First time considering an EV

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jonspectre

Original Poster:

29 posts

9 months

Sunday 11th November
quotequote all
First time on this section of the forum - be gentle!

I'm approaching two-thirds of the way through my current lease deal, and have started looking at options to replace it in due course. As another option simply taking on another lease, this time I've been considering buying a car and keeping it for 10 years or so. The cars I'm looking at are mainly in the £25-30k price bracket.

It occurred to me that I've never considered an EV, mainly due to what I now know is referred to as 'range anxiety', and the lack of charging point at home. However, in reality most days I'm in the office which is a 25 mile round trip; when I'm out and about I very rarely do over 100 miles which makes the newer EVs a more realistic prospect and I doubt I'd need to use a charge station very often. I've also in the last few days realised my workplace has a couple of charging stations that I never knew existed and seem to be mainly free during the day.

I see the Nissan Leaf (top spec Tekna) is £29-30k, so at the upper end of the price bracket as the petrol engined cars I would consider and has all the options that I'd want in any new car and some in addition.

However, knowing noting about EVs, I do have a couple of initial questions:

1. I live in an apartment in a converted coach house. I have a dedicated parking space (freehold). The run from the electricity meter to my parking space is approximately 30 metres and the cable would need to be installed underground by lifting brick and relaying. Not too significant a job, but I am unsure where I could test the feasibility of this install (and cost)? Any pointers?

2. The Leaf is advertised as having a reliable 150 mile range. As I rarely do over 100 miles a day, this would in theory work well for me. Is the advertised range realistic, especially with using the heater, seat heaters, steering wheel heater, radio, etc.? Do the batteries degrade over time? I know nothing about EVs, but would be worried that I be only able to cover 50 miles on a full charge in a few years which would render the car pretty useless for my needs.

3. Any pointers to specific forums where I can read up on EVs in general?

I guess I am just in the process of deciding whether an EV is a feasible option for me. If it is, I think I'll end up asking my local dealer for an extended test drive to see how I get on in a real world situation and then go from there.

GuinnessMK

1,586 posts

158 months

Sunday 11th November
quotequote all
We bought a Zoe in February this year, so are still pretty new to the EV game. We looked at the old Leaf (discounted as too ugly) and the new Leaf (very nice, but way out of our budget for what for us is ultimately a very lightly used vehicle).

In reverse;

3, try https://www.speakev.com/ for some sound advice.

2, real world range on our Zoe is pretty dependant on driving style and outside temperature, things like having the heater or lights on don't seem to make that much difference, driving smoothly in Eco mode is far more efficient than driving like a taxi in "blue" mode. Doing things like using the timer to preheat the car on cold mornings, means its warm when you get in, and you don't loose range. We've got the battery lease model, so if the battery dies, Renault replace it.

1, We live in a terraced house and paid about £350 for an EO Mini https://www.eocharging.com/eo-charging-at-home/ although I split the install into two parts, I had my sparky run the cable from the DB to the back yard as I trust him to do it sympathetically as we'd just had the whole house redecorated and re-carpeted, and then a Govt approved installer put the box on the end and plug it in.

As I say, we're 9 months in, and it's been great. Few issues about range anxiety in the period before we got the home charger installed, when we were relying on either the Local Authority or Public Charging Network. She's passed her MOT and requires almost zero servicing.

Oh and the 0-40 performance has left a few people surprised.

If I ever go back to the real world and need a car (I currently cycle to work), I'd be looking at a Hyundai Kona if I was ordering today, and they are available on Lings mad website https://www.lingscars.com/personal-car-leasing?mak...



gangzoom

1,400 posts

151 months

Sunday 11th November
quotequote all
1: I've seen plenty of similar installations but cannot help on cost. Technically its not a big deal, essentially just a 32amp socket.

2: I wouldn't worry about battery degradation, unless your literally going from 100-0% everday virtually all the EVs onsale today have battery packs that will outlast the rolling chassis.

If you have a budget up to £30k I would be looking at the Kona EV or Niro EV. They are by far the technically most accomplished EVs on the market interms of energy efficency and range - Better than Tesla, and in a different league from the Leaf. But the Kona isnt big, boot/rear passenger space is tiny compared to a Leaf. Niro EV still has no official price or launch date in the UK.

