Speak EV - Electric Car Forums banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm weighing up a new Amp versus a virtually new BMW 320d EfficientDynamics (68mpg, but mostly urban it does 50mpg according to my research, which is about apparently the same mpg as the petrol engine in the Ampera?). Test drove both cars yesterday.

The Amp is £34k and the BMW is £27K. I'm trying to work out the costs over several years to see if it's worth it financially to consider the Amp, or just buy a cheaper but still economical car. I reckon I do 8k miles a year, and I'd hope to do 80% of those on electric only.

I tried putting together a quick spreadsheet, attached. It's not fancy and I just copied and pasted fields to perform the calculations, rather than referring back to one cell for the same data value. I'm not on an Economy 7 Tariff, which would almost exactly half the electric cost shown, saving about £600 over 5 years. I've roughly estimated fuel types, will increase 5% a year, and diesel by about 15p a year. It's a rough guess, but who knows?

I can see you guys like your number crunching and data, so can you see if this looks accurate? I've colour coded it by car, so it should make sense.

On a rough calculation I think I'd have to own the Ampera for 6-7 years to make the costs of the two cars equalise. Beyond 7 years the Ampera would be cheaper to own, but of course it's highly unlikely I'd own it 7 years, and probably not even 5. 3 years is probably more realistic, as it would be for many people. If my sums are right then it may be that the choice comes down to not being a financial one (which is a pity as I hate flushing cash into my petrol/diesel tank) but more one of owning a car that's a bit different. I have not factored in any depreciation, because we have no idea what the Ampera's residuals will be (BMW figures exist). From past experience I would guess the Ampera will likely loose a good 10k in the first year, off £34k, but that would be a finger in the air guess?

If Vauxhall had kept the original price of about 29K the Amp would be running cheapest of the two cars after little more than 1 year of ownership, but the 34k high initial outlay has proved a bit of a killer. Maybe it's better to wait for the forthcoming £29k model in September if this is a finance-driven purchase?

Would value your opinions and any corrections?

Rich
(see attachment ownership.zip)
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,113 Posts
Have you considered buying a Volt instead of an Ampera, or are you too far from the relevant dealers for that? That's the same price as the low-spec Ampera but the same trim as the mid-spec one (and if you want the Nav option it costs the same as an option on the Volt as the difference between the Ampera models).

I'm not convinced that any attempt at comparing prices against a petrol car really work: as you noted you have no idea what sort of depreciation to expect. Also how does servicing compare? (sorry, I couldn't open your spreadsheet so I don't know what figures you included) The Volt has an option of £349 for 3 years servicing, I've no idea how much the BMW costs to service but I suspect it isn't cheap.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I did look at them, but wasn't keen on the styling. Buying a vehicle like this styling is only a portion of the consideration of course, in that what it does it what matters, but when I compared the looks of the two I wasn't as keen on the Volt. Probably the opposite way around for you I'm sure!

You're right it's almost impossible to work out costs, they are just guesses. I could do 20 forecasts and none would be right. Servicing I forgot to add. I don't know the cost, but I'll find out. There could be £100-£200 quid or so difference a year I guess.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,304 Posts
Nobody knows how much an Ampera is going to cost to run for X years. Depreciation will be the largest cost and at present (and for some time) will be the biggest unknown. Glasses Guide are predicting a 3 year residual of 43% but they have nothing to compare it with - it is just guesswork!

In terms of purchase price, I did not consider a BMW/Audi and wanted to get away from a diesel. However, I did test a Lexus CT200H SE-L for a day, which with DAB and metallic paint was close to £32K. With better performance, economy, refinement and warranty, I felt that the Ampera was the better car overall and priced OK in comparison (thanks to the £5K subsidy).

I was happy to take a gamble with the Ampera to be the start of something new and different. I believe that in years to come our Ampera will be looked at as the start of the Range-Extender revolution [maybe].

Regards

Paul R
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,777 Posts
The Standard Error is to assume that you will achieve the quoted 68mpg figure for the BMW and that you will drive in that manner every day. I enjoy driving too much to have bought an asthmatic limp econovariant. Now I'm first away from the lights guilt free.. and cash rich.. (my lifetime MPG is just over 100mpg, for the last two weeks).. If you drive through a city, it's impossible to achieve the quoted figures with all the stop starts, shifting to L and upping the regenerative does work well for short stop starts...

Sport Mode, Engage! (As a certain VO Artist would say)

P.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,106 Posts
I don't know what the book figures for the BMW are... is it 68mpg? If it is then in my experience you would be lucky to see more than 50 on a regular basis unless on a run at sensible speeds and a light right foot.

For planning purposes I would use a figure near 75% of the combined as a starting point.

Remember, an ICE, either petrol or diesel, will return horrible figures until warmed up. Think 10-15mpg for a car with book figures of 45mpg! So, if you are doing a lot of short journeys the saving that are possible with an Ampera are significantly greater than you might imagine by looking at purely at book figures. Book figures are hardly ever achieveable in reality.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,777 Posts
Rich, I Just spotted an error in your Electric Costs Calculation on your spreadsheