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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi there!
I'm a third year BA Hons Geography student at Edge Hill University in Ormskirk, Lancashire.

I've had a read through some of the other dissertation posts on here and to differentiate my thread from the others, I'm focusing more on the political and economic factors which are possibly influencing the purchase / usage of electric vehicles today.
I will post a survey link later on to gain quantitive data, however I'm starting with collecting qualitative data to judge which direction my research is going to head in.

I would really appreciate any of your comments or opinions regarding the following points:
Please feel free to contribute whether you are an EV owner or considering to buy one
  • the reasons why you chose to purchase an electric vehicle
  • how you charge your vehicle - workplace charge points / personal charge points
  • whether you were aware of any government / local council grants that may have effected your decision in purchasing an electric vehicle
  • whether you were aware of any government / local council grants relating to the installation of personal charge points
  • if you bought from a dealership, did they offer any incentives to choose an electric vehicle over a standard liquid fuel vehicle
  • any overall opinions relating to being an electric vehicle owner.
I understand your opinions are personal and therefore all information collected will remain anonymous, and if you would prefer to chat with me privately then that can be done so via my email.

Any discussion would be greatly appreciated!!
Thank you for your time.

Lydia Gaskell

email - [email protected]

Edgehill University
St Helens Rd,
Ormskirk
L39 4QP
 

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Hi Lydia,

and welcome to the board!

Apart from (possibly political) I don't think you'll find many people wanting to shy away from sharing their opinions with you, as after all by definition the people that hang around on their are always publicly trying to get their various opinions across to others via a public forum.

If there's a lack of response it will be because in general when under or post grads come on here with surveys most are really poorly thought out with loads bias and people are sick of them

From the look of what you have written above its clear that you've already spent more time, (if not more than all of them put together) checking what those before you have done, so I hope that others on here do take the time out to help you.

  • the reasons why you chose to purchase an electric vehicle
In no particular order
Superior performance in relation to an equivalent ICE vehicle
Cheaper running costs
Easier and less stressful to drive
Environmental reasons not wanting to contribute to local air pollution in the form of particulates and NO2 and a long held distaste for diesel which I hold above any CO2 which most people seem to fixate upon
seemed newer and more exciting than the other alternatives I was considering
When I was a little boy I always promised myself a moon buggy - this is the closest I can come to one at the moment!
  • How you charge your vehicle - workplace charge points / personal charge points
Almost exclusively at home, although I do sometimes charge opportunistically at a free public charger in the local Lidl carpark
  • whether you were aware of any government / local council grants that may have effected your decision in purchasing an electric vehicle
yes
  • whether you were aware of any government / local council grants relating to the installation of personal charge points
yes
  • if you bought from a dealership, did they offer any incentives to choose an electric vehicle over a standard liquid fuel vehicle
so they said, although in reality it was only really the two above points and any discounts were similar to what you would negotiate on an ICE vehicle anyway
  • any overall opinions relating to being an electric vehicle owner.
its bloody brilliant I don't understand why more two car households in particular don't have at least one EV
 

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My dealer told me not to buy one, he couldn't maintain it, nothing was in stock or available.

(sorry if off topic on my replies)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi Lydia,

and welcome to the board!

Apart from (possibly political) I don't think you'll find many people wanting to shy away from sharing their opinions with you, as after all by definition the people that hang around on their are always publicly trying to get their various opinions across to others via a public forum.

If there's a lack of response it will be because in general when under or post grads come on here with surveys most are really poorly thought out with loads bias and people are sick of them

From the look of what you have written above its clear that you've already spent more time, (if not more than all of them put together) checking what those before you have done, so I hope that others on here do take the time out to help you.

  • the reasons why you chose to purchase an electric vehicle
In no particular order
Superior performance in relation to an equivalent ICE vehicle
Cheaper running costs
Easier and less stressful to drive
Environmental reasons not wanting to contribute to local air pollution in the form of particulates and NO2 and a long held distaste for diesel which I hold above any CO2 which most people seem to fixate upon
seemed newer and more exciting than the other alternatives I was considering
When I was a little boy I always promised myself a moon buggy - this is the closest I can come to one at the moment!
  • How you charge your vehicle - workplace charge points / personal charge points
Almost exclusively at home, although I do sometimes charge opportunistically at a free public charger in the local Lidl carpark
  • whether you were aware of any government / local council grants that may have effected your decision in purchasing an electric vehicle
yes
  • whether you were aware of any government / local council grants relating to the installation of personal charge points
yes
  • if you bought from a dealership, did they offer any incentives to choose an electric vehicle over a standard liquid fuel vehicle
so they said, although in reality it was only really the two above points and any discounts were similar to what you would negotiate on an ICE vehicle anyway
  • any overall opinions relating to being an electric vehicle owner.
its bloody brilliant I don't understand why more two car households in particular don't have at least one EV
Thank you so much Hairy Leafer!!! I really do appreciate you taking the time to comment, all the info you have given there is really useful so thank you!. I was sceptical about posting on here after reading some of the replies some other students got :/ but im pleased with the result!

