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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

we are looking to move outside London and buying a second hand EV car but we are not sure if that will be suitable for us. I'm completely new to this world and I would like to ask some advice, please.

I will need to do between 70-80miles per day to go to work and come back home and I'm not sure how much is the mile range they can do with one charge. I was thinking about the Renault Zoe or the Nissan Leaf as they are the cheapest i found looking online (arout £6-7000). I have asked to a Renault dealer but he told me the old Renault won't probably be able to do those miles with one change. :( Is that true? What about the Nissan Leaf?

I have also been thinking about asking to install a charger at work and i was wondering if that could be a solution (as it will allow me to charge 2 times) or you think it won't be good for the car to be charged 2 times per day.

Also, concerning the battery, I know usually you have a leased battery, do you know the costs for that? Looking online I found out that for those miles it would be about 135£ per month, is that correct? Having a leased battery will means that if it won't work anymore they will change it with a new one? Also if they will develop a better battery that will allow to do more miles with a charge is possible to have a new battery on a "old" car?

Sorry for the many questions and thank you so much to anyone who will help!

Maria
 

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If you can get a chargepoint installed at work, it should allow you to use an older 24kWh Leaf which is what the on-line price you are being quoted will be for (and that probably for an old one - the scrap value appears to be around £5,000 if you own the battery); without a chargepoint at work you will be needing at least a 30kWh battery. What speeds do you drive to work - travelling down the motorway uses more electricity per mile than slow driving in town. For motorway driving in winter you should allow for getting less than 3 miles per kWh on a bad day - Is there a Rapid charger on your route home where you can top up if you need to? See Map of charging points for electric car drivers in UK: Zap-Map for locations of charging points. (For the Leaf, filter for the CHAdeMO connector.)

My Leaf came with a battery owned by me - Nissan warrant the battery to still have 75% of its original capacity for up to 6 years (or, I think, 60,000 miles). The experience so far seems to be that at UK temperatures there have been very few warranty claims. Charging twice per day on 'destination' chargers does not seem to be causing any problems - there are problems when charging the new 40kWh Leaf on Rapid chargers more than once per day due to the high currents involved in Rapid charging causing battery heating issues. Taxi companies are charging Leafs several times per day - see C&C Taxis' 100,000 mile Nissan LEAF. Full battery included.

I presume you have off street parking at your new home to allow for a home charging point to be installed.

There is a lot of information on the various threads if you have time to peruse them - if you have any further questions ask away as I am sure someone knows the answer.
 

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You won't get 70—80 miles from a £7000 Leaf or Zoe. If you can charge at work every day then 80 miles is OK, but if you can't charge at work you either need to double your budget and get a 30kWh Leaf or even better get a 40kWh Zoe with a battery lease. There are other cars and a few good deals out there. I assume you've taken the fuel savings into account when writing out what you can afford to buy? If you're driving over 20000 miles a year the fuel savings are significant and can often offset some of the initial high price.


You are right that a battery lease Zoe is over £100 a month if you need unlimited miles
 

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Almost all Leafs don't have a battery lease, you own the battery and that's certainly far better value for money.

With the Zoe SOME cars own the battery while it seems the majority are leased. Again getting one where you own the battery would be far better value in the long term.

If you have a charger at work then absolutely you can look at an older Zoe or Leaf. Generally speaking the Leaf is bigger and has a higher spec but the Zoe goes further (usually). I'd recommend a Leaf Tekna.
 

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Be careful about work charging. What happens if it breaks, will you be able to get it fixed? What if someone (envious) blocks it? What if some malicious HR person changes the parking policy?

It is surprising how many petrolheads feel threatened by the existence of electric cars. Expect petty complaints and envy over any perception of special treatment - free fuel, reserved spaces.
 

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It depends how committed you are. In summer you can achieve that with gentle driving. Winter is the problem. The commitment comes in the form of you finding a regular rapid charger and topping up for 10 mins every day when it gets a bit too cold, as your back-up for when you can't quite make it.

Buying a cheaper older EV might prove to be a false economy. I think anything extra you put into the car now will be returned as higher residual value if you sell it in a couple of years time.
 

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Welcome!


I have asked to a Renault dealer but he told me the old Renault won't probably be able to do those miles with one change. :( Is that true?
Yes. You have found an honest dealer.

