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Frank Hovis

Electric Cars

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I am not an early adopter of anything, I am an economic adopter (when it makes financial sense I do it), and as a result electric cars have just hoved into my view.

I have a daily 100 mile commute (50 miles each way) which in my efficient diesel car takes a bit under two gallons of diesel or about £12. Hybrids that I've seen are much more expensive to buy and maintain than a diesel and real-world effiicency is worse if anything so I'm not considering one of those.

Electric cars are mooted to run at £1 for every 50 miles so that would be £2 a day. Meaning the fuel saving is about £2,500 per year.

I have a garage with power so overnight charging would be easy.

I don't think they're quite there yet as:

  • 100 miles seems to be at the brink of their effective range
  • At £2,500 a year it would take ten years to pay for a decent electric car and the batteries for one don't last that long, whereupon it's another £7k IIRC to get a new set

So are there changes underway that would get their effective range up to a more usable 150 miles and would also see the cost come down? Or is where they are now where they're likely to be for the foreseeable future?

That would basically inform whether I ran my current car into very high miles before switching or changed car once / several times on the grounds they may not achieve this range for many years yet.

Edit: commute is relatively easy driving, not much start stop, acceleration and heavy braking or big hills. If there was I wouln't be fine with doing it every day.

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Might it not be more economic to change jobs or move house? How much value do you place on those two hours of your life spent driving every working day?

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http://www.batteryvehiclesociety.org.uk/bvsorguk/portal/

Saw one being charged at the hospital this week. Took a photo. Didn't we have a thread about it somewhere with points to be awarded?

Thanks Sarah but that looks to be one for the enthusiasts, and the use of the term "fossil fuel" flags up their agenda in clear type.

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Might it not be more economic to change jobs or move house? How much value do you place on those two hours of your life spent driving every working day?

Nope. Love where I live, really like the job and the only company that would have an equivalent post would be a further 20 min drive each way. I find the commute easy in spring, summer, autumn but admittedly a pain in the winter. Nothing is perfect.

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I am not an early adopter of anything, I am an economic adopter (when it makes financial sense I do it), and as a result electric cars have just hoved into my view.

I have a daily 100 mile commute (50 miles each way) which in my efficient diesel car takes a bit under two gallons of diesel or about £12. Hybrids that I've seen are much more expensive to buy and maintain than a diesel and real-world effiicency is worse if anything so I'm not considering one of those.

Electric cars are mooted to run at £1 for every 50 miles so that would be £2 a day. Meaning the fuel saving is about £2,500 per year.

I have a garage with power so overnight charging would be easy.

I don't think they're quite there yet as:

  • 100 miles seems to be at the brink of their effective range
  • At £2,500 a year it would take ten years to pay for a decent electric car and the batteries for one don't last that long, whereupon it's another £7k IIRC to get a new set

So are there changes underway that would get their effective range up to a more usable 150 miles and would also see the cost come down? Or is where they are now where they're likely to be for the foreseeable future?

That would basically inform whether I ran my current car into very high miles before switching or changed car once / several times on the grounds they may not achieve this range for many years yet.

Edit: commute is relatively easy driving, not much start stop, acceleration and heavy braking or big hills. If there was I wouln't be fine with doing it every day.

TBH a 50-mile each way commute is too far for modern EVs. Especially in winter your return journey would be getting into squeaky bum territory.

The average is about 10 miles each way, which would be fine.

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TBH a 50-mile each way commute is too far for modern EVs. Especially in winter your return journey would be getting into squeaky bum territory.

The average is about 10 miles each way, which would be fine.

Ok, so some way off then. Thanks, I'll replace with another diesel when the time comes.

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A tesla model S would do it - and in some style

basic model claims over 240 mile range, with the top over well over 300 on a charge

but that is £60k+

very impressive vehicle technology wise

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http://www.whatcar.com/car-news/volkswagen/up/2014-vw-e-up-review/1211659

VW e Up is c. £20k including battery so no leasing costs.

8 year/100,000 mile battery warranty.

Claimed 93mile range optmimum in summer, 50-75 in winter. Quick charge to 80% in 30 mins with a rapid charger.

This tech is very close to being usable imo.

There will probably be a sweet spot when electricity costs are 'reasonable' before usage increases and starts to impact on generating capacity I'd imagine. 'Course if everyone bought one then subsidies would stop, road tax would go up (or equivalent) and perhaps daytime leccy cost for recharging.

Tesla are looking to the UK to build out recharging infrastructure which is really the next step to widen adoption.

Maximum range is comparable with other electric cars'. VW quotes a possible 93 miles in optimum, summer conditions, or 50-75 miles in winter. - See more at: http://www.whatcar.com/car-news/volkswagen/up/2014-vw-e-up-review/1211659#sthash.cOYNrHlg.dpuf

The new Volkswagen e-Up is a pure electric version of our favourite city car. It gets 80bhp from its electric motor, all of which is sent through the single-speed automatic gearbox to the front wheels. It comes as standard with two charging cables – one for the standard three-point domestic sockets, which will deliver a full charge in less than nine hours. The fast-charger cable will deliver a full charge in six hours from a 3.6kW charger (which is common in public charging points), or if you have access to a DC rapid charger, the e-Up can be charged to 80% in 30 minutes.