In reply to your answers about being aware of any schemes relating to the initial purchase of your EV and also the installation of a personal charge point, please could you explain which schemes you knew about and whether or not you took advantage of them? Again I understand these are personal questions so it's fine if you don't want to answer.

p.s I'm guessing you're a Nissan Leaf owner with the username? If so same! - well my parents not me :(
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My dealer told me not to buy one, he couldn't maintain it, nothing was in stock or available.

(sorry if off topic on my replies)
Thank you for your reply @freddym, I really appreciate it!!

'He couldn't maintain it' - Just to check I understand, are you referring to the servicing / maintenance of said vehicle?
And if you didn't end up purchasing an EV, are you still interested in one or have the maintenance issues put you off?

Thank you!
 

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Pretty much word for word the same as HL, especially re pollution, for example you'll get (badly informed) anti-EV people wittering on about how EVs arent really any better than ICE because they all run on coal or whatever anyway and thus produce as much CO2, (yes I know its rot) but the point is that "pollution" has become synonymous in the public mind with CO2, when by far the more immediate and bigger local problem is NOx carcinogenic pollutants we are all forced to breathe in every day.
Whatever my next car is, it will be an EV for sure, I will never own/lease an ICE again because its much more enjoyable to drive, and means i never need visit a petrol station again and stand out in the cold and rain filling it up at £60 a tank instead of it filling it with electrons for a fifth that cost while i sleep.
 

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  • the reasons why you chose to purchase an electric vehicle
  • Wanted to reduce pollution and I saw scientific data showing EVs lifetime emissions lower than ICE, then I was pleasantly surprised by how well developed both EV technology is already, and how well manufacturers were addressing my perceived problems. E.g. Nissan will loan an ICE for longer journeys and come and get me if I run out of battery.

  • how you charge your vehicle - workplace charge points / personal charge points
  • Mostly at home, occasionally public rapid chargers on longer trips.
  • whether you were aware of any government / local council grants that may have effected your decision in purchasing an electric vehicle
  • I found out about OLEV from dealer, well sort of they don’t mention it but if you read the small print it’s there. Government contributions to new cars plus exemptions from road tax and congestion charge I had heard about in the media
  • whether you were aware of any government / local council grants relating to the installation of personal charge points
  • if you bought from a dealership, did they offer any incentives to choose an electric vehicle over a standard liquid fuel vehicle
  • Didn’t buy from a dealer
  • any overall opinions relating to being an electric vehicle owner.
  • Like HL I can’t believe more people haven’t figured it out yet. We love our EV.
  • Would also add public charging is a mess but when contactless payment is implemented much of the headache will be resolved.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Pretty much word for word the same as HL, especially re pollution, for example you'll get (badly informed) anti-EV people wittering on about how EVs arent really any better than ICE because they all run on coal or whatever anyway and thus produce as much CO2, (yes I know its rot) but the point is that "pollution" has become synonymous in the public mind with CO2, when by far the more immediate and bigger local problem is NOx carcinogenic pollutants we are all forced to breathe in every day.
Whatever my next car is, it will be an EV for sure, I will never own/lease an ICE again because its much more enjoyable to drive, and means i never need visit a petrol station again and stand out in the cold and rain filling it up at £60 a tank instead of it filling it with electrons for a fifth that cost while i sleep.
@AnotherJoe , Thank you so much for taking the time to reply!

I completely agree with you here -
pollution" has become synonymous in the public mind with CO2
There is definitely an issue with the terms pollution and CO2 being used hand in hand and I think this comes down to people being poorly informed about pollution in general.

My parents are on their second Nissan leaf and Im sure they'll agree with your petrol station comment :D .
 

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Discussion Starter #9
  • the reasons why you chose to purchase an electric vehicle
  • Wanted to reduce pollution and I saw scientific data showing EVs lifetime emissions lower than ICE, then I was pleasantly surprised by how well developed both EV technology is already, and how well manufacturers were addressing my perceived problems. E.g. Nissan will loan an ICE for longer journeys and come and get me if I run out of battery.