What about the Nissan Leaf?
The original made in japan LEAF will not go 80 miles on a charge. The updated made in England LEAF with a 24kWh battery is marginal. It might manage your commute in summer but will not make it in Winter. LEAF 30 will make your commute but you will need to be careful on the worst winter days.

I have also been thinking about asking to install a charger at work and i was wondering if that could be a solution (as it will allow me to charge 2 times) or you think it won't be good for the car to be charged 2 times per day.
THat changes everything as all of these cars can go 40 miles. A very old LEAF with a worn out battery might be marginal on the worst coldest days in Winter.



Also, concerning the battery, I know usually you have a leased battery, do you know the costs for that? Looking online I found out that for those miles it would be about 135£ per month, is that correct? Having a leased battery will means that if it won't work anymore they will change it with a new one?
Sounds about right. Best to get a battery hire quote for the car you are thinking about buying. Only RCI (Renault Credit) can tell you the current rental price.


Also if they will develop a better battery that will allow to do more miles with a charge is possible to have a new battery on a "old" car?
Highly unlikely. Nissan have never offered a battery capacity upgrade. Renault do but not in the UK. THe only UK Zoe with an upgrade that I'm aware of was driven to France where the battery was changed out. I think that car may be up for sale on this forum.

In theory a Nissan 30kWh battery will fit in a UK built LEAF 24. I don't know if anyone has attempted a swap. The battery and car are "married". A Nissan dealer has a service computer that will tell the car to accept a different battery. WIthout that the car won't work properly.
 

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Have you got a link to anything regarding this, thanks?
Yes -- our very own @Pcoventry managed to get a battery upgrade.

Pcoventry's 22kWh->40kWh Battery Upgrade

As far as I know he's got the only one in the UK. If the car has a leased battery, you need RCI to agree to the swap and the work has to be done in France.

Reading the thread, RCI aren't allowing this anymore for UK cars. A battery owned Zoe i might still be able to get an upgrade done in France.
 

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If that's of any help, I have a 30kWh 2017 Leaf, commute 84 miles return journey to London. In summer, with AC on, I am back home with 20-24% battery, in winter (with car preheated in the morning while it's still charged and no heating then on way in, but heating on for the return leg) I was usually home with 12-16% battery left. In summer, I stick to 70mph as per odometer, in winter I set cruise control at 65mph (bear in mind that Gen 2 Leaf overestimates the speed by about 8-10%). In my humble opinion, there is no way you would be able to cover 80 miles in 24kWh Leaf in winter. Here's an example from my Nissan Connect app - I covered 84.2 miles on 11/06/2018 and used 20.5 kWh, similar journey 84.7 miles on 03/03/2018 used 27.4kWh (squeaky bum time given 30kWh battery but I made it back home). Heated seats and steering wheel help massively, when the car is preheated and I am dressed for the weather, I can easily make it into London without turning the heating on.
 

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Yes -- our very own @Pcoventry managed to get a battery upgrade.

Pcoventry's 22kWh->40kWh Battery Upgrade

As far as I know he's got the only one in the UK. If the car has a leased battery, you need RCI to agree to the swap and the work has to be done in France.

Reading the thread, RCI aren't allowing this anymore for UK cars. A battery owned Zoe i might still be able to get an upgrade done in France.
Yes it was a nut ache to get them to agree - when I post some screenshots later from the ODB dongle I will get the battery info as proof.
 

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If that's of any help, I have a 30kWh 2017 Leaf, commute 84 miles return journey to London. In summer, with AC on, I am back home with 20-24% battery, in winter (with car preheated in the morning while it's still charged and no heating then on way in, but heating on for the return leg) I was usually home with 12-16% battery left. In summer, I stick to 70mph as per odometer, in winter I set cruise control at 65mph (bear in mind that Gen 2 Leaf overestimates the speed by about 8-10%). In my humble opinion, there is no way you would be able to cover 80 miles in 24kWh Leaf in winter. Here's an example from my Nissan Connect app - I covered 84.2 miles on 11/06/2018 and used 20.5 kWh, similar journey 84.7 miles on 03/03/2018 used 27.4kWh (squeaky bum time given 30kWh battery but I made it back home). Heated seats and steering wheel help massively, when the car is preheated and I am dressed for the weather, I can easily make it into London without turning the heating on.
Totally agree. I drive a 24 kWh LEAF. No way would a 24 kWh LEAF be viable for 80 mile return in winter without recharging during the journey. In any event you need a margin for the day there is a diversion.
 