There is no monthly payment required to lease the battery – as is the case with the Renault Zoe. Instead VW has opted to sell the battery with the e-Up, resulting in a higher list price. Volkswagen offers an eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty on the battery, and the usual three-year, 60,000-mile warranty on the car.

- See more at: http://www.whatcar.com/car-news/volkswagen/up/2014-vw-e-up-review/1211659#sthash.cOYNrHlg.dpuf

The new Volkswagen e-Up is a pure electric version of our favourite city car. It gets 80bhp from its electric motor, all of which is sent through the single-speed automatic gearbox to the front wheels. It comes as standard with two charging cables – one for the standard three-point domestic sockets, which will deliver a full charge in less than nine hours. The fast-charger cable will deliver a full charge in six hours from a 3.6kW charger (which is common in public charging points), or if you have access to a DC rapid charger, the e-Up can be charged to 80% in 30 minutes.

There is no monthly payment required to lease the battery – as is the case with the Renault Zoe. Instead VW has opted to sell the battery with the e-Up, resulting in a higher list price. Volkswagen offers an eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty on the battery, and the usual three-year, 60,000-mile warranty on the car.

- See more at: http://www.whatcar.com/car-news/volkswagen/up/2014-vw-e-up-review/1211659#sthash.cOYNrHlg.dpuf

The new Volkswagen e-Up is a pure electric version of our favourite city car. It gets 80bhp from its electric motor, all of which is sent through the single-speed automatic gearbox to the front wheels. It comes as standard with two charging cables – one for the standard three-point domestic sockets, which will deliver a full charge in less than nine hours. The fast-charger cable will deliver a full charge in six hours from a 3.6kW charger (which is common in public charging points), or if you have access to a DC rapid charger, the e-Up can be charged to 80% in 30 minutes.

There is no monthly payment required to lease the battery – as is the case with the Renault Zoe. Instead VW has opted to sell the battery with the e-Up, resulting in a higher list price. Volkswagen offers an eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty on the battery, and the usual three-year, 60,000-mile warranty on the car.

- See more at: http://www.whatcar.com/car-news/volkswagen/up/2014-vw-e-up-review/1211659#sthash.cOYNrHlg.dpuf

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A BMW i3 with the range extender engine would do you- I daresay the engine would come on for the last 20 miles of the journey home. Or as others have said, maybe you could charge it at work for the journey home?

However, as RK points out, the money saving results pretty much entirely from tax advantages which may evaporate at some point in the future. Diesel is heavily taxed and electricity isn't. The amount of energy required to move you and the car 100 miles each day doesn't change; modern common rail diesel engines are relatively thermally efficient- some are over 40% I believe. That's not quite as good as a large combustion plant but it's not far off.

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However, as RK points out, the money saving results pretty much entirely from tax advantages which may evaporate at some point in the future. Diesel is heavily taxed and electricity isn't. The amount of energy required to move you and the car 100 miles each day doesn't change; modern common rail diesel engines are relatively thermally efficient- some are over 40% I believe. That's not quite as good as a large combustion plant but it's not far off.

I believe that electric engines though are rather more efficient than that. The weak point in the electric car always was and is the battery, the electric motor is a very nice piece of kit (which is all rather unfortunate because if that combination wasn't true railways would never have sprouted the godawful mess which is electrifcation, giving them the benefit of the motor without the disadvantage of the battery, but I digress).

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I believe that electric engines though are rather more efficient than that.

Yes but its how the electricity is generated that's in question - a modern diesel being probably more efficient overall than burning gas/coal/whatever to generate electricty to charge a battery to run a motor.

As R K says, the technology is getting quite close to being useable. An 80% recharge in 30mins is pretty close, but its still not good enough. If that was 80% of 200 miles instead of 80% of 100 miles, I might sit up and seriously consider switching to electric.

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Been commuting in a 1.1 Hyundia Getz, worth about £1000. It costs £46 per week doing 300 miles. Cruises on a very flat M5 at 90mph with some effort.

Can't ever see that ti's worth the cost of buying an expensive diesel car + maintenance + running costs. The reliable 1.1 banger for long commutes is surely the best.

In two weeks I start my new job 7 miles up the road and I will be commuting on my £800 CBF125 which does 120mpg and costs £75 insurance + £17 tax per year.

You won't beat that unless your driving an appreciating classic.

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Been commuting in a 1.1 Hyundia Getz, worth about £1000. It costs £46 per week doing 300 miles. Cruises on a very flat M5 at 90mph with some effort.

Can't ever see that ti's worth the cost of buying an expensive diesel car + maintenance + running costs. The reliable 1.1 banger for long commutes is surely the best.

In two weeks I start my new job 7 miles up the road and I will be commuting on my £800 CBF125 which does 120mpg and costs £75 insurance + £17 tax per year.

You won't beat that unless your driving an appreciating classic.

I'm not sure it's "appreciating". It needs a paint job and some bits don't work! Still the engine sounds good!

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Electric car owner here! Am I the first on the forum?

Mine is an i3 with range extender.