  • how you charge your vehicle - workplace charge points / personal charge points
  • Mostly at home, occasionally public rapid chargers on longer trips.
  • whether you were aware of any government / local council grants that may have effected your decision in purchasing an electric vehicle
  • I found out about OLEV from dealer, well sort of they don’t mention it but if you read the small print it’s there. Government contributions to new cars plus exemptions from road tax and congestion charge I had heard about in the media
  • whether you were aware of any government / local council grants relating to the installation of personal charge points
  • if you bought from a dealership, did they offer any incentives to choose an electric vehicle over a standard liquid fuel vehicle
  • Didn’t buy from a dealer
  • any overall opinions relating to being an electric vehicle owner.
  • Like HL I can’t believe more people haven’t figured it out yet. We love our EV.
  • Would also add public charging is a mess but when contactless payment is implemented much of the headache will be resolved.
@BornAgainEcoWarrior Thank you for taking the time to come back to me, I really appreciate it!

Im also shocked at how slow the uptake of EV's has been, as a geography student I would have expected my fellow students to be supportive or at least aware but unfortunately few seem informed to the benefits of EV usage. My biggest issue is that there are no charging points on the university campus :(.

If the OLEV homecharge grant hadn't have been available when you took on your EV, would you still have continued with your purchase?
 

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  • I'm a tecchy, wanted to use less petrol, and have had my eye on Chevvy Volt tech since 2010 or thereabouts.
  • This Ev is range extended, I do 6k miles p.a. electrically and 6k on petrol. Electric stuff is in effect 100% solar powered, as the 6k uses 1500 units (kWh) leccy p.a., and my panels generate about 4000 units p.a. House is using 1000 units p.a. from the grid less than it used to, so on balance I'm a net exporter of 1500 units p.a. I do import from the grid to charge Ev during winter, but my exports durign summer far exceed those. SO I think it's justifiable to claim that my electrical driving is 100% solar powered, even if am using the grid as a long-term battery!
  • Ev bought 2nd hand, Gvt grants etc irrelevant.
  • Not aware of grants re charging points. Costs of that tiny compared to car at £15K.
  • Not bought from a dealer. Was a trade-in from a web company who source cars, so they simply wanted it gone, hence a good price.
  • Wear & tear on the vehicle seem much less than conventional petrol, e.g driveshafts & tyres are lasting very well. I suspect the smoothness of electric drive over the vibration-full petrol/diesel drives helps a lot here. I also suffer from tinnitus, so hate any noisy environment. Evs are wonderful in that respect! Evs are also very nippy cars when going through towns/cities, and the inability to stall them at junctions & hill starts is a really useful safety feature. Hill starts are actually really simple in an Ev. I too will not go back to a petrol car.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
  • I'm a tecchy, wanted to use less petrol, and have had my eye on Chevvy Volt tech since 2010 or thereabouts.
  • This Ev is range extended, I do 6k miles p.a. electrically and 6k on petrol. Electric stuff is in effect 100% solar powered, as the 6k uses 1500 units (kWh) leccy p.a., and my panels generate about 4000 units p.a. House is using 1000 units p.a. from the grid less than it used to, so on balance I'm a net exporter of 1500 units p.a. I do import from the grid to charge Ev during winter, but my exports durign summer far exceed those. SO I think it's justifiable to claim that my electrical driving is 100% solar powered, even if am using the grid as a long-term battery!
  • Ev bought 2nd hand, Gvt grants etc irrelevant.
  • Not aware of grants re charging points. Costs of that tiny compared to car at £15K.
  • Not bought from a dealer. Was a trade-in from a web company who source cars, so they simply wanted it gone, hence a good price.
  • Wear & tear on the vehicle seem much less than conventional petrol, e.g driveshafts & tyres are lasting very well. I suspect the smoothness of electric drive over the vibration-full petrol/diesel drives helps a lot here. I also suffer from tinnitus, so hate any noisy environment. Evs are wonderful in that respect! Evs are also very nippy cars when going through towns/cities, and the inability to stall them at junctions & hill starts is a really useful safety feature. Hill starts are actually really simple in an Ev. I too will not go back to a petrol car.
@HandyAndy Thank you for replying and thank you for all the info you've given me there, I'm really grateful!

Yes I'd agree that your 6000 e-miles are powered through renewable energy sources as the electricity you take from the grid over winter, you replace plus additional units!
 

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  • the reasons why you chose to purchase an electric vehicle
I didn't choose to purchase one. It just happened to be electric.

