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Discussion Starter #1
My business partner and I are going to test drive a Spark EV today. We are considering it for a delivery vehicle for our small office equipment company. We especially like the way the back folds flat when you remove the back seat cushions. It seems to pencil out nicely compared to our 1999 Ford Econoline van for supply deliveries and we would continue to deliver larger items in the van.

Does anyone, especially a Spark EV owner, have any thoughts on using one for deliveries?

Mike
 

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It would be a great vehicle for deliveries! With the backs tilted forward, there is lots of space. I hauled a bunch of nursery plants, including a 5-gallon peach tree home in mine one time.

...but how do you remove the rear seat bottoms? I've done that in the Volt pretty easily, but not the Spark. Having a flat deck would be especially nice.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
...but how do you remove the rear seat bottoms? I've done that in the Volt pretty easily, but not the Spark. Having a flat deck would be especially nice.
At the dealership they just pulled up on them and they tucked against the front seats, when I am there today I'll get a picture. You did have to remove the headrests to get everything to fold flat IIRC (it was a few months ago)

Mike
 

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My business partner and I are going to test drive a Spark EV today. We are considering it for a delivery vehicle for our small office equipment company. We especially like the way the back folds flat when you remove the back seat cushions. It seems to pencil out nicely compared to our 1999 Ford Econoline van for supply deliveries and we would continue to deliver larger items in the van.

Does anyone, especially a Spark EV owner, have any thoughts on using one for deliveries?

Mike
I test drove one several months ago and I thought it was great. If it had appeared before the Volt I would have bought on in a heartbeat. if the deliveries are within the car's range, I don't see how you could go wrong.
 

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Ya also might consider (in addition to Spark) upgrading the Econoline to a modern vehicle like a Ford Transit. :cool:

Too bad e-NV200 and Transit Connect EV are not available yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ya also might consider (in addition to Spark) upgrading the Econoline to a modern vehicle like a Ford Transit. :cool:

Too bad N200e and TransitEV are not available yet.
Yeah I am shocked that we are still running that van but even with 160,000 miles on it and employees driving it for the last 15 years it looks and runs great. Since the bulk of our deliveries are supplies the plan is to get a new vehicle for that and retain the van as long as it is working well for the occasional larger delivery. The transit is actually too small for large copiers. There are still a few we have to use movers for even with the full sized Econoline.

Mike
 

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I would say that if u would go < 50 miles per day/trip in the Spark EV, GO 4 it!

My business partner and I are going to test drive a Spark EV today. We are considering it for a delivery vehicle for our small office equipment company. We especially like the way the back folds flat when you remove the back seat cushions. It seems to pencil out nicely compared to our 1999 Ford Econoline van for supply deliveries and we would continue to deliver larger items in the van.

Does anyone, especially a Spark EV owner, have any thoughts on using one for deliveries?

Mike
Your question seems more skewed to whether the performance of the car suits short in town deliveries and the cargo hold area. In that area I think the Spark would suit well. However, if we are also talking about longer distances and recharges, etc... then there are considerations that may knock an EV off our 1st choice list.
Thusly, you could probably drive the car over 125 miles in a day, but not easily. We all know that in business we need convenience and we need it when we need it. I would hate to have your Spark EV go out in the morning and come back 60 miles later with a tiny bit of battery... then need to go another 20 miles an hour later. A Level 2, 220v charger would mitigate some of that worry but in the extreme circumstance, probably not. I'm guessing you do mostly in town runs and won't have such a problem. Also, I guess you could just take the van if the car was questionable for range. And this type of scenario means your a getting good use out of the Spark EV so that would be a positive thing as well. Just like too many orders for product is a good thing.. even if it means you're too busy for lunch or dates after work. lol

You didn't mention whether you would consider a 220 (L2) charger is that a consideration, or are we talking 5-10 mile chunks 1-2 times daily?
 

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Yeah I am shocked that we are still running that van but even with 160,000 miles on it and employees driving it for the last 15 years it looks and runs great. Since the bulk of our deliveries are supplies the plan is to get a new vehicle for that and retain the van as long as it is working well for the occasional larger delivery. The transit is actually too small for large copiers. There are still a few we have to use movers for even with the full sized Econoline.

Mike
Shoot, I didn't notice the mention of keeping the van around. That makes the Spark a no-brainer. Keep the van in running condition, use it for the larger loads and as a backup, and use the Spark as the main hauler. How could this go wrong?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
We would definitely put in a level 2.

For the Kia referenced above $250 a month is for a lease and we were looking to buy (I don't want to put the expense of a wrap into a short term vehicle)

Mike
 

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OK this is absurd, my accountant is telling me we cannot deduct it as a delivery vehicle (We can depreciate it) as it would count as a "Luxury Vehicle" while a Truck or Van we can expense. He tends to be very conservative so does anyone know of a rule allowing small cars to be expensed if we pay cash for them? Otherwise I guess we do the old car loan crap and depreciate it.
 

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OK this is absurd, my accountant is telling me we cannot deduct it as a delivery vehicle (We can depreciate it) as it would count as a "Luxury Vehicle" while a Truck or Van we can expense. He tends to be very conservative so does anyone know of a rule allowing small cars to be expensed if we pay cash for them? Otherwise I guess we do the old car loan crap and depreciate it.
Doing a quick Google of "section 179 luxury auto limitation", it appears a van or pickup can be fully depreciated in the first year, but an automobile has a maximum of $11,160 times business-use percentage per year.

