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Apr 13, 2021
Climate Action

The Easiest Way to Get a New Electric Vehicle

I had the privilege of having one of the first Nissan LEAFs in Silicon Valley and the US overall, which was an incredibly fun car. Despite its 24.4 kWh battery pack, I could make it from one end of the Bay to the other, often with juice to spare. In late 2014 I gave up the LEAF when I moved to downtown Oakland and lived car-free for the next couple of years. I moved to N Oakland and my soon-to-be in-laws gave me and my fiance their old car that they were getting rid of. 

After a couple of years back running fossil fuel, I started to daydream how best to get back into an electric car. Timing, dealer sales tactics, and other life priorities kept getting in the way. Each month, I found myself filling up at the local gas station, longing for electrons.

Why We Want to Get an Electric Vehicle Now

Once my wife became pregnant this past December, my desire became an imperative. I didn’t want our baby to ride around in an Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicle, whether in the womb or in a car seat. I dutifully began my search once again, and through discussions with friends, I was introduced to Cartelligent, and to an EV program with TrueCar.

Cartelligent is a California-focused paid service that helps you to get a new car.

  1. Determine which is the best car for your needs
  2. Find available vehicles that match
  3. Negotiate the best deal for you

True Car is a “free” national information and advertising service that connects you to the dealers in your area that have the vehicle that you input into your form. 

This was a great experiment between the two pathways to procure a vehicle and the results showed a night-and-day difference in experience and value.

Save Money & Hassle When Buying or Leasing an Electric Vehicle

We decided to lease a 2020 Chevy Bolt for many reasons which I’ll go into in more detail in subsequent posts, but briefly:

  1. Leasing EVs likely accelerates adoption faster than buying does
  2. Incredibly affordable right now as 2021 models come out
  3. No Chevy Bolts on Turo or Getaround in Oakland, giving another opportunity to reduce overall cost and further accelerate adoption.

Tl;dr Paying the $495 fee to Cartelligent saved us about $3k off the best offer that we were provided by a dealer in the Bay Area AND would have saved me from my less than stellar interactions with some of the dealers had I only gone through them. 

Here’s one exchange that I had with a dealer on the night of Feb 22nd, asking me to do all of my research and come into their dealership 60 min away in the next 5 days to close the deal. When I said it was a packed week and wanted to compare prices first, he tried to “neg” me into proving to him that I was a serious buyer. If I were pettier than I am, I’d text him again and let him know that I picked up my car three weeks later.

screenshot of text exchange with car dealer

With Cartelligent, I had a quick email and phone exchange with one of their account execs who then searched the dealerships across the state and came back within two days (YMMV) with an amazing price on two versions of the car that I had asked for. 

I took that price back to the dealerships where I had had a good experience and none of them could come close. “Take that deal, it’s an incredible price” one of them told me. The other said that “they could beat any price”, but wouldn’t give me any numbers unless I came to them first (classic sales tactic, once you’re in the door, you’re already partially committed).

Cartelligent handled the lease paperwork, registration, and they had the car delivered to their office near our house. For an extra fee, they’ll deliver it right to your door. 

Atmos Customers Save on Buying or Leasing New Electric Vehicles

With the incredible financial savings that they found us, and customer experience worth writing home about, I knew that they would be a perfect addition to the deals that we’ve secured for our customers in our “Offers” page. With the recounting of my experience with them complete, I am delighted to announce that Atmos customers get 20% off Cartelligent services when buying or leasing an electric vehicle (EV) or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). 

Log in or open an account now to take advantage of this offer and get the best deal you can on a new EV or PHEV.

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