Can I ask this (assuming you might have a car, or think of someone who does and answer for them); why did you buy a car with a 12V lead-acid battery in it?
  • how you charge your vehicle - workplace charge points / personal charge points
By plugging it in where I can, most often at home.

Can I ask you this; how do you put petrol in your car?
  • whether you were aware of any government / local council grants that may have effected your decision in purchasing an electric vehicle
I was aware there weren't any. If there were, they were included in the price that convinced me to get one.

Were you aware of government grants that affected your decision to buy a petrol car?
  • whether you were aware of any government / local council grants relating to the installation of personal charge points
Were you aware of any government grants relating to you choosing a particular petrol station to use?
  • if you bought from a dealership, did they offer any incentives to choose an electric vehicle over a standard liquid fuel vehicle
Did your last car purchase involve the dealer offering an incentive to choose a petrol car over an electric?
  • any overall opinions relating to being an electric vehicle owner.
Much the same as your opinion of being a petrol car driver, I would guess.


Just remember this ... people choose cars to drive, based on the cost, specification, what the cars do, what the people want to do with them. Consider whether it is actually people constantly probing 'why electric' and making it out to be oh so different that is actually creating the reason why you ask the question.

You are not independent of the subject you are studying. You are making people think there is a distinction when there need not be.

It's like you walking out of a shop and someone asking you outside why you picked a shop because of the shopkeeper's ethnic origin. Eh? It is not even a question!

Until you, the questioner, make it an issue, it need not have been an issue. You have adversely affected the findings of your study by simply asking the question.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
  • the reasons why you chose to purchase an electric vehicle
I didn't choose to purchase one. It just happened to be electric.

Can I ask this (assuming you might have a car, or think of someone who does and answer for them); why did you buy a car with a 12V lead-acid battery in it?
  • how you charge your vehicle - workplace charge points / personal charge points
By plugging it in where I can, most often at home.

Can I ask you this; how do you put petrol in your car?
  • whether you were aware of any government / local council grants that may have effected your decision in purchasing an electric vehicle
I was aware there weren't any. If there were, they were included in the price that convinced me to get one.

Were you aware of government grants that affected your decision to buy a petrol car?
  • whether you were aware of any government / local council grants relating to the installation of personal charge points
Were you aware of any government grants relating to you choosing a particular petrol station to use?
  • if you bought from a dealership, did they offer any incentives to choose an electric vehicle over a standard liquid fuel vehicle
Did your last car purchase involve the dealer offering an incentive to choose a petrol car over an electric?
  • any overall opinions relating to being an electric vehicle owner.
Much the same as your opinion of being a petrol car driver, I would guess.


Just remember this ... people choose cars to drive, based on the cost, specification, what the cars do, what the people want to do with them. Consider whether it is actually people constantly probing 'why electric' and making it out to be oh so different that is actually creating the reason why you ask the question.

You are not independent of the subject you are studying. You are making people think there is a distinction when there need not be.

It's like you walking out of a shop and someone asking you outside why you picked a shop because of the shopkeeper's ethnic origin. Eh? It is not even a question!

Until you, the questioner, make it an issue, it need not have been an issue. You have adversely affected the findings of your study by simply asking the question.
Hi @donald , thank you for taking the time to contribute to this thread.

I didn't properly state the base of my dissertation in my opening post - I don't want to just do a comparison between EV drivers and ICE drivers and assess the mix in reasons for choosing either or, my dissertation is based around the socio-political issues we are experiencing today.

I aim to analyse the effect of which government schemes / policies have on changing us (the consumers) opinions and typical behaviours. Due to the current state of our climate and atmosphere, I thought EV usage would be a current issue that I could use to base my evaluation on - Why has the initial uptake of EV's been slow, what has been done to try and increase this - has it been successful, what have other countries done and have they been more / less successful?

Hope this makes sense, thanks again for getting back to me and I appreciate all comments.
 

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@BornAgainEcoWarrior

If the OLEV homecharge grant hadn't have been available when you took on your EV, would you still have continued with your purchase?
Probably not a deal breaker I’d have either got a charger if affordable or got an outdoor socket installed by my electrician.
Without the OLEV grant I’m not sure what the market would have looked like, and what businesses would be in that space. The OLEV grant probably affects the market quite a bit. Maybe price would be higher or profits lower, or maybe no companies would have moved into that business space.
Not really possible to answer.

Electric cars have been niche until regulations motivated car manufacturers to do something different. Without the regulatory pressure maybe consumer pressures or competitive pressure from Tesla might move the market but who knows.
 

