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First of all I would like to say a big thank you to the whole of the SPEAKEV forum and add what a boon it has been for a EV newbie like me. The level of detail of information and guidance and ease of finding interesting stuff to read generally about all aspects of EV ownership has been a massive, massive help - Thank you all!

I guess I should add my story of how I got here and the journey I have been on over the past 4 months, both interesting and at times frustrating. Let me start at the beginning, I first stumbled upon a story on the internet to how economical an EV is, I parked that in the back of my mind for any future “down the pub” reference. Some weeks later my better-half was moaning about how much diesel she was putting in her (what I thought was a very economical car) a 2015 MINI Cooper D, seems that £250 per month on fuel for her daily 100 mile commute was grating on her (and purse) and mentioned something about looking at a hybrid. I duly mentioned the internet story and said how very economical EVs were, perhaps look at one of these. The usual discussion followed “but aren’t they very expensive? Don’t go far before they need a charge?” … I said I was not really sure but I would do some surfing to find out …

Somewhere out there (and for the life of me I do not know here, I found a couple of websites that worked out an EV economy that driving £2500+ worth of fuel per annum (about 25,000 miles pa) would be as a cost of electricity (seems £500 of cheap rate electricity for an EV!), so I dug a little deeper … What EV’s are able to do 100 mile round trip (no chance of charging at work and had to have a level of contingency for possible winter bad weather and extra delays as first time EV owner). So the usual list was compiled:-
  1. Nissan Leaf
  2. Kia Soul EV
  3. BMW i3
I will have to be open at this point, although the Nissan Leaf is a truly ground-breaking car for the EV market, it is much (for me) a Marmite Car, I love the back of the Leaf (especially in black paint) but the front of the car is god-awful (sorry to all you Leaf owners out there), so the Leaf was off the test drive list.

My first contact with Kia was via their website, knowing that they had a limited number of Soul EV Dealers across the UK, I presumed that Kia Humming Bird (Colindale) would be on to me pretty sharp! Alas, I waited a few days and nothing. One of the things I wanted to definitely check was that a Soul EV would fit on my drive at home (for off-street charging) and get a good experience of this different way of driving I had been eagerly reading about on the forum, so a 20 min round the block test drive was definitely not what I was looking for.

So I called Kia Hummingbird Motors and asked for a “extended” test-drive. Not looking for a 24 hour or even a weekend loan, all I was after was to drive the car from the dealership to home, park it on the drive and back. I presume that this would of been no more than 2 1/2 hours at most (Colindale to Hertford, Hertfordshire and back - 50 mile round trip). I also wanted to have a ‘play’ with the public charging infrastructure and possibly just experience of charging the Soul somewhere in-between?

So the Kia Salesman (Hummingbird Motors) said they don’t do extended test drives in the Soul EV, but I could ‘rent one’ for the day! There there was a discussion about wether it was a weekend or a weekday and a weekend would be 2 days rental etc… I was just put off at this point, gave-up with Hummingbird Motors and moved on…

Two things then happened, I pursued a Soul EV test-drive from a different Kia dealership (Kia Westdrive in Braintree) and went for the 20 min round the block test drive (again they were not interested in the 75 mile round-trip test drive home and back), but I was eager just to try the Soul EV as my first time behind the wheel of one. The other thing was that the news was announced that BMW were to make the 94Ah i3.

The Kia Soul EV was nice (very nice indeed), but the test drive was just too short and really did not give me the full newbie EV driver experience. Just prior to taking the Soul EV out, I had taken up the opportunity to call my local BMW-i dealership (Specialist Cars Stevenage) to simply ask when they would be getting a 94Ah i3 in as a demonstrator and was immediately asked all the right questions about my daily commute and how I would use the car and most of all, offered a 24 hour test drive there and then!

So I concocted a plan where I would take the car on test, do one half of the daily commute to then assess the consumption and workout if a 94Ah would fit the bill. So with a day booked off work we collected the i3 (60Ah Rex) and then set-off for the morning commute of 44 miles. The BMW i-Genius was excellent, really good customer service with provision of public charger lead and charge cards and knowing that Milton Keynes was awash with public charging points we were all set.