Leaf is a fine car, but Nissan has been lazy and not really advanced the tech in the car since it launched in 2011. Depsite the current Leaf looking fresh underneath the drivetrain tech is essentially the same as from 2011. Personally I woudlnt drop anything close to £30k on one.

More and more EVs are coming to market though so choices will go up. Unless your really keen to buy one as a longterm keeper probably makes more sense to lease/PCP one.

Edited by gangzoom on Sunday 11th November 17:54

SCEtoAUX

1,219 posts

17 months

Tuesday 13th November
quotequote all
jonspectre said:
First time on this section of the forum - be gentle!

I'm approaching two-thirds of the way through my current lease deal, and have started looking at options to replace it in due course. As another option simply taking on another lease, this time I've been considering buying a car and keeping it for 10 years or so. The cars I'm looking at are mainly in the £25-30k price bracket.

It occurred to me that I've never considered an EV, mainly due to what I now know is referred to as 'range anxiety', and the lack of charging point at home. However, in reality most days I'm in the office which is a 25 mile round trip; when I'm out and about I very rarely do over 100 miles which makes the newer EVs a more realistic prospect and I doubt I'd need to use a charge station very often. I've also in the last few days realised my workplace has a couple of charging stations that I never knew existed and seem to be mainly free during the day.

I see the Nissan Leaf (top spec Tekna) is £29-30k, so at the upper end of the price bracket as the petrol engined cars I would consider and has all the options that I'd want in any new car and some in addition.

However, knowing noting about EVs, I do have a couple of initial questions:

1. I live in an apartment in a converted coach house. I have a dedicated parking space (freehold). The run from the electricity meter to my parking space is approximately 30 metres and the cable would need to be installed underground by lifting brick and relaying. Not too significant a job, but I am unsure where I could test the feasibility of this install (and cost)? Any pointers?

2. The Leaf is advertised as having a reliable 150 mile range. As I rarely do over 100 miles a day, this would in theory work well for me. Is the advertised range realistic, especially with using the heater, seat heaters, steering wheel heater, radio, etc.? Do the batteries degrade over time? I know nothing about EVs, but would be worried that I be only able to cover 50 miles on a full charge in a few years which would render the car pretty useless for my needs.

3. Any pointers to specific forums where I can read up on EVs in general?

I guess I am just in the process of deciding whether an EV is a feasible option for me. If it is, I think I'll end up asking my local dealer for an extended test drive to see how I get on in a real world situation and then go from there.
Leaf owner here. (24KwH Acenta, had it for 4 years and 41k miles. Love it).

1 - Sounds perfectly feasible. You don't need a dedicated charging point, just a weather-sealed exterior 3 pin socket, and cabling heavy enough to pull 13 amps. Charing like this takes my car from flat to 100% overnight. It wouldn't charge the new 40KwH Leaf overnight, assuming something like 2.5Kw going in every hour, but it would do pretty well. Also, it's unlikely you'll be returning home with a completely flat battery.

2 - I'd be astonished if the new Leaf doesn't have a range of 120 miles under worst possible conditions, and I'd guess 150 as easily achievable under normal conditions. Batteries do degrade over time, but it's a very long time in the UK climate, especially if slow charging most of the time. 100k miles should be expected as an absolute minimum before you *might* need to swap some cells.

3 - As above.

Heres Johnny

4,328 posts

60 months

Wednesday 14th November
quotequote all
Charging on a 3 pin plug is possibly an option but if you’re installing a cable then go 32amp regardless, but if a normal plug is much cheaper then as suggested worth thinking about.

3 pin will be 10a max charge rate due to uk regs (13a is short term load only), which equates to 2.3kw. That should add about 9-10 miles of rated range for every hour charging. A 10 hour over night charge would add 100 miles which would be plenty for you, and if you can fill up at work, even better.

Some run EVs without home charging but I th8nk that’s a dangerous game, especially on shorter range EVs. Public charging is generally getting more expensive, or rather it’s increasingly difficult to find free chargers.