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By far the largest influence in the slow take up of true BEVs has been the poor growth of Rapid chargers to enable card to operate as a single car. People are reluctant to change as even rare longer road trips can be a problem due to unreliable and abysmal coverage nationwide. It’s a classic ‘chicken/egg situation. Grant incentives for car and home chargers created an artificial early growth as early adopters and tech nerds were a market waiting to go EV anyway. Then the lack of adequate growth of public charging caused a block in ordinary motoring public moving as they were unwilling to put up with such limitations. Norway combined grants and charging infrastructure and growth took off rapidly so that at present EV sales exceed ICE. Until buyers can see enough range and reliable chargers they will cling to their ICE or Hybrids. Meanwhile, existing EV owners will mostly not return to an ICE and continue to live with the inadequate infrastructure.
 

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By far the largest influence in the slow take up of true BEVs has been the poor growth of Rapid chargers to enable card to operate as a single car. People are reluctant to change as even rare longer road trips can be a problem due to unreliable and abysmal coverage nationwide. It’s a classic ‘chicken/egg situation. Grant incentives for car and home chargers created an artificial early growth as early adopters and tech nerds were a market waiting to go EV anyway. Then the lack of adequate growth of public charging caused a block in ordinary motoring public moving as they were unwilling to put up with such limitations. Norway combined grants and charging infrastructure and growth took off rapidly so that at present EV sales exceed ICE. Until buyers can see enough range and reliable chargers they will cling to their ICE or Hybrids. Meanwhile, existing EV owners will mostly not return to an ICE and continue to live with the inadequate infrastructure.
I am not sure.
I wasn’t aware of charging infrastructure before my purchase of an EV. My impression was that there were chargers appearing in all sorts of places.
That they are unreliable, insufficient and a pain to use (all the different apps) is a problem you find after your purchase.
 

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Im also shocked at how slow the uptake of EV's has been, as a geography student I would have expected my fellow students to be supportive or at least aware but unfortunately few seem informed to the benefits of EV usage. My biggest issue is that there are no charging points on the university campus :(.
I'd have thought, with recent events, this was the perfect time to encourage the university admin to install some.
They wouldnt need necessarily to spend a lot, they coudl get a third party in to run them, someone like polar or pod point
 

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Just remember this ... people choose cars to drive, based on the cost, specification, what the cars do, what the people want to do with them. Consider whether it is actually people constantly probing 'why electric' and making it out to be oh so different that is actually creating the reason why you ask the question.
or consider if indeed electric do have key differences that any rational person would indeed look at first.

You are not independent of the subject you are studying. You are making people think there is a distinction when there need not be.
There is for many people. LIve in a flat? Or a terraced house ? Electric requires a level of forethought and planning and possibly inconvenience that doesnt exist with non electric.

Until you, the questioner, make it an issue, it need not have been an issue. You have adversely affected the findings of your study by simply asking the question.
I think in the opinion of the person on the Clapham omnibus, there is indeed a distinction between petrol, diesel, and now electric, that comes right up front as part of the choosing process, before brand and model.
The majority of people will choose one of those variants first and then decide among brands and models after that.
Many people are now not buying diesels, not just for environmental reasons but because they think the price of them will fall and so they dont want to take the bigger hit on depreciation. So if Brand X Model Y doesnt have a petrol or electric variant they wont be buying the diesel, even if it fits all their other criteria, because they have ruled them out. They wont even look at it. Just like they may have ruled electric out because of something they believe about those. Or they may decide its electric first.
And the undeniable fact is, at present electric cars do impose some restrictions (and add some capabilities), particularly regards to refuelling that are quite different to petrol/diesel.
As we all know, you are a one-off and that no doubt applies to your car buyng purchases as well, but i think if you talk to the general car buying (or leasing) public you'll find they do indeed in the main decide electric or not in the same way many now decide petrol or diesel first, before looking at the rest.
 

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I think that your average now thinks should I buy Diesel, Petrol, Electric or Self Charging Electric.

Come to think of it, self charging electric sounds the best out of these categories because I won't have to pay to charge it. You would be amazed at how otherwise intelligent people express this glaikit view.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I am not sure.
I wasn’t aware of charging infrastructure before my purchase of an EV. My impression was that there were chargers appearing in all sorts of places.
That they are unreliable, insufficient and a pain to use (all the different apps) is a problem you find after your purchase.
unreliable and abysmal coverage nationwide
I think there's quite a few EV owners who can also agree with this. From personal experience, me and my family drove down to Manchester to support my Dad in the Manchester marathon. The carpark we had planned to park and charge at had only 1 charger, which was out of action, so we ended up having to roll to the nearest dealership ?
 
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