If you painted the company logo on the outside, removed the back seats and installed a permanent deck, and somehow modified it so access to cargo area was limited from the front, it might then qualify as a van, and then could be fully depreciated the first year. I did see one reference to the front extending no more than 30" from the leading edge of the wind shield... Spark might just qualify, you would have to measure it.
 

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OK this is absurd, my accountant is telling me we cannot deduct it as a delivery vehicle (We can depreciate it) as it would count as a "Luxury Vehicle" while a Truck or Van we can expense. He tends to be very conservative so does anyone know of a rule allowing small cars to be expensed if we pay cash for them? Otherwise I guess we do the old car loan crap and depreciate it.
I tend to listen to my CPA on tax issues. Internet forums not so much.
 

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I tend to listen to my CPA on tax issues. Internet forums not so much.
Sheesh, MD. In this day, anyone can look up the IRS documents online, read those, read related online docs from sites that specialize in tax information, and become a little more educated. One might even dig in and read the full details and learn exactly why one's accountant said what he said about deductions. One might then be able to have a more informed discussion with one's accountant regarding what exactly qualifies and exactly how much qualifies to be deducted.

Or one could just shoot from the hip and disregard everything anyone writes on the internet, because we all know what fools people are who write stuff on message boards, and just believe only what our accountant tells us.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I do listen to my CPA but forums sometimes give me ideas to bring up with him. Actually it will be 100% business use (Delivery vehicle kept and used from the office) so $11K a year sounds decent. I just want to make sure any expenses we need this year are completed in time as things have improved drastically over last year so the tax hit is going to be significant.
 

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First, Let me say that the spark has some great reviews (I've never seen one in person since it's only sold on the left coast), and since this is a forum dedicated to Chevy electric vehicles, I think it would be a great choice for your business, except for the problems that relate to deductions for business use.

I must, however, point out an alternative vehicle that my wife and I own. The Mitsubishi i-miev. It also has seats that fold flat creating a flat floor for cargo. Although this vehicle gets dinged for it's shorter range, our i consistently yields better range than the EPA estimate (this morning it estimated 82 miles of range when it departed the garage). This better range is a result of my wife driving it on local streets at 45-50 mph, similar to how a delivery vehicle might be driven. Another reason people turn up their nose at the Mistu, is that it has a rather plain or basic (utilitarian) interior, again no problem for a delivery vehicle. But the i-miev has the Chademo connector for DC fast charging (The spark uses the J1772 frankenplug of which there are few if any fast chargers available) and the Mitsu starts at about $22,995 compared to the Spark's $26,685 MSRP. If you're willing to go get one, there are several used i-miev's available in the 10,000-14,000 range with 10,000 miles or less. If you do consider this alternative keep in mind that all 2014's have the DC fast charging, but on the 2012's it was optional, so be careful!
 

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I do listen to my CPA but forums sometimes give me ideas to bring up with him. Actually it will be 100% business use (Delivery vehicle kept and used from the office) so $11K a year sounds decent. I just want to make sure any expenses we need this year are completed in time as things have improved drastically over last year so the tax hit is going to be significant.
If the vehicle is 100% business use I'd go back and talk with the CPA again. After all, that's what we pay them for.

I would expect that any property a business purchases would be subject to corporate tax rules. Make sense?
 

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OK this is absurd, my accountant is telling me we cannot deduct it as a delivery vehicle (We can depreciate it) as it would count as a "Luxury Vehicle" while a Truck or Van we can expense. He tends to be very conservative so does anyone know of a rule allowing small cars to be expensed if we pay cash for them? Otherwise I guess we do the old car loan crap and depreciate it.
Heck, how do restaurants doing deliveries handle it? Look at all the small cars with pizza logos on them. They are obviously using it for deliveries and it's not a truck.
 

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If the vehicle is 100% business use I'd go back and talk with the CPA again. After all, that's what we pay them for.
This. Or, find another CPA. There are good ones, and there are bad ones. My mom used to go to a CPA for years, she moved and found a different CPA who always seems to find an extra couple hundred dollars for her during tax time.

Anywho, if the vehicle is 100% business, i don't see why it can't be treated as a business vehicle. Remember the loophole (probably gone by now) where businesses could lease or purchase Hummers and Cadillac SUV's for business because it ended up so cheap to do it?

Also, if you do use a Spark or whatnot as a personal vehicle, but for business, and do mileage reimbursements, that could pay for itself. Not sure if this applies to you or not, however.

Heck, how do restaurants doing deliveries handle it? Look at all the small cars with pizza logos on them. They are obviously using it for deliveries and it's not a truck.
Around here, pizza delivery vehicles are owned by the employees delivering them. Some companies will reimburse a bit for gas, but wear and tear is on the employee. That's why tips are so greatly appreciated by these folks.
 

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The mileage deduction for business use will be a nice bonus - I think it's 55¢ per mile which would be $5500 per year for 10,000 miles. As others have said, it's a no brainer - make the jump.

BTW, I'm presently looking to buy a cargo van for my business and have penciled in the new Transit van at the top of my list - a test drive is scheduled for this afternoon. The Transit is now being made in Kansas City and it replaces the Econoline. The big differences are availability of taller roofs and substantially better gas mileage due to lighter weight (unibody construction).

The Transit is bigger than the compact-sized Transit Connect which you might want to check out if you don't get the Spark EV.
 
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