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Roughly where are you going from and to?
It is extremely unlikely that you will drive at 70 mph into London anyway.. EV range increases significantly at slow speeds. My old school EV, a Mitsubishi iMiEV (6 years old) will only do about 60 miles on a motorway run at around 60mph but on a London run from Staines it can do around 90 miles.Speeds start optimistically at 50, drop to 40 after Sunbury then reach the 30 to 20 zone as I enter the jams of London. A 22 mile journey from here can take 2 hours and I have been overtaken by people pushing their bikes!

I don't think London traffic flow will be improving soon.
 

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I commute every day into London. 45 miles each way, so 90-mile round trip, in a new (to me) Nissan Leaf.

I bought a 30kWh late 2016 leaf (with 6.6kW charger), and have been doing the commute for a couple of weeks now. the car can handle the return trip comfortably. Mine had about 21k on the clock and cost about £14,500. No rented battery (and I wouldn't want one).... there were several used Leafs on the forecourt and I went for the one with the healthiest battery (according to the Leaf Spy app).

In this warm weather the 90-mile round trip is no problem for the Leaf, even with a bit of silly driving flat out down the motorway. If I drive very carefully, I can squeak out three trips (and the range meter even shows 140 - 150 miles range -- 155 is my record so far on a full charge, but it quickly drops away).

I can charge at home, but where I park in London, I can currently charge for free, so I'm making use of that but with the assumption that it will not always be available in the future.

As a result on most days during the week I don't need to bother charging at home, or can just charge for 30 minutes, as I know I can make the round trip comfortably. The winter will be quite different, but it doesn't look to me like it will be a huge problem based on my experience so far.

I looked at the 24kWh models, but was not comfortable with the range. If you can up your budget to a 30kWh model you would be fine.

I'm new to commuting by car (previously we caught the train, but it's too expensive for two people -- over £9k a year). The experience isn't too bad in a Leaf -- quiet and calm once you get away from the silly London drivers.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Hi!! First at all - thank you so much to all of you that have so kindly replied!

Sorry for coming back only now, it’s has been a crazy week and I haven’t got time to do it.. but I have really really appreciated your help!

Reading you comments I would probably say that it will be better to try to look for a Nissan 30kWh at least.. even if that cost more.

Concerning the charger at home, as I will momentaneally rent a house before buying, will the garage be mandatory or can I arrange with an off street parking and an extension cable? I have read of some people that use an extension cable properly covered for the rain.. is that possible?

Also as it looks like I would need to spend much more money than thought to buy the car, do you know in terms of ‘saving money’ how much having an ev car will help? I will travel from Gravesend (anyone from there?? ) to South Woodford (about 30 miles per way) - possibly going in the motorway (even if not too fast) and looking online it looks like it would cost about £6/7 per way with a petrol or diesel car and about £4 per way with an electric car (or £2 if I don't take the motorway). Anyone of you do more or less the same distance and can confirm the costs?

I know the ev cars don't need to pay the daily charge for the ULEZ (if they go in central London for now or, almost, all London in 2021 Ultra Low Emission Zone ). it is correct that that is around £12.50 per day? Also at the moment, normal cans, pay something if they enter the (only) LEZ?

Also - sorry for so many questions again - i understood that ev cars don't pay the road tax (which is about £150-250 if i have done correct research) and that the insurance is cheaper as well - are those inforation correct?

Again... THANK YOU SO MUCH TO ALL OF YOU FOR ALL YOUR ANSWERS!!! :)

Maria
 

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Reading you comments I would probably say that it will be better to try to look for a Nissan 30kWh at least.. even if that cost more.
I've owned both a 24 and a 30 and the 30 is much better.

Concerning the charger at home, as I will momentaneally rent a house before buying, will the garage be mandatory or can I arrange with an off street parking and an extension cable? I have read of some people that use an extension cable properly covered for the rain.. is that possible?
Can you get a chargepoint installed? I've done it in rented house before. Just needed the landlord's permission.