I think the ‘deal was done’ on the i3 within the first hour! And certainly after we had done the daily commute the stats from the i3 proved that this was the car to get (although for piece of mind we would go for the 94Ah Rex, first EV and all that!).

The last thing I would like to thank the forum for, is pointing me on to the introduction of EV Leasing and Jamie Pearson at Drive Electric! Jamie has been an absolute star (as well a Vicky this weekend answering emails whilst Jamie is on holiday … and over a weekend as well!). I can not praise them high enough, simply superb!

So now the wait … I have ordered a White 94Ah Rex i3, with Lodge interior, Professional Media Pack, Comfort Access and 429 Alloys, with a non-confirmed delivery of 5th September. Rolec Vehicle Charger Point (brown casing to match my victorian brick property) already fitted, I am all ready to go!

So in all, a strange experience from Kia dealerships (how do they think they are going to shift EVs with the same approach as selling ICE cars, I do not know?). An excellent, excellent experience from BMW and Drive Electric Leasing.

So, I hope not to be a lurker in the future on the forum, SPEAKEV has been brilliant, thanks once more to all of you.

Mark
 

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First of all I would like to say a big thank you to the whole of the SPEAKEV forum and add what a boon it has been for a EV newbie like me. The level of detail of information and guidance and ease of finding interesting stuff to read generally about all aspects of EV ownership has been a massive, massive help - Thank you all!

I guess I should add my story of how I got here and the journey I have been on over the past 4 months, both interesting and at times frustrating. Let me start at the beginning, I first stumbled upon a story on the internet to how economical an EV is, I parked that in the back of my mind for any future “down the pub” reference. Some weeks later my better-half was moaning about how much diesel she was putting in her (what I thought was a very economical car) a 2015 MINI Cooper D, seems that £250 per month on fuel for her daily 100 mile commute was grating on her (and purse) and mentioned something about looking at a hybrid. I duly mentioned the internet story and said how very economical EVs were, perhaps look at one of these. The usual discussion followed “but aren’t they very expensive? Don’t go far before they need a charge?” … I said I was not really sure but I would do some surfing to find out …

Somewhere out there (and for the life of me I do not know here, I found a couple of websites that worked out an EV economy that driving £2500+ worth of fuel per annum (about 25,000 miles pa) would be as a cost of electricity (seems £500 of cheap rate electricity for an EV!), so I dug a little deeper … What EV’s are able to do 100 mile round trip (no chance of charging at work and had to have a level of contingency for possible winter bad weather and extra delays as first time EV owner). So the usual list was compiled:-
  1. Nissan Leaf
  2. Kia Soul EV
  3. BMW i3
I will have to be open at this point, although the Nissan Leaf is a truly ground-breaking car for the EV market, it is much (for me) a Marmite Car, I love the back of the Leaf (especially in black paint) but the front of the car is god-awful (sorry to all you Leaf owners out there), so the Leaf was off the test drive list.

My first contact with Kia was via their website, knowing that they had a limited number of Soul EV Dealers across the UK, I presumed that Kia Humming Bird (Colindale) would be on to me pretty sharp! Alas, I waited a few days and nothing. One of the things I wanted to definitely check was that a Soul EV would fit on my drive at home (for off-street charging) and get a good experience of this different way of driving I had been eagerly reading about on the forum, so a 20 min round the block test drive was definitely not what I was looking for.

So I called Kia Hummingbird Motors and asked for a “extended” test-drive. Not looking for a 24 hour or even a weekend loan, all I was after was to drive the car from the dealership to home, park it on the drive and back. I presume that this would of been no more than 2 1/2 hours at most (Colindale to Hertford, Hertfordshire and back - 50 mile round trip). I also wanted to have a ‘play’ with the public charging infrastructure and possibly just experience of charging the Soul somewhere in-between?

So the Kia Salesman (Hummingbird Motors) said they don’t do extended test drives in the Soul EV, but I could ‘rent one’ for the day! There there was a discussion about wether it was a weekend or a weekday and a weekend would be 2 days rental etc… I was just put off at this point, gave-up with Hummingbird Motors and moved on…

Two things then happened, I pursued a Soul EV test-drive from a different Kia dealership (Kia Westdrive in Braintree) and went for the 20 min round the block test drive (again they were not interested in the 75 mile round-trip test drive home and back), but I was eager just to try the Soul EV as my first time behind the wheel of one. The other thing was that the news was announced that BMW were to make the 94Ah i3.

