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Hello Everybody,

First post here. I'm looking for some opinions on a suitable introduction to electric motoring. I've spent hours watching videos and reading reviews but still can't really decide what's best. I'm looking to "dip my toes in the water" rather than go all-in right now, but with the hope that as a family we can be pure-electric within a few years. Budget of £400/mo with preference to avoid leasing and PCP style final payments.

We're a two car family with a primary school age child and dog. We have a medium size family estate and a 2+2 cabrio, both diesel. The estate does about 22000 miles a year, mostly a 90 mile round trip motorway commute with the 3 or 4 trips annually, UK and France, of about 500 miles each way. 4 wheel drive security for nasty winter days, easy 80mph cruise for the continent and lots of useful onboard tech like real time traffic. Because I work shifts starting very early (2:30AM) or finishing equally late, and often with only 8 hours at home between work (where I wouldn't be able to benefit from overnight reduced cost charging) and with no charging infrastructure at work the foreseeable future I think this is the harder economic and practical case to swap to electric at the moment.

The cabrio is used mostly for school runs etc, usually less than 35 miles/day though with the occasional slightly longer trip. Destination charging is available in the places usually visited. My feeling is this car is an ideal case for electric as that sort of "live at home" car is no longer in the early adopter phase. My only concern is very occasionally (servicing, school friends, dog to the vet etc) we have to swap cars hence a 90 mile commute requirement.

I've been looking at the Renault Zoe as a low cost used option. The 22kWh is the most affordable, but I think it wouldn't really work for my commute. For that car to work for a year or so we could use it as the normal "home" car and keep the cabrio for the very occasional special case, though obviously that adds to overall insurance and tax costs. The 40kWh Zoe does seem to have the range for my commute, but is about double the cost on the used market.

The MG ZS EV looked like a near perfect fit, I like how it looks and its not much more in real terms than a good 40kWh Zoe, but my career background is in software and user interface design and based on the videos I've seen I think it would end up driving me mad.

What other options would people suggest?

Thanks
 

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Renault ZOE R135 ZE50 GTLine July 2020 (Sold: R90 ZE40 i Dynamic Nav June 2017)
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You look to have pretty much a perfect use case for an EV. I'd replace the cabrio with a ZOE 40 kWh (or equivalent), but use it for the commute, leaving the estate for the school runs, overseas trips and large loads. That way the high mileage is low emissions and maximises your fuel savings. Remember that you will be saving about £1,000 in fuel for every 10,000 miles you drive. That saving (and low service costs and no road tax) really helps overall costs. If you keep the car for 5 years, covering 10,000 miles a year, then you can pay £5,000 more than for an ICE for the same overall cost (10 years, £10,000). More mileage, more savings. All deliberately simplistic to make the point.

I'm assuming that you can fit a home charge point and charge on your drive. I'd also switch to Octopus EV GO tariff, paying 5p / kWh for most of your charging overnight, taking the electricity cost down to about 1p/mile! The switch takes a month or so and needs chasing, but worked fine for us. (Referral link: Octopus Energy)

If you go for the ZOE, I'd advise going battery owned - but others will advise the battery lease. Look at the ZOE thread for heated debate on this. I run a battery-owned 40kWh ZOE and it does most of our mileage. We keep an 80,000 mile Golf diesel for second car use (needed infrequently) and the longest journeys (more than 200 - 300 miles). We have taken the ZOE to northern France with great success. Seems to match your situation exactly.

With regard to finance, my own view is that its always been cheaper to borrow a little more on the mortgage or take out a low cost loan, rather than pay any form of lease. Again, others disagree.
 

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For your school-run car you could consider a Phev/Rex? Pretty-much any Phev, driven gently, will manage 30 miles electrically in summer, and 20s in winter. i3 Rex will easily cope, but might be too compact. Ampera will also easily cope, even in winter, but is getting old and running out of warranty so probably can't be recommended sadly. Even Mitsubishi Outlander Phev mighy be worth a look? Thirsty on long trips, but a versatile beast. All these hybrids can obviously cope with short-notice long trips, having 2 fuels has its benefits!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks, yes both those options make a lot of sense. The only concern with pure electric for the commute is the minimal time the car would be parked at home during the cheap rate, but I estimate about 3kWh charging for every 10 miles out, equivalent to 1 litre currently so it would still be cheaper even at the high rate. I hadn't considered the range extender option so will look into the i3 and Outlander
 

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I'm from a software and UI background and yes the MG is irritating in that it would take so little to improve it by a huge amount. Having said that I've learnt to live with it. for 24K it really does stand out as excellent value for money. The pro's are the amount of space and comfort, the downsides are the bongs and inefficiency.
 

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Kia Soul EV 2020
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The estate does about 22000 miles a year, mostly a 90 mile round trip motorway commute with the 3 or 4 trips annually, UK and France, of about 500 miles each way. 4 wheel drive security for nasty winter days, easy 80mph cruise for the continent and lots of useful onboard tech like real time traffic.
I am waiting for a Kia e-soul for a very similar situation. All regular round trips covered by its normal range. 500 mile trips need one charge en route. Won't have 4 wheel drive though, but will swap for Tesla Cybertruck in two years time if I need that - have a 4 wheel drive pickup at the moment but will trade that in for e-Soul. Won't bother keeping it for 'just in case'
e-Soul is larger vehicle than it seems, holds more in banana box tests. Also very sophisitcated with features and app.
Charge on lowest cost tariff for when you are at home.
 

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Renault ZOE R135 ZE50 GTLine July 2020 (Sold: R90 ZE40 i Dynamic Nav June 2017)
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Thanks, yes both those options make a lot of sense. The only concern with pure electric for the commute is the minimal time the car would be parked at home during the cheap rate, but I estimate about 3kWh charging for every 10 miles out, equivalent to 1 litre currently so it would still be cheaper even at the high rate. I hadn't considered the range extender option so will look into the i3 and Outlander
I get 4 hours cheap rate at 5p/kWh. That gives about 28kWh per night at cheap rate. In winter, the worst we get is 3.6 miles/kWh, so that is about 100 miles, which is enough to cover your 90 mile commute. In summer, we get over 4 miles/kWh. You might need, say, an extra half hour or so of high rate charging per night in winter, which is about an extra 35p.
 
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