Speak EV - Electric Car Forums banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, I think I may have to apologise immediately for the broadness of my question as I have so many and there is so much information out there I m having a brain overload and need some straight advice!!
So.... We are wanting to invest ( probably the wrong word!!) in an EV as I think they are the way forward, and spending a large amount of money on a newish diesel car at the present time just seems like a bad idea. The problems are as follows :
1- we live in a ground floor flat in a town centre so charging is going to be a pain / near impossible at home unless I can get the council on board. I'm not sure how helpful they would be? Being ground floor and parking quite close to our door getting a cable to the car safely wouldn't be an issue, although I can imagine in this day and age of health and safety gone crazy that this isn't a permanent solution! The other possibility is that we live a 30 second walk from the car park which has two charging points. Although these are barely used at the moment who knows what will happen in the future ?!
2- The car would be used for my partner to go to work and back everyday, a round trip of 40 miles consisting of motorway and town traffic - so the car list available to us is quite wide as i understand it. And that presents its own problems in itself that I don't know which car is best for us !
What's the deal with leasing battery's ? And do you still pay for the lease of them on second hand cars ?
Does the Ampera have lease fees?
The Leaf seems to have many different charging options after reading a lot on here and then combining that with the fact that I don't know where we would charge it mostly makes it very hard to work out what works for us.
As I said, so many questions and after searching on the Internet for weeks there doesn't seem to be any really useful information aimed at the EV buyer ( well not anyone that isn't trying to make money anyway!)
Any of the above questions answered would be greatly appreciated ! Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,267 Posts
Well charging is your problem there, but the best 5 seaters are the zoe and the leaf they can both come with battery rental. Starting from £70 a month for 7.5k miles a year and it goes up if you want more miles. The zoe is a lovely little car with a massive boot, I have 3kids and it does me just fine, i would not worry about range as your wife is only doing 40 miles round trip, I did 92miles today driving at 55/60mph seems to be the sweet spot for the zoe. If you buy the leaf and zoe on a lease plan they will always be a lease car, but with the leaf you have two options buy it with the battery or lease the battery, you can only lease the battery on the zoe. Not to sure about the leaf side of things for what you get extra for the lease side of things, I know on the zoe you get full breakdown recovery and if the battery drops below 80% they replace it, I'm sure the leaf is the same but not to sure.
The charging options for two cars are as followed
Zoe 7kw 22kw (43kw rapid charge) all Type II
Leaf 3kw/(6.6kw optional upgrade) 50kw DC rapid charge, the leaf comes with a 3 pin plug for a household socket zoe does not come with this option. I'm sure other members will correct me if I made any mistakes
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,106 Posts
Welcome! Don't worry about the questions... that is what the forum is for but you may get some answers that contradict as quite often there is no clear right or wrong and it is often down to personal preference.

First of all... where do you live? Are you near a rapid charging location? Because if you could rapid charge regularly then it may make it easier for you.

As you have already said, as you live in a flat you will have problems charging. There are mixed feelings about whether people should run live cables across public footpaths but I would say don't do it under any circumstances. It isn't about Health and Safety gone mad IMO... it is about safety of the public. There is also some debate as to whether it is even legal and you may find your insurance might not be valid as it might be considered negligent if someone gets hurt.

The car park option might work well but are you happy leaving your car in that car park overnight every night? I wouldn't want to do that and it would be obvious you park there all the time and it would be a target. Just a thought. Who operates the charging in that car park? You may have to pay for parking (?) as well as charging (?). All worth looking into. What if those bays are occupied? You would lose your charging capability. Personally, I would not rely on public charging for regular overnight charging but I know many people do. It depends a lot on your circumstances, whether there are options if they don't work, how happy you are with it etc.

The best solution IMO for people without private parking and charging is using a rapid charger but that would take you about 30 mins a day and you would have to drive there everyday. It is not ideal but again, some people do it.

A 40 mile round trip commute is just perfect for an EV. If you can get one at a good price (which shouldn't be difficult at the moment) you will safe a small fortune!

There is no battery lease option for the Ampera. Talking of the Ampera... If you are looking for a single car solution then the Ampera might fit your requirements quite well. It has an all electric range of about 35-50 miles and it can be used like a normal petrol car when you cannot charge. This would work well for people that cannot charge at home but its biggest problem is that it has no rapid charge option so to use it on electricity it needs an overnight charge or a charge at work. If your wife could get charging at work then it might work very well for you.

If it were me... I wouldn't consider a 100% battery vehicle unless I had a charging solution that didn't require me to use public charging unless it was rapid charging, there was a backup if it broke and it wasn't far from my house. In your situation I think I would be considering an Ampera, charge whenever I can do so (ideally at work) and accept that I will have to use a bit of petrol now and then.

Just my opinion :) No doubt you will get differing views from others :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Another new member here.
I'm also going though the same decision process myself at the moment. I live in a high density town (Portsmouth) where the majority of houses have no off street parking and there are very few public charging facilities - I wouldn't want to rely on Gunwharf!

I'm really enthusiastic about the prospect of owning an EV for both ecological and financial reasons.It would fit in well with my lifestyle as it would be a second car which I would use to commute 30 miles per day to work and for school runs and the odd trip along the coast to Southampton.

I've been in contact with the council to discuss possible solutions, including exploring the OLEV Residential On Street guidance. I have to say, although I was met with some degree of enthusiasm, (other than by the traffic department who suggested I got a bike) there does not seem to be much prospect of anything happening in the near future. One small ray of hope was that I have been told that from the councils point of view, there is no reason I could not run a cable across the pavement for charging, always assuming I could park within reasonable distance of my house; also they have promised to discuss allocating EV reserved parking for residents, but not provide the charging facilities! I consider the potential risks just to great to consider this a realistic solution.

I now need to decide if I should I give up at this stage? I don't want to be defeated by this, but neither do I see myself as I pioneer fighting a battle I probably can't win. If wider EV use is to be encouraged in urban areas, surely there must be a viable solution for the thousands of potential EV owners without off street parking.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
11,835 Posts
This is an issue that people seem to have overlooked massively at every stage.

Most people will (at this stage) look to EVs as "city cars", BMW use "mega city" a lot to promote their EVs, for example.

Most cities and towns will benefit hugely if more EVs and fewer ICE vehicles where on the roads, and in the UK we need to improve air quality massively, no two ways about that.

Yet, these are the places where we have the highest density populations, the most apartments, on-street parking, parking away from your residence... but nobody seems to be offering a proper solution.

It's a really tough one, and while everyone buys a "regular" vehicle without giving home-fuelling a second thought, the very "off grid/off pipeline" nature of EVs is a big part of their attraction...

How can it work? I'm not sure, but public charging is really your only option I guess, so I'd just research it a lot.

Oh, and make sure you get some decent test drives in too, because I imagine actually driving an EV for a good amount of time will make you more determined to make it work, and also may give you a better understanding of how it could work for you. Dealers will sometimes allow weekend or week-long tests if you ask.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
"Elephant in the room" is how I see this problem.

Although I have been in contact with our local Nissan and BMW dealer, both of whom have been keen to offer test drives, I have made a conscious decision not to do so yet for the reason I don't want my heart to overrule my head!

Perhaps I should explore charging at work - My office is opposite SSE's call centre where there is charging, although it does not appear to be open/public, but might be worth talking to them.
This does of course mean that I would forgo the luxury of being able to pre-heat the car on cold mornings!

What we (EV Owners/Drivers) seem to lack is any kind of a real lobby or pressure group who can move forward the cause on in practical terms. There does seem to be a lot of cash and high ideals being handed down, but how much of this translates to practical help?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,715 Posts
@SFAS I would suggest taking a look at the i3 REx and ask your company to install workplace EV charging. Forum member @dpeilow might have some tips that would help.

I would also suggest approaching local transition groups and 'green' councillors and see whether they could encourage a local amenity to install over night charging. We've had talks with a local swimming pool and supermarket that have empty car parks during the night.

In Bradford on Avon we have two Charging Stations in the local train station car park that provide free overnight parking/charging. Maybe you could get something similar setup near your home :)

BoA_EV_Charging.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the great info everyone.
The slight advantage we have being in a ground floor flat and the location of our parking means we wouldn't have to trail a cable over a pavement or walkway - just through some bushes straight to the car... but all I meant by the health and safety gone mad was that people would complain just because they could - even if it wasn't dangerous to anyone else!
The Zoe looked a great option to start with and is a good looking car - but then I found that it cannot be charged via a 3 pin domestic socket ( as you stated Eunicholas) - which really limits options if you are wanting to be away from home for the night! Why would Renault limit the user in this way?!

I really like the idea of the Ampera but this will be a second car so it is not necessary, and I am concerned after reading on here that the range on electric mode can vary so much depending on climate and driving style - I wouldn't want to have to feel like we had to drive it with everything off just so we didn't have to use petrol - just to get to work and back.
So for that reason coupled with the higher purchase price I think I may discount it.