Kona is the pick at the moment, but very long waiting list. Used i3 is also an option as even 1 year old ones are creeping in you budget, and you could look at a REX which has a small petrol engine to charge the batteries if you get desperate (it’s much better than a hybrid),
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sjg

5,853 posts

201 months

Wednesday 14th November
quotequote all
For 1, worth seeking out a local electrician who's set up for the OLEV home charging grant. It sounds like you should be eligible for the grant wording is here if you want to check) but the big national companies (who only do charge points) can be a pain once you go beyond a straightforward <10m run that can be done in an hour or two - which is what their advertised prices are for. Generalist electrical contractors will be quite used to doing more complicated stuff, but there's nothing too difficult about a 30m run underground.

Rolec tend to use independent installers and can put you in touch with one to quote.

2. The 40kwh Leaf should do 100 miles easily under all conditions for many many years.

3. I use speakev.com but there are probably Leaf-specific forums and facebook groups too. Bear in mind they often attract the moaners!

dmsims

2,389 posts

203 months

Wednesday 14th November
quotequote all
If you don't already have think about fitting an Economy 7 meter (and a scheduler for charging - e.g. TP-Link HS100)

DMZ

50 posts

96 months

Monday 19th November
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Re buying an EV for 10 years and keeping it, I'm not sure that's the right approach in a rapidly evolving market. Everything now will be solidly obsolete in three years time. This isn't like buying a normal car where the only innovation in the last five years has been the size of the infotainment screen. Mind you, they will be even more obsolete in three years time. So I think leasing makes sense until things settle down.

REALIST123

10,370 posts

89 months

Monday 19th November
quotequote all
DMZ said:
Re buying an EV for 10 years and keeping it, I'm not sure that's the right approach in a rapidly evolving market. Everything now will be solidly obsolete in three years time. This isn't like buying a normal car where the only innovation in the last five years has been the size of the infotainment screen. Mind you, they will be even more obsolete in three years time. So I think leasing makes sense until things settle down.
Are you saying that a 2015 Tesla is now obsolete? Or a similar aged Leaf, i3?

As for innovation in normal cars, their semi autonomous abilities, over the air updates, media capabilities have all developed significantly in the last 5 years, not to mention general ride, handling capabilities and efficiency.

It’s a safe bet that those 2015 ‘obsolete’ EVs will still be in regular use in another 10 years.

DMZ

50 posts

96 months

Monday 19th November
quotequote all
Yep but you're missing the point.

The point is this:

In the last three years, very little has happened with EV's other than 50% more range. Pretty much exactly the same cars are for sale today as they were in November 2015.

Do you think that's going to be the case in 2021 seeing as every manufacturer is now planning a complete overhaul of the range in the next 3-5 years with a focus on EV's? Not only perhaps another 50% range which is going to take EV's into the mainstream but also very many alternatives from every manufacturer so you will have massive choice of size, range, and cost. It's going to be a night and day difference seeing as we're on the cusp of a massive transformation in terms of propulsion technology and autonomy. Obviously in a rapidly developing market in terms of capabilities you don't want to be locked into old tech. That would be like buying an iPhone 2 and thinking this was going to be it for the next 10 years.

I think I would also prefer if a leasing company considered the deprecation impact that this would have and not me.

What I'm banking on as an existing EV owner who isn't leasing is that just like last year when I bought mine to meet my needs then there will be a buyer in 3-5 years time who has half or less of my budget but has the same needs as I do and will buy mine for a reasonable penny as the supply of used EV's will be quite limited so I can upgrade to the latest and greatest. But hand on heart, I think leasing makes a lot more sense.

sjg

5,853 posts

201 months

Monday 19th November
quotequote all
But there's a couple of extra factors in play now:

- two or three years ago, EVs were tough to sell. There were lots of incentives from manufacturer finance arms to get cars sold, hence lots of really good deals on them. Lots of people coming off those deals now find the current market is a lot tougher - yes, the current Leaf / Zoe are way better than the old ones, plus lots of brilliant new cars - but they're getting sold on their own merits, no need to push them. Some like the Kona are so supply constrained it's either buy cash or take a hefty PCP rate and they still have people queuing up for them. So there's a good case there for regarding it as a 5+ year purchase for it to make sense.

- that extra range and capability means if you're well inside the limits now for your everyday use, you don't have to worry too much about battery degradation. A 1st gen Leaf or Zoe owner who works 25 or 30 miles away might be getting very tight now through winter unless they can charge at work. If they had a current Leaf or Zoe they could lose a huge chunk of capacity and still be just fine.