The Kia Soul EV was nice (very nice indeed), but the test drive was just too short and really did not give me the full newbie EV driver experience. Just prior to taking the Soul EV out, I had taken up the opportunity to call my local BMW-i dealership (Specialist Cars Stevenage) to simply ask when they would be getting a 94Ah i3 in as a demonstrator and was immediately asked all the right questions about my daily commute and how I would use the car and most of all, offered a 24 hour test drive there and then!

So I concocted a plan where I would take the car on test, do one half of the daily commute to then assess the consumption and workout if a 94Ah would fit the bill. So with a day booked off work we collected the i3 (60Ah Rex) and then set-off for the morning commute of 44 miles. The BMW i-Genius was excellent, really good customer service with provision of public charger lead and charge cards and knowing that Milton Keynes was awash with public charging points we were all set.

I think the ‘deal was done’ on the i3 within the first hour! And certainly after we had done the daily commute the stats from the i3 proved that this was the car to get (although for piece of mind we would go for the 94Ah Rex, first EV and all that!).

The last thing I would like to thank the forum for, is pointing me on to the introduction of EV Leasing and Jamie Pearson at Drive Electric! Jamie has been an absolute star (as well a Vicky this weekend answering emails whilst Jamie is on holiday … and over a weekend as well!). I can not praise them high enough, simply superb!

So now the wait … I have ordered a White 94Ah Rex i3, with Lodge interior, Professional Media Pack, Comfort Access and 429 Alloys, with a non-confirmed delivery of 5th September. Rolec Vehicle Charger Point (brown casing to match my victorian brick property) already fitted, I am all ready to go!

So in all, a strange experience from Kia dealerships (how do they think they are going to shift EVs with the same approach as selling ICE cars, I do not know?). An excellent, excellent experience from BMW and Drive Electric Leasing.

So, I hope not to be a lurker in the future on the forum, SPEAKEV has been brilliant, thanks once more to all of you.

Mark
Congrats. Am sure you are going to fall in love with it very quickly !
 

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I'm not crazy, the attack has begun.
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24,472 Posts
So in all, a strange experience from Kia dealerships
I had a very similar experience of Kia, TBH.

FWIW, Nissan screwed up their 5 day test drive for me, never did get to try one. (...you like the rear but not the front?! wrong way around, no? :D )

Vauxhall have done everything they can to frustrate my ownership of my Ampera.

I had to chase Renault to ask them to let me lease a Fluence.

I got a chance to take a Zoe home, but they refused to make a deal anywhere near I could get elsewhere, and I couldn't be bothered to deal with someone elsewhere!

I asked for i3 literature, and was asked a little later to state if I was still interested, or I'd be taken off the mailing list. I said I was interested and would be looking into it after another 6 months or so. In reply they said they'd take me off the mailing list, then. Though I did still keep getting mailings for 7-series.

I called 5 times with 3 different dealers with as firm a commitment as a buyer could have to buy an e-Up, and never got a call back from any of them. Even told Chester I'd get a one way train ticket up to see the car when was it ready, they said it wasn't on site they'd let me know when it was back, and........

... Is it ME?

Good luck with the i3. A 94Ah with a rex... nice... I reckon the engines in these things are just going to rust up before they ever get used!
 

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2019 Leaf 40
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Kia are rubbish at selling the soul.

Its mostly why I leased. It was a case of 'I want that one'. Ok then says fleetdrive. No effort. No talking to some underling and manager playing the best deal game.

Ironically my local BMW dealer rung the day after I got the soul to see if I was interested in getting a new car as they had some pre reg fire sale weekend on.
 

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I guess the trick with car dealers is shop around. Some dealers were rubbish and some really great. Managed to get test drives of an I3, Zoe, Soul EV, egolf and Leaf. Only Nissan and Kia would let me test drive over 3 days. The i3 and EGolf were too expensive and the zoe felt plasticy.. the soul was more or less the same price as the Leaf but the Leaf felt better quality. Got a 30kw Leaf in Sept, so far it's great.
 
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