Today the Geek Squad and Toyota announced that Best Buy (the Geek Squad’s operators) is switching from their iconic VW Beetle’s over to Toyota Prius c’s. While this is great for Toyota and Prius sales, it strikes me that an interesting opportunity is being missed. There’s several companies offering services in a similar model – Geek Squad for electronics delivery and installation, Dominos for pizza delivery, etc. Their driving needs are modest and are likely satisfiable with a battery electric vehicle. At the same time there is a flood of used Leaf’s on the market making it a great opportunity to get a BEV at a cut-rate price.
From what I hear, used off-lease Leaf’s can be had for about $7,000 apiece (in the U.S.) for retail consumers. A fleet purchaser could possibly swing a better deal, and maybe Nissan could arrange a program of refurbishing and certification as well as a good price on a battery pack replacement. The cost could easily come in well below the $25k or more required to buy a brand new Prius. Plus, the fleet owner would have the opportunity to save megabucks on fuel cost.
The Leaf has more cargo area than the Prius c. The Leaf is even greener than the Prius c. The Leaf can be recharged on the Best Buy premises. Electricity fuel cost is a fraction of gasoline fuel cost. Maintenance for BEV’s is much lower than for Hybrids.
Bottom line is that the ultra-low price for used Leaf’s should be seen as an economic opportunity that forward-thinking people or organizations should endeavor to exploit.
Here’s Toyota’s press release, FWIW.
April 11, 2016
An armada of agents is about to roll out in Toyota Prius c. Their mission: to help people across America get the most from their technology.
Starting today, Best Buy’s Geek Squad will dispatch more than 1,000 of the vehicles – fully decked out as the new Geekmobile – nationwide.
With more than five million house calls a year, Geek Squad Agents annually drive an estimated 12.6 million miles (or roughly 20.3 million kilometers, 100.8 million furlongs or 4.2 million leagues). That’s a lot of road (and gas), making the hip hatch’s EPA estimated city fuel economy of 53 mpg particularly attractive. The Prius c’s SULEV (Super ultra-low emissions vehicle) rating also is appealing given Best Buy’s commitment to reduce its own carbon emissions.
Geek Squad rolled out in 2004 as the first national computer support task force. And while the Priusc’s 17-plus cubic feet of cargo space might not fit a mainframe, it’s a volume spacious enough to shuttle just about anything an agent might need – whether optimizing a home theater system or improving Wi-Fi performance or installing a security solution.
Drive long and prosper.
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