Charging with an extension cord is possble but not recommended. You need a cord that can safely run at 10Amps for 10 hours. You also need a socket than can run at 10Amps for 10 hours without overheating. Often than means installing a new 3-pin socket on dedicated circuit.




I will travel from Gravesend (anyone from there?? ) to South Woodford (about 30 miles per way) - possibly going in the motorway (even if not too fast) and looking online it looks like it would cost about £6/7 per way with a petrol or diesel car and about £4 per way with an electric car (or £2 if I don't take the motorway). Anyone of you do more or less the same distance and can confirm the costs?
Consumption depends on conditions and how you drive. 4 miles per kWh is good approximation for LEAF. 60 miles will use about 15 units of electricty. I don't know what you are paying but multiply that by 15 to get the per day cost. For example if you pay 10p per kWh, the electrcity will cost you £1.50.



Also - sorry for so many questions again - i understood that ev cars don't pay the road tax (which is about £150-250 if i have done correct research) and that the insurance is cheaper as well - are those inforation correct?
You should get some insurance quotes.

VED for LEAF or Zoe is £0. VED for combustion engines depends. The bands changed a couple of years ago. You will need to look up the VED for the car you are looking at. Also worth googling VED bands.

Road tax was abolished decades ago but the term lives on. Cars are subject to Vehicle Excise Duty. The money goes to the general fund and is not ring fenced for roads. Sorry If this seems a bit pedantic, but EV owners and cyclists hear things like "your aren't paying road tax and shouldn't be on the road."
 

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Maria, the electric cost will be much less than £4 unless you meant £4 for 60 miles and even then I'd guesstimate more like £2.50. 30 miles is about 7 units worth of electric. At 15p a unit, that's around £1.

However, unless you can get charging at home or work I would caution against getting an EV. There are problems with extension leads both technical but also legal, say for example someone trips over your cable and sues. At worst you need an ordinary external power socket, eg 3 PIN, waterproofed, located where it means you are not trailing cables across public footpaths.. If you will be buying a house soon, I'd wait until then, and get a house where there is a drive, or garage with power.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Hi again,

Can you get a chargepoint installed? I've done it in rented house before. Just needed the landlord's permission.

Charging with an extension cord is possble but not recommended. You need a cord that can safely run at 10Amps for 10 hours. You also need a socket than can run at 10Amps for 10 hours without overheating. Often than means installing a new 3-pin socket on dedicated circuit.
We are planning to rent for 6 months/1 year - just the time we are sure we like the place and we find a house to buy. I read that you need to proof that is a long time address if you want the governament help for do in it and that anyway they help you only for one installer for car, so i would prefer to have it once i buy the house. is that correct?

I was looking for a temporary solution in this transition period. How much does it cost if i wasn to pay all myself?

However, unless you can get charging at home or work I would caution against getting an EV. There are problems with extension leads both technical but also legal, say for example someone trips over your cable and sues.
Of course i would do it in a safe way and with an off street car park so to not bother anyone :)

Thanks

Maria
 

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is that correct?
I don't think so but maybe I'm reading the grant incorrectly.

Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme guidance for customers: version 2.2


Like many people on this forum, I claimed against the previous grant back in 2014. The current grant is not availble to anyone who claimed on the old scheme. I'm not able to use the grant on our current home but we could probably claim in Debbie's name.


I guess if you don't use the grant you are looking at roughly £600 but it depends on the house. If the electrics need upgrading, how long the cable runs are..... You will need to get a quote from an installer.
 

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You need to have the car and be at the house for 6 months to claim the grant.
I think you could then claim again at a second property after 6 months, but check the online details or call OLEV.
I would work on the leaf doing 3 miles per kWh as an average over the year, depending on how you drive and the type of driving you do. The cost of the electricity per unit (kWh) that you pay divided by 3 gives a very rough idea of your cost per mile.
People posting on here quoting mi/kWh aren't allowing for ask the extras, losses in the charging, preheating the car in the winter etc so use a lower figure if cost is very important to you.
If you are driving into the low emission zone then the daily charge is going to swamp any fuel cost, and car payment very quickly, plus the whole point is to try to clean up the air in the city so driving on electric is doing your bit.
If you can afford it then go for it.
 
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