- on the flip side, range is still strongly tied to battery capacity and hence cost. Yes, there'll be 500+ mile range EVs inside the next decade, but they'll be pricey. What will people think is "enough"? If you're looking at a Golf or Focus with 300 mile range for £30k, would you be willing to pay an extra £10k for an extra 200 miles on the odd occasion you'd need it?

- Apple CarPlay / Android Auto is getting very commonplace (it's on most of the current EVs) and by making the smartphone the navigation / entertainment hub, it updates as the phones do. It certainly won't feel as clunky as a 5 or 10 year old navi system does today.

- rapid charging, almost everything uses CHAdeMO (most commonly installed) or CCS (the becoming ubiquitous Euro standard). I can't see either disappearing at rapid charging stations in the next decade, even if something better comes along.

Yes, there's good stuff coming, there always is. But you could equally buy something affordable and suitable for your needs and get many many years of cheap and happy motoring out of it in the meantime.

REALIST123

10,370 posts

89 months

Monday 19th November
quotequote all
DMZ said:
Yep but you're missing the point.

The point is this:

In the last three years, very little has happened with EV's other than 50% more range. Pretty much exactly the same cars are for sale today as they were in November 2015.

Do you think that's going to be the case in 2021 seeing as every manufacturer is now planning a complete overhaul of the range in the next 3-5 years with a focus on EV's? Not only perhaps another 50% range which is going to take EV's into the mainstream but also very many alternatives from every manufacturer so you will have massive choice of size, range, and cost. It's going to be a night and day difference seeing as we're on the cusp of a massive transformation in terms of propulsion technology and autonomy. Obviously in a rapidly developing market in terms of capabilities you don't want to be locked into old tech. That would be like buying an iPhone 2 and thinking this was going to be it for the next 10 years.

I think I would also prefer if a leasing company considered the deprecation impact that this would have and not me.

What I'm banking on as an existing EV owner who isn't leasing is that just like last year when I bought mine to meet my needs then there will be a buyer in 3-5 years time who has half or less of my budget but has the same needs as I do and will buy mine for a reasonable penny as the supply of used EV's will be quite limited so I can upgrade to the latest and greatest. But hand on heart, I think leasing makes a lot more sense.
I missed no point. You’ve completely changed your argument.

What you now say is a far cry from ‘everything now will be solidly obsolete in three years’.

Which it won’t.

Heres Johnny

4,328 posts

60 months

Monday 19th November
quotequote all
Over the next 3 years the change will be more reliable charging infrastructure and more choice. I doubt the technology is going to move on massively.

But I don’t get why peop,e talk about buying an EV and keeping it for 10 years. Have people ever done this with other cars?

kambites

55,411 posts

157 months

Monday 19th November
quotequote all
I've had my current daily driver for nearly 12 years. smile

gangzoom

1,400 posts

151 months

Tuesday 20th November
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Heres Johnny said:
But I don’t get why peop,e talk about buying an EV and keeping it for 10 years. Have people ever done this with other cars?
Sold the BMW because it turned into a money pit within 12 month of ownership, before that was a 350Z which was a waste of money but I was young, before that the DC2 Teg was a impulse buy, no aircon/radio sitting in M25 traffic isn't fun!!

My wife on the otherhand kept her last car 8 years, only sold it because the clutch went and I than had a misadventure with a wall in it!! Current car she did want to keep for longer, but the perfomance Model 3 I suspect will be too tempting.

If you look on the roads your see ALOT of cars more than 8 years old, for EVs to be viable they have to last as long if it not longer. Our X is doing everything we want from a family car I cannot see any good reason to swap it apart from pure temptation to change.

On a similar note am current in India at the moment, Wiki says the city am in is in the top 5 most polluted cities in the world!! Visibility on a clear road yesterday was less than 100 meters due to smog. Traffic is so bad it takes 30 mintues to move 2 miles, the majority of traffic is 2 stroke mopeds/motorbikes, but your still never more than 50 meters away from a plug point.

This is where EVs would make massive sense and radically improve peoples lives. No one travels more than 10 miles a day here due to traffic, but replacing even 10% of combustion engines with EVs will clean up the air massively, the sun is out all the time which would be more than enough to meet any grid demand for charging. Yet I've seen 0 EVs and 0 solar PV panels.