So that leaves the leaf (ha!).
What are the disadvantages of getting a second hand one with no battery lease?
Surely the batteries are still under the 8 year warranty so you are at no disadvantage?!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Yes good point Kevin - But I don't think our 10-15k will stretch to the 65 odd needed for a Tesla... but I like your thinking! maybe I can persuade the mrs to get a bigger loan.... ?!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
11,835 Posts
So that leaves the leaf (ha!).
What are the disadvantages of getting a second hand one with no battery lease?
Surely the batteries are still under the 8 year warranty so you are at no disadvantage?!
No disadvantages, they're the same car, it's just a financial decision really. For a LEAF, be aware there seems to be quite a difference between the Gen 1 and 2 cars and the "real world" range, not huge, but enough. I also think Gen 2 are the only ones with fast charging option, but can't remember if this is correct as I type!?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,715 Posts
The Zoe looked a great option to start with and is a good looking car - but then I found that it cannot be charged via a 3 pin domestic socket ( as you stated Eunicholas) - which really limits options if you are wanting to be away from home for the night!
The ZOE can be charged from a 13A socket with a suitable 'brick' EVSE. However, it's VERY slow and may not be practical for you. A viable alternative would be a 16A or 32A extension lead run from inside the home or (preferably) from a socket or Charging Station on the outside building wall.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,715 Posts
Yes good point Kevin - But I don't think our 10-15k will stretch to the 65 odd needed for a Tesla... but I like your thinking! maybe I can persuade the mrs to get a bigger loan.... ?!
Understood... maybe a i3 REx lease deal might be appropriate... remember that EV technology is changing fast and the Gen 1 Leaf is looking very old school :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,267 Posts
I know for a lot of people the 13am plug is a big thing, I've not found that my self I can always find a charge some were. But I guess if you just want to charge up at a friends house it's a down side . I'm lucky I always seem to have a rapid charge close buy or a Renault dealer close by, but I've never used them ever. Only the rapid chargers. Do test drive and you will find out what's best for you. Good luck and I really hope you find a solution.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Paul : how can you tell the difference between the Gen 1 and Gen 2 ? ie is it simply on the age, earlier vs newer or what?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,106 Posts
The slight advantage we have being in a ground floor flat and the location of our parking means we wouldn't have to trail a cable over a pavement or walkway - just through some bushes straight to the car... but all I meant by the health and safety gone mad was that people would complain just because they could - even if it wasn't dangerous to anyone else!
Well it sure sounds like you might be able to charge without risk. :) I would say that if you are not trailing across a footpath or anywhere that people can walk then it might be be safe enough but that is your decision. Remember though... you and I might consider it safe but if someone gets hurt then none of that will matter if your insurance disagrees. If there is no risk then I'd go for it!

At the end of the day it is your call.

The Zoe looked a great option to start with and is a good looking car - but then I found that it cannot be charged via a 3 pin domestic socket ( as you stated Eunicholas) - which really limits options if you are wanting to be away from home for the night! Why would Renault limit the user in this way?!
They haven't made a decision to limit it as such... they have decided to use a type of charger (Chameleon) that works very well at 16A right up to 43kW but the downside is that it is inefficient at lower powers. It is just a feature of that charger.

I really like the idea of the Ampera but this will be a second car so it is not necessary, and I am concerned after reading on here that the range on electric mode can vary so much depending on climate and driving style - I wouldn't want to have to feel like we had to drive it with everything off just so we didn't have to use petrol - just to get to work and back.
I agree, as a second car it doesn't make a lot of sense unless, like me, your first car is a 100% BEV (Nissan Leaf)!

The range on the Ampera doesn't vary much more than other EVs to be honest. I think that people that many buy the Ampera do not drive it as they would a 100% BEV so they drive it faster and with less concern about range as they don't have to worry about it. My EV range is normally 35-45 miles pretty consistently.


So for that reason coupled with the higher purchase price I think I may discount it.
Point taken... a lot cheaper than a BMW i3 REx tho :)

So that leaves the leaf (ha!).
What are the disadvantages of getting a second hand one with no battery lease?
Surely the batteries are still under the 8 year warranty so you are at no disadvantage?!
The Leaf has a 5 year warranty in the UK... 8 years in the USA.

I would get a battery health check but apart from that no disadvantage.[/QUOTE][/quote]
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top