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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So, after 3.5 months with the E-Up! Mrs TomS has decided she might want to join the EV club too. She's a little nervous about going fully BEV as her usage is mainly very short trips (less than 8 miles) combined with a couple of long 300 mile trips per month.

I've always been impressed with the Chevy Volt/Vauxhall Ampera, and there are some very good deals on them at the mo (Scottish Vauxhall are £21k OTR for the Positiv model). I think a REX would be the best solution for her...

But, then there is the BMW i3. It's a LOT more money though. I reckon her 2013 Skoda Fabia TDI Monte Carlo is worth £9k ish (maybe a bit more) which makes a cost to change on an Ampera £12k.

What do my learned friends reckon?
 

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Based on the two choices you're providing I would be biased toward the i3. I remember reading that GM is abandoning the Volt in Europe and that Opel/Vauxhall probably will follow suit, so, I would guess that an i3 would probably be the better choice.
 

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I like the Volt, and I would buy another one today if it had 5 seats. Since 90% of my trips are about 15-20 miles the battery-size in the Volt is quite adequate and ideal. I would have a difficult time justifying the additional expense of an i3 to accommodate the other 10% of trips when many of them would well-exceed the battery range of the i3, as well. So, if I'm really passionate about wanting to use all-battery on all trips, then I'd go with a used Model S rather than a new i3. If I'm not passionate about using all-battery on all trips, then I'm looking for a 5-seat Volt (which, sadly, does not exist).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Interesting feedback folks - one vote for i3 and one for Volt. 5 seats doesn't matter - there are only the two of us, so a Tesla Roadster would do!!

The i3 REX at £34k is £13K more than the Ampera... Is it £13K's more of car??!!

We have to sell the Fabia too yet.. I HATE selling cars..
 

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I wanted the i3 but couldn't justify the extra money (and didn't fancy a 3 - 4 month wait). With hindsight I would still make the same decision again. I like the fact that it can drive like a normal car and coast when on normal roads, but if you are in heavy traffic, you can put it in L mode; in effect you can choose the amount of regen you get. Either way, I hardly ever have the mechanical brakes engaging. On the i3, it's aggressive regen all the time; not a big deal but it may take some getting used to. Think of it like a bumper car at the fairground :).

GM are bringing out a new Volt in 2015; I suspect it will come to the UK - even if it isn't called the Ampera. No car stays unchanged for more than 3 years. At least with an Ampera you have a lifetime warranty.

Of course you need to try both, but based on your wife's mileage then the Ampera is the better choice on paper. The i3 battery range would be massively more than she requires for her daily commute, but on her 300 mile journey, she will have to fill up the tank a few times and/or seek out rapid chargers. In an Ampera with a full tank and battery, she'll comfortably do that journey with no need to refuel.

I believe the i3 will do up to 150 miles in one go, the Ampera up to 400.
 
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Hi Toms

The Volt/Ampera far cheaper…………………………………………………………….…………….Advantage V/A

Both cars have 4 seats……………………………………………………………….…………………No advantage

BMW summer 80 mile electric range, V/A 45 mile electric…………………………………………..Advantage BMW but if you don't need it only 8 mile per day No advantage

V/A petrol range about 350 miles BMW about 80……………………………………………………Massive advantage V/A as if your wife does not want to charge on a 300 mile trip she probably does not want to get petrol either.

Comfort, only driven Volt but reports have the Ampera as a better long distance car…………Advantage V/A
 

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Also the i3 is nippier...which would be an advantage for some...but the Ampera is certainly no slouch, especially away from the lights. The i3 is positioned as a city car, the Ampera was designed to comply with emissions but also to be a 'normal' car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hmm.. hadn't thought about a PiP.... We drove a normal Prius on holiday in the past and SWMBO thought it sounded like it was broken (mainly because of the way the engine revs seemingly don't relate to road speed).. It did feel like a bullet proof old tank though, and she also loved the Yaris she had back in the day..

Maybe my comparison needs to be Ampera vs PiP?
 

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Interesting feedback folks ...a Tesla Roadster would do!!..
If any Tesla is in the mix, I change my vote and vote for the Roadster then.
 

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Based on your projected useage any of the new PHEV models will suit you.

VW Golf GTE (30 miles EV range)
Audi A3 e-tron (30 miles EV range)
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (30 miles EV range)

Plug in Prius seems expensive compared to the Ampera and it's still a Prius. Not sure I can recommend one but I'm biased.

Derek
 

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With the Ampera you are looking at an older vehicle that seems soon to end (at least in current form) with stocks being sold off at discount prices. With the i3 you"re looking at a new car with a more certain future and demand outstripping supply. If resale and residuals are a factor the BMW probably has a big leg up there.
 

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Take them both for test drives. For me the i3 is worth the extra money because of the range and driving performance.

The main things I dislike about the Ampera are the short EV range and the interior plastics. It feels like they borrowed materials from the inside of a fridge-feezer.

Yes, I know the i3 interior also is a bit love/hate - which is why you need to sit in both :)
 

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I appreciate I may be a bit biassed, and I've not looked too closely at the i3, but if your car choice was based on a poll in a forum, I'd vote for the Volt/Ampera.

As has already been mentioned, Chevrolet as a brand is pulling out of the UK market, and I think they may have already stopped selling the Volt, although there might still be a couple sitting in showrooms. It is certainly worth tracking down an Ampera though and seeing how you like it.
 

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You will also find ex demo volt/amperas easily for much less money than a new i3. As you already have an ev with reasonable range the bmw imo is to expencive for what you need, why pay over £10 k more for something your wife will never use. The best thing about the volt is it is just a car, you don't need to change your thinking or the way you use it over an ice.
 

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You can get a used Leaf for about £13k.
You can get a Used Ampera from about £16k.

Choice will really come down to how much you are prepared to spend.

Derek
 

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I am biased of course but would also throw in that the Ampera looks cool vs the i3 which is a horrible boxy looking thing!
 
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