Cost is the biggest challenge for EV development, but that cost will fall, and if you contrast this scene below with a similar size city in China your see the importance of government policy to help drive social development. But if EVs didn't have an operating life of at least a decade it would be a disaster for many in these communities.



Edited by gangzoom on Tuesday 20th November 02:43

Heres Johnny

4,328 posts

60 months

Tuesday 20th November
quotequote all
gangzoom said:
If you look on the roads your see ALOT of cars more than 8 years old, ]
Of course - but how many people buy a car new and keep it forever? That doesn't cars die, it means they have a new owner for a few years

You're on the Tesla owners group, how many people there are on their second or third car? Lots of them.


SCEtoAUX

1,219 posts

17 months

Tuesday 20th November
quotequote all
We intend to keep our Leaf for as long as possible.

Every month that goes by is like a free £100.00 in your pocket and you get to drive a lovely car. Over the winter months it's all toasty and defrosted in the mornings too.

They're creeping up in price. Ours cost £7k to buy (including the battery) at the end of the four year PCP. It's a 64 Reg Acenta with 42k miles. You won't find one on Autotrader with an owned battery and that age/mileage for under £9k.


Edited by SCEtoAUX on Tuesday 20th November 08:35

gangzoom

1,400 posts

151 months

Tuesday 20th November
quotequote all
Heres Johnny said:
Of course - but how many people buy a car new and keep it forever? That doesn't cars die, it means they have a new owner for a few years

You're on the Tesla owners group, how many people there are on their second or third car? Lots of them.
The Tesla owners group is far from the 'normal' car buying public. Most people on this forum can only dream of owning a brand new £70k+ car, let alone change it on the whim every 12 months. In fact the Tesla owners group is almost the perfect example of social inequality, and has little resemblance to how most normal people buy/use cars.

For EVs to be actually viable mass market we need for cars like the Kona not more Teslas, however for both long-term battery health is vital. But that doesn't change the fact without Tesla Hyundia woudlnt have made the Kona.


Edited by gangzoom on Tuesday 20th November 08:55

kambites

55,411 posts

157 months

Tuesday 20th November
quotequote all
Heres Johnny said:
Of course - but how many people buy a car new and keep it forever? That doesn't cars die, it means they have a new owner for a few years
Logically that shouldn't matter because the lower running costs of second-hand EVs should prop up residuals bringing down the TCO for new drivers. Of course such residuals are, for now at least, speculative and the confidence isn't there for it to happen but in the long run it probably will... assuming of course that EVs prove reliable in the long-term.

If you can still buy a pure ICE mainstream car brand new in fifteen years time, I could see the residuals being pretty horrific.


It'll be interesting to see if the "change cars every three years" thing carries on with EVs. A significant part of the advertising manufacturers use to push people into that mind-set was the ever increasing fuel efficiency of new cars - how often do we hear about people buying (or leasing) a brand new car because it's got an official economy figure 5mpg higher than their old one? Assuming they prove reliable, I think we might see a drop off in the number of people swapping cars every few years.

Edited by kambites on Tuesday 20th November 09:09

Heres Johnny

4,328 posts

60 months

Tuesday 20th November
quotequote all
That doesn’t make sense. People change cars because they get bored or want a refresh. Bmw owners, merc owners, it’s not just Tesla owners, think of all those on pcp that have to flip them every 3 or 4 years to have a car on the never never. EV running costs being lower? Service packs on ICE are way lower than Tesla (I can here the clamber to say you don’t need to service a Tesla to keep warranty.. usually by people who don’t understand what an ICE service entails and seem to like running risks in life). Public charging is close to petrol prices per mile too, 20-30p per kWh, that’s 8-12p a mile, equiv to 40-60 mpg, not massively different. Sure, some will charge at home to help reduce that but the days of free charging are disappearing fast.

And none of this should be a surprise, electric cars aren’t going to be massively different to ice in terms of buyer behaviour. Tesla already have 4 levels of autopilot hardware..none, hw1/AP1, EAP/HW2 and HW2.5 with the extra dashcam feature, people upgrade from AP1 to EAP, they’ll do it again when their car doesn’t support the next big thing when it comes out.