I am a firm believer that climate change is real. Humans have and are continuing to have a significant impact on the global environment and we need to change our ways to counteract this damage. Given the rapid advancement of technology, I think we are getting to the point where we can make those changes without significant financial burden. Let’s be honest, lots of us say we want to reduce our carbon footprint but when it comes to putting our money where our mouth is, it just doesn’t happen. I’m just as guilty as the next person but that’s why I want to change and want to encourage others as well.
There are lots of little ways to decrease your carbon footprint and not have it hurt you financially. For example, you install a smart thermostat, LED lights, recycling and composting, etc. Lots of little things add up and make a big difference. However, what is the one thing we do on a daily basis that creates perhaps our largest carbon footprint, our cars. Transportation in Canada contributes to half of the toxic air pollution and a third of the greenhouse emissions!!!
So my BIG change to help lower my carbon footprint was to purchase the new Tesla Model 3. Surprisingly, it won’t cost me that much to do so. Through government rebates, cost savings from electricity vs. gasoline and lower maintenance costs it won’t really cost me more than buying an average gas-powered car.
The new Tesla 3 will cost $35k US Dollars, approximately $44k Canadian based on exchange rates. With the additional costs of a charging station and taxes it will come to about $55k. That is a lot of money and perhaps a big deterrent for people. However, the Tesla hits all the requirements to get the maximum government rebate in Ontario of $14k. Now I’m down to $41k. That’s much more reasonable but still costly, however, there are financial solutions.
If I financed this car over 72 months (6 years), my bi-weekly costs would be around $300. What people don’t take into consideration is the amount they are saving on gas that offsets some of that.
To put this into perspective, I drive about 30,000kms a year, just under 600km a week. I have to fill up my tank of gas every week. On average, I’ll spend $3,750 a year in gas (about $70/weekly). If I used electricity instead, I would spend about $500 extra a year at home in electricity for my car and would have a net savings of $3,250 a year or $125 bi-weekly.
So let’s go back to how much this car would cost me to finance. I would pay the dealership $300 bi-weekly but I would start saving $125 in gas. So net-net I would be spending $175 bi-weekly. I’m sure there are a lot of us out there that spend at least that much or more on car payments. This also doesn’t take into consideration the potential cost savings you might get through lower maintenance costs with the Tesla 3. Not 100% comparable but check this website out on how the Tesla S model compares to comparable vehicles and the thousands you could save long term.
Financially, it is quite affordable to buy electric and make the change. The base Tesla 3 model that I quoted above does around 350kms on a charge, which is way more than enough for the average use on a daily basis. It’s even long enough for me to do a round-trip from Oakville to London. That’s 4 hours of driving! Eventually, there will have more charging stations for even longer trips.
Unfortunately, I’ll have to wait until late 2018 to get my car that I reserved many months ago. If you are now also interested, based on the wait times, you might be waiting till 2019.
Overall, it is always better to start late than to never start at all. Think about your current lifestyle and the size of your carbon footprint . Start small and build up to what you are comfortable with.