Unless you're going to splash out on a Tesla (or drive at 30mph all the way), I think your commute is a bit too far for current pure battery models. It's not so much that the car technology (or even battery tech) "isn't quite there yet" - it's the charge-at-destination infrastructure that's lacking. You'd be laughing if you could plug in at work.

Also, any financial evaluation that involves buying a new car is going to fail when set against a second hand small petrol or diesel. The financials swing the other way if you're a high rate taxpayer and currently taking a car allowance and switch to taking an EV through the company.

One thing I will say about the i3 (the only EV I've ever driven) is that it is astonishingly awesome to drive. And I love not having to visit petrol stations. My regular drive is a total of 60 motorway miles and there's always been a decent range left on arrival home - even in cold weather. I've barely used the REx (I think I've used about £50 worth of petrol since March) but it works really well; allowing me to run the battery down without worry and widening horizons considerably (did 350 mile trip the other day - no problem).

I'm a total convert to EVs now and can't see myself going back to the smoke!

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Electric car owner here! Am I the first on the forum?

Mine is an i3 with range extender.

Ah ha what does it do? :blink:

I imagine somebody with a filthy mind will tell me!

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I looked at a Nissan Leaf about a year ago, and my commute is 30 miles to work, 30 miles home and I could charge it at work too. In short, no worries about range, even on the coldest and wettest days.

The Leaf can be bought for around £15k, I reckon in 3 years time it would be worth £6k tops. (It would have at least 50k on the clock and batteries that would be well over halfway through their useful life).

My maths were very simple indeed. I'd save about £5/day on fuel, so around £100/month. Factor in some weekend/evening driving and that figure might just hit £150/month. Over three years I'd save around £4300. That doesn't even cover depreciation in the car

Yes, I'd have a few other bills on my own car, but even factoring in those I reckon I'd still not be close in terms of the £9k in depreciation.

For me these cars will need to cost under £10k, with batteries that are proven to have a 80-90k miles lifetime.

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One thing I will say about the i3 (the only EV I've ever driven) is that it is astonishingly awesome to drive. And I love not having to visit petrol stations. My regular drive is a total of 60 motorway miles and there's always been a decent range left on arrival home - even in cold weather. I've barely used the REx

I thought the i3 was meant for your wife?

What happend, didn't she like it or did you take it away from her because you like it so much?

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Ha! I've enjoyed it and have "delayed" handing it over. My regular commute (not the 60 mile trip) is too short to justify it really. But we've agreed that she gets it at the end of July. In fact, I stuck her work pass in the window only yesterday. She likes driving it but was a bit wary of it initially (it's too close to magic and she didn't totally believe it).

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Costs wise I'm sure you'd be best with your current car, OP, assuming there are no reasons to suppose it might need big spending on maintenance in the near future.

I like the idea of eleccy, and our driving patterns generally suit one(albeit with a range extender), but the cost is too high presently. Getting cheaper all the time though.

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I am not an early adopter of anything, I am an economic adopter (when it makes financial sense I do it), and as a result electric cars have just hoved into my view.

I have a daily 100 mile commute (50 miles each way) which in my efficient diesel car takes a bit under two gallons of diesel or about £12. Hybrids that I've seen are much more expensive to buy and maintain than a diesel and real-world effiicency is worse if anything so I'm not considering one of those.

Electric cars are mooted to run at £1 for every 50 miles so that would be £2 a day. Meaning the fuel saving is about £2,500 per year.

I have a garage with power so overnight charging would be easy.

I don't think they're quite there yet as:

  • 100 miles seems to be at the brink of their effective range
  • At £2,500 a year it would take ten years to pay for a decent electric car and the batteries for one don't last that long, whereupon it's another £7k IIRC to get a new set

So are there changes underway that would get their effective range up to a more usable 150 miles and would also see the cost come down? Or is where they are now where they're likely to be for the foreseeable future?

That would basically inform whether I ran my current car into very high miles before switching or changed car once / several times on the grounds they may not achieve this range for many years yet.

Edit: commute is relatively easy driving, not much start stop, acceleration and heavy braking or big hills. If there was I wouln't be fine with doing it every day.

It's now past the early adopter stage and many people are realising the financial benefits of switching over. Check out the low BIK charge as well if you're a company car driver and £10 per annum London congestion charge with free on street parking in Westminster.

A basic spec Tesla Model S would easily get the job done for just over £50k.

http://www.teslamotors.com/en_GB/models/design

50 miles commute each way is doable in an extended range EV such as the i3 or Ampera. Check out the various charge point maps to see if you can get a rapid charge during the drive or near work. Stick a bike in the boot to do the last couple of miles?

http://www.ecotricity.co.uk/for-the-road/our-electric-highway

http://www.zap-map.com/

You're best off wandering over to an EV specific forum such to ask your suitability question.

https://speakev.com/

Seriously, once you drive an EV and experience the quietness and really fun instant torque you'll never want to go back to any ICE for day to day driving.

Disclaimer: I have had a Leaf since Jan 14 and done 9,000 miles. Only paid £30 in total for topping up battery at home. Will trade up to Tesla in a couple of years when I get the cash together.

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