it isn't soooooooooo!

  4. Incunabulum:

    One question here - if he can cut the number of miles driven per month in half with the Nissan Leaf, then why can't he do it with the Expedition? If he did that then he would pocket $100 a month and gain $2000 in in 20 months - now he'll take 11 months just to break even on the cost of leasing the Leaf.
    As a matter of fact, now, by the time he nets $2000 with the leaf it'll be time to turn it in at the end of the lease.

  5. mesaeconoguy:

    Musk is the biggest rent seeking whore out there.

    He brilliantly “hedged” himself against singular failure by whoring multiple taxpayer-funded (Obama-run) projects.

    None of them will succeed without government assistance, so to diversify he assembled a portfolio of projects funded by “the investing taxpayer venture capital fund, inc.” hoping one would succeed.

    I simultaneously admire that, and hope he dies in a fiery crash.

  6. JW:

    Good luck leaving Atlanta in your Leaf, when the zombie apocalypse comes. Or if anything more than a stiff breeze comes, for that matter.