I just read this great article on Green Car Reports about compliance cars. The sad reality is that most EVs being released next year are compliance cars. In fact, even some of my top car choices are compliance cars. Right now, I’m seriously considering the CODA Sedan, Nissan LEAF, and Ford Focus EV. Other compliance cars, like the Honda Fit EV are an almost automatic “no” because they are lease-only.
I’ve been trying to decide: Is there anything wrong with getting a compliance car? This was my initial reason for not wanting a Ford Focus EV, but after reading about all of it’s awesome features, I’ve been considering it even more (remember, the MINI E was a compliance car and it was a wonderful vehicle). However, the Green Car Reports article brings up a great point:
Do you want a car that’s a begrudging, low-volume effort from a manufacturer not committed to the segment?
My answer is “I don’t know.” I don’t know if I want to give my money to a company that is making clean cars because they are being forced to rather than a company that truly stands behind a sustainable future. Of course, if no one buys the Ford Focus EV for this reason, Ford can easily say, “see? No one wants these cars!” I’d love to prove them wrong.
While I know that Renault/Nissan truly believes in EVs and stands behind the LEAF, I don’t particularly like how the LEAF looks. I would probably feel safest buying a car from Nissan, knowing that they will continue to support my car for the coming years. Similarly, CODA stands behind EVs (they only make one car, and it’s electric!), but there’s no saying if they will be around in five years to repair/service my EV (in the rare case that it needs such maintenance). Like Nissan, Ford is probably going to be around a while, but I wouldn’t be surprised if at any time they abandoned their EV program and left drivers on their own, like Toyota did to the RAV4 EV drivers.
What are your thoughts on compliance cars? Would you buy one? Why or why not? Would you buy a car from a new company like CODA?