Case Study 1: The Criteria

Case Study 1: The Criteria

Tony owns an all-electric vehicle, the Tesla Model 3, but needed an affordable all-wheel drive vehicle (AWD) for dealing with Ithaca’s winters. He also enjoys fishing, hunting, and farming which meant that he needed an EV that had high clearance for off-road conditions.

A Systematic Search

Tony searched the list of EV models that would meet his criteria. It came down to two plug-in hybrids (PHEV) with AWD: the full size SUV, Mitsubishi Outlander or the crossover SUV, Subaru Crosstrek. He ruled out the Outlander because he did not need a larger vehicle.

Cheap Good Car

Tony was amused that the car dealer questioned his interest in buying a PHEV, pointing out that there were many other good and cheap gasoline vehicles.

He persisted, emphasizing that his definition of a cheap good car was based on his criteria and driven by the desire mitigate climate change. He ordered the Crosstrek in February 2019 and received it in late June 2019.

Tony has driven it 900 miles in the past 3 months and only put gasoline in the tank once. He estimated that the PHEV was averaging 57 miles per gallon, with increasing mileage when driving around town. He is satisfied that the PHEV provides plenty of cargo space for his fishing, hunting and farming needs.

An important takeaway was that with the federal tax credit and New York State Drive Clean rebate, the upfront cost of owning the Crosstrek PHEV was almost the same as the gasoline version.

Last updated December 7, 2022