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Discussion Starter #1
Hi

I'm looking into getting an electric car and hoped I could ask everyone's advice by joining this forum.

Currently my car averages about 70 MPG and I travel 44 miles to and from work each day.

I have umpteen questions but I'll start with is an electric car worthwhile?
 

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Hi there Matt. Welcome to the group. Hopefully we will answer your questions.

So, your daily commute is ONLY 44 miles per day? That will fit well inside the range of pretty much any EV.

Whatever you drive (and depending upon where you charge) expect to pay about 3p per mile to run it. I make that about £1.32 per day. Based on your mileage and diesel you're paying about 3 times that in fuel alone
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your reply and the welcome Jason

44 miles each way

Looking into a charger at work, home isn't a problem (Renault said the ZoE is likely to be 60 odd and 90 odd in winter and summer for range)

That's how I see it, plenty of savings on fuel. Are there less services required for an electric car?

Is electric better than hybrid?

Obviously there's the upfront cost of a new car v my current car to add into the mix for cost
 

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Hi Matt and welcome.

You are already driving a fairly economical car but I would still expect an EV to reduce your running costs. The question will be what you are spending on fuel and buying/leasing your current car versus the cost to change to an EV?

I, for example, cover around 18 to 20,000 miles per annum and was spending around £300 per month on diesel. I had recently paid off the loan for my car so that fuel bill was my only monthly outgoing. Other costs were VED, insurance, servicing and depreciation.

I looked at the running costs and whether an EV would fit my driving pattern and found that a pure BEV could have coped with 80 to 90% of my daily pattern but could create issues on the days when I need to cover larger distances, usually for me between 3 & 6 days a month.

I therefore went for the Extended Range option and bought a Vauxhall Ampera. There were some superb deals (which continue for the moment) bringing the Ampera in to my price range.

I traded in my last car and am now paying £175 a month on a PCP for my Ampera. I am now driving a brand new car with lifetime warranty and 8 year drivetrain warranty for way less than I was spending on diesel alone. Even once I add in occasional petrol use and electricity at home I am still at least £50 a month better off.

Do the maths, test drive a few and I'm sure you will see how attractive an option they are now.

HTH

Derek
 

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In that case if you are looking at a LEAF or Zoe type car then 88 miles will likely be pushing it in work. That said, both will plug into a 13A socket and even if you only take another 20 miles while at work that's ample to get you home again.

I am quite happy, for example going from home in Cheltenham to the office between Reading and Maidenhead, knowing that I can charge at the office and knowing that if that fails I have Reading, Chievely and Membury where I can charge.

Is it worth it? I did 2715 miles in May and had I paid for ALL the electricity it'd have cost £92. Compared to around £150 per week which I was burning - yes it IS worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ampera or similar is something I can see myself leaning towards and thanks for your example Derek as it's very similar to my own situation.

Do you find that you use petrol often or is it solely for longer journeys?

Cost for me monthly is £200-300 in fuel alone, if I'm reducing that to say £20-30 it's a big saving to factor into the calculations.

What is servicing like for electric cars v 'normal' cars?

Is there much difference in tyre wear etc?
 

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a pure BEV could have coped with 80 to 90% of my daily pattern but could create issues on the days when I need to cover larger distances, usually for me between 3 & 6 days a month.
Just a further note on this. I chose the opposite option. Yes, I DO have journeys which are longer than range. Thursday AM I am off to London for example. I know however that I will need a break in my drive and I know that if I leave a little earlier then I can have breakfast en route. Also the Ampera has 4 seats while I wanted 5.

In addition if I am able to plan my longer days then I can, as part of my LEAF lease exchange my car for a dino-juice powered car for up to 14 days per annum

Oh, worst case - I can walk to my local Enterprise car rental and use one of theirs.

All that said - while the M4 journey does not phase me, looking at the relative scarcity of RCs further north I get a little worried if a journey north of Brum threatens
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks again

Personally I'm leaning towards the flexibility/convenience of something along the lines of the Ampera but there's a part of me that feels it's a cop out.

Have many people had a charger installed as part of the current incentive? Are any better than others?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
In what respect?

The other reason I'm slightly hesitant about the likes of the Ampera is because my current car is a small 5 door, primarily because it's usually just me in the car
 

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Now enjoying my new Kia SOUL EV
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Ampera or similar is something I can see myself leaning towards and thanks for your example Derek as it's very similar to my own situation.

Do you find that you use petrol often or is it solely for longer journeys?

Cost for me monthly is £200-300 in fuel alone, if I'm reducing that to say £20-30 it's a big saving to factor into the calculations.

What is servicing like for electric cars v 'normal' cars?

Is there much difference in tyre wear etc?
I have now covered 2,800 miles in the nine weeks I have owned the car and have so far put in £45 of petrol. £20 of that was to get me home from Sheffield where I bought the car. I have a 30 Mile each way commute and have always managed that on battery. 44 Miles each way will push the Ampera battery range in the winter but should be okay most of the year, depending on your route. I do the majority of mine on a fast dual carriageway and set the cruise at 65. I have too many hills on the route though which affects the range. I can charge at work so always get home on battery too.

The only times I have used petrol is the days I have needed to go to the other sites I look after (I am a Commercial Property Manager).

I accept the point that if you need 5 seats the Ampera will not work. I looked back and the 12 months I had my last car I had 5 people in it twice and that was offering people a lift as I was driving.

The Ampera, whilst it has an engine, does not use its engine much if you are getting the most out of it. Servicing costst can therefore be relatively low. Other users who have had had theirs longer will be able to give you a better idea based on actual experience.

No idea on tyre wear as yet.

HTH

Derek
 
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Discussion Starter #13
That's great thanks Derek, think I'll be crunching some numbers tonight to weigh up the different options

It also leads nicely onto another query I had, what are electric cars like on hills? Will it be a culture shock moving from a diesel when going up an incline?

What are everyone's thoughts on regenerative braking?
 

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if you need 5 seats the Ampera will not work. I looked back and the 12 months I had my last car I had 5 people in it twice and that was offering people a lift as I was driving.
Agreed - and the reality is that 90% of my driving is just me in the car. Practically I should not have let that sway my judgement but I did :)

I think the answer is (and the Ampera drivers will agree) that for the VAST majority of the time, whether you have a pure BEV or a REX then you will be able to cope within the range limitations of the car. On the rare occasions that you need more range then the REX offers a degree of flexibility that the BEV does not. As you stretch the range of the car out from the designed range then as you can "recharge" your Ampera in 10 minutes at a filling station and gain a couple of hundred miles, as opposed to 30 minutes of RC for a mere 60 miles then this becomes more painful
 
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