The winners, one of whom herself helped with fundraising for Garfield High School, was very impressed with the car.
The Tesla was this year’s prize, but last year’s was a Nissan LEAF. I look forward to seeing if this trend continues. (Partial disclosure: I bought a raffle ticket for the Tesla. Full disclosure: I’m jealous. This is the EV Envy blog, after all.)
What they don’t mention in the news articles or the small print of the poster detailing the raffle, is that the winner must pay income tax on the prize, as I discovered last year as a result of winning my prized Current Motor Super Scooter from a sweepstakes I chanced upon at the SXSW conference web site last year. (Note: there does not appear to be a similar electric vehicle raffle there this year, but Elon Musk of Tesla Motors and SpaceX fame was involved in the keynote.)
Garfield High School received $100 for each raffle ticket, but Uncle Sam will demand >$20,000 in income tax from the winner. Ouch! On the other hand, taking home the $50,000 cash alternative prize would leave the winner with about $36,000 free and clear after tax, which I could use to pay for two Brammo Empulse R 6-speed electric motorcycles with 100 miles of range, on which Chris and I could whisper across the countryside together.
With a range of about 100 miles (less at highway speeds) and a J1772 charging plug, the Brammo Empulse is effectively a Nissan LEAF on two wheels (without the climate control). The Current Motor Super Scooter, on the other hand, has only a 40 mile range (50 for the high performance option) and an L1 (110V) charging plug. The silver lining to the 110V plug is that they are everywhere (but you might have to bother someone to get permission to use theirs), and L2 plugs and charging stations are still not as common or as easy to find as gas stations).