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Hi all,

I've been lurking on the SpeakEV forms for quite a while now and thought it was about time I signed up. I like the range of opinions on the site and it’s quite unique to have a such an even mixture of brands on an EV forum.

In the last year or so I have become something of an EV advocate, without actually owning one!

I'm not really what you would call a traditional 'car person', I have been quite happy with my 1.4 TDCi diesel Fiesta for the past six years and despite repeated suggestions from my wider family, have not upgraded to a slightly larger car for massive cost. I've never seen much point in going for anything faster as our lovely UK roads don't really suit, plus spending most of your time in traffic doesn't make any sense at all in a gas guzzler. I would like my next car to be larger, but only as I would want to keep it for as long as possible, which would have to cover the eventual arrival of small people.

My little Fiesta has been very reliable (touch wood) and has been used for several round-trip commutes ranging from a measly 12 miles, up to a huge 85 miles, down to my current daily drive of between 50-60 miles. Of course there have also been several holiday trips and distant family visits.

My obsession really took off last August whilst on holiday. The hotel we were staying at offered a pair of Renault Twizys for rental. Despite some mild range anxiety I absolutely loved it! Such good fun. Even the lack of windows didn't matter (too much) in the warm climate. I've always said that I would get a new car whenever a 'better way' came along, either electric, hydrogen or flying!

When we arrived back home, I quickly organised a test drive of a Zoe having been bitten with the EV bug! Having not done too much research I was disappointed to find that the indicated range remaining was less than 60 miles, what had happened to the 120 miles+ per charge? At that point I learnt about the greatly inflated manufacturer range numbers, which took some of the shine off the idea. I wasn't too excited about the battery lease either as I would be keeping the car for more than three years.

I considered the Ampera but decided that if I was going to spend a lot of money on an electric car then it would have to at least cover my daily commute on electric power comfortably. Considering that my commute can consist of over 80% motorway there was no way that would happen without burning any dino juice.

At the time I dismissed the Nissan Leaf as a larger Zoe. Having done a lot more research now, I have since determined that the Leaf could cover my commute to work and back but unfortunately not much more than that. Sometimes I will drive back to my parent's after work and home again which results in a motorway and dual carriageway-heavy round-trip of around 100 miles. Charging at work would be a necessity and currently, that doesn't look hopeful in our small, rented office space.

The i3 Rex was shaping up to be a solution for me and two weeks ago we took a test drive of the BEV model. Whilst I basically fell in love with it, it didn’t convince the other half who quite rightly pointed out that it isn’t actually any bigger than my Fiesta and has less boot space. Also, I do occasionally end up carrying a total of 4 passengers. Why do practical reasons have to get in the way? :p Maybe the i5 will present a more convincing case.

The Model S is quite a bit more than I can afford (although I would love to have one) and so the current holy grail for me is the coveted Tesla Model E. On paper this sounds like the solution with at least 200 miles of range. The only problem is having to wait three more years. The idea of the supercharger network is very interesting.

I’m currently waiting for my 32A socketed charge point to be installed at which point I’m going to take a 24 hour test drive of a Leaf anyway to see how it copes with my commute. If that works out, I may consider grabbing a Leaf for the next few years, even with the limited range.

My other options are to hold out for either the fabled 150 mile Leaf or carry on saving up for a Model E. However, I’m not sure I can wait that long! :confused:

I should also add that my car is now at over 120,000 miles old and will need replacing in the near future. I really don’t want to buy another diesel if I can help it!

Apologies for the lengthy first post.


tl;dr - My current ICE is getting on and I would like an EV, but I’m not certain they are suitable for me yet.
 

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Welcome, epic first post there I must say! ;)

Sounds very similar to us last year, although our leap to LEAF was more desire than necessity (I'm sure our diesel would have lived for many years to come).

I sometimes regret not waiting for the i3, but the size and four seats rules it out realistically speaking, and like you the Tesla Model E seems to be all we need... But it's not real yet!

Had the LEAF since July 2023 and it's been great, it's been our only car since early November and no regrets at all I going electric... Lots of decisions for you to make, none of them are easy!
 

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Had the LEAF since July 2023 and it's been great, it's been our only car since early November and no regrets at all I going electric... Lots of decisions for you to make, none of them are easy!

Paul………

Why do you need a Leaf if you have a time travel machine?:)
 

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Zoe 60 miles? Winter maybe, but I still see 98miles in winter 120+ summer time.
Guys what does the leaf get in winter with the heaters on ?
 

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Fantastic first post thank you... and welcome to the forum :)

I think you have captured the thought process that many people will be going through very well and thank you for taking the time to explain.
 

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I was wondering when Manchester was going to get a second EV driver?
Have you checked out the GMEV site for local charging solutions, although having an Ampera it wasn't worth me buying the second cable. I ignored the advice on this site to my cost.
Also the social trials on myelectricavenue may solve the need for a Leaf for the next 18 months.
Good Luck
 

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Remember that anyone can get a 16amp post installed for free and a 32 amp for less than a 100, with or without ev. So with the Leaf with the optional 6kw charger you could visit family for an hour on the way back and have an additional 30 miles range.

Remember also the existing public charging and Rapid charging at Ikea and all motorway services by year end.

Consider how important the heating vs the range is to you and probably go for the heat pump....

Consider your driving style and how important this is to you. If you are happy driving at 60, driving with the road so a little slower up hill then you can get close to 100 in winter....certainly in the 90's....and more in the summer. If this is too big a sacrifice for you your range will be less.

The finance over 5 years worked for me....in my high mileage case the petrol/diesel savings pay for the monthly repayments.

Good luck with your decision!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Welcome, epic first post there I must say! ;)

Sounds very similar to us last year, although our leap to LEAF was more desire than necessity (I'm sure our diesel would have lived for many years to come).

I sometimes regret not waiting for the i3, but the size and four seats rules it out realistically speaking, and like you the Tesla Model E seems to be all we need... But it's not real yet!

Had the LEAF since July 2023 and it's been great, it's been our only car since early November and no regrets at all I going electric... Lots of decisions for you to make, none of them are easy!
Thanks Paul.

Something else I failed to mention is that my wife also has her own car. That knowledge by itself is enough for the little voice in my head to shout 'Just go for it then!'. Despite this I still have my concerns.

I think I just need to get a long test drive organised then I can decided whether or not to make the leap! However, I'm still waiting on that charging point installation.

Zoe 60 miles? Winter maybe, but I still see 98miles in winter 120+ summer time.
Guys what does the leaf get in winter with the heaters on ?
Sorry if my comment on the Zoe wasn't very clear. On the test drive the car was not fully charged, but it was apparent that even if it was, the total range was not going to exceed 80 or so miles. This was during motorway driving so I guess the range would have been much reduced in this case. Unfortunately I was quite naive about EVs at the time and had thought that the 120 mile range quoted could be easily achieved regardless of conditions or driving style. I know better now!

I was wondering when Manchester was going to get a second EV driver?
Have you checked out the GMEV site for local charging solutions, although having an Ampera it wasn't worth me buying the second cable. I ignored the advice on this site to my cost.
Also the social trials on myelectricavenue may solve the need for a Leaf for the next 18 months.
Good Luck
Hi Mike.

One of the things that got me really excited about the possibility of an EV was when I discovered the GMEV scheme and the surprising number of charging points in the Greater Manchester area! This was increased by my spotting of a Nissan Leaf plugged in to a GMEV point near one of our local supermarkets, which helped to make it feel 'real'.

I did check out the my electric avenue scheme a while back but was disappointed to find that the scheme was not available in Lancashire. I didn't notice the social trials aspect, I wonder if it is a recent addition. Thanks for pointing it out, I've registered my interest. :)

Remember that anyone can get a 16amp post installed for free and a 32 amp for less than a 100, with or without ev. So with the Leaf with the optional 6kw charger you could visit family for an hour on the way back and have an additional 30 miles range.

Remember also the existing public charging and Rapid charging at Ikea and all motorway services by year end.

Consider how important the heating vs the range is to you and probably go for the heat pump....

Consider your driving style and how important this is to you. If you are happy driving at 60, driving with the road so a little slower up hill then you can get close to 100 in winter....certainly in the 90's....and more in the summer. If this is too big a sacrifice for you your range will be less.

The finance over 5 years worked for me....in my high mileage case the petrol/diesel savings pay for the monthly repayments.

Good luck with your decision!
Thanks for the advice Steve. I have considered charging at my parent's house as a solution to that particular trip, but using an external 3-pin socket they already have installed. Due to where the charging port would need to be located it might not fit into the standard install criteria for a 16 or 32 amp charging point. I suppose it wouldn't hurt to have a survey carried out!

I would go for the 6.6kW charger and heat pump, anything to make the car as practical as possible!

I've been watching the progress of the electric highway closely but been quite disappointed by the apparent lack of progress in the north west. I'm aware that some funding is on the way to cover this area from the EU. The poor reliability of the rapid chargers has also reduced my confidence in the whole idea. Here's hoping that they solve the issues soon!

I would be looking to find a finance deal if possible where, after a deposit the monthly payments are equal or less than my monthly fuel spend (£150-£200).


Thanks to everyone for their warm welcomes. It's good to finally join the community. :)
 

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My deal worked out at 400 month without deposit for the Visia plus rapid and 6kw option. Higher trim levels now appearing for less than my Visia so with a deposit you may be able to get closer to the figure you want. Suspect that I could have gotten a better deal with persistance. The free car tax I swap in my head for the extra electric spent!

Am guessing you know the situation with the 6kw and losing the brick....would try to make supply of the brick as well as type 2 cable a condition of your purchase.

Yes the rapids are a bit hit and miss for now....but their utility is such that they have to get better. In the meantime consider the Zeronet chargers. They are just sockets so if you can incorporate them into your usual leisure behaviour / spend are a reliable option. Better still encourage your favourite pubs etc to get a free charger installed from them....it gets them advertised as well on maps. Am trying to persuade Jodrell Bank to fit one....on the day I visited needed a rapid stop there and back....but a type 2 charger would have fully charged me in the time of my visit and avoided the need for any charging stop.

Good luck...go for it....you won't regret it, fab car :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks again Steve, I must say the temptation to just get on with it is growing. :)
 

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Is your commute a 50-60 mile round trip or each way? if its round trip and you have a 13a socket at work you could easily manage an electric commute with an Ampera. If it's each way, you'd still achieve a very high 150mpg (at 2/3rds EV with 50mpg) with work charging, without work charging you'd be looking at 75mpg (1/3rd EV with 50mpg). With an Ampera the only range anxiety is when the petrol gauge goes to 'Low'! So when you have tried all of the others, if nothing fits just right, maybe it'd be worth going back to consider an Ampera (second hand prices are not too bad either!) until The Tesla E arrives. You'd achieve the best mpg form the Ampera on the motorway by trundling at 60mph, would be 50+mpg, which from petrol isn't bad.
 

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Hi Parax.

My commute is 50-60 miles round trip, should have made that more clear, sorry.

That all sounds great but I have a question if I may. My worst case scenario commute of 60 miles contains about 51 miles of motorway. Would the Ampera stay in full electric mode at 60-70 mph? Or would the engine kick in at that point as some articles have suggested due to it apparently being more efficient?

Another issue for me with the Ampera (and i3) is the limited seating space. I'm not too bothered personally as I rarely have a full car, although it does happen on occasion. More importantly the other half will not be too keen if it can't carry five people.

Thanks for the information, you make a good case!
 

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The engine will not kick in in EV mode unless it is very cold and you need heating, and have the car set for 'engine heating for low temps'.

It's the Prius that is only capable of ev mode for lower speeds, it's more of a petrol car with electric assistance, whereas the Ampera is an electric car with petrol assistance.

In Electric mode the Ampera is Electric all the way to 105mph (no lack of torque either!). It is single motor drive to about ~60mph then it gets clever. As Motor drive frequency increases(rotation speed) the inverter efficiency starts to drop off, so to keep high efficiency the Ampera blends in a second motor(the generator) via a planetary gearbox to keep the individual motor speeds lower but to generate a higher top speed than some other EV's.

In Petrol mode the engine drives the generator which then drives the drive motor upto ~60 mph, then as above at higher speeds the two motors are connected to gain better high speed, at this point the engine is driving the gen motor and planetary gearbox so there is an element of direct drive that is not subject to conversion losses, and as such is more efficient. This only happens in petrol mode at higher speeds.

The rear does seat 2 adults comfortably so its not a 2+2! and has all the isofix child seat fittings, and there's a rear-door & window, child-lock switch too. Just pretend the 4 seats makes it a Merc E class or CLS after all centre consoles are for luxury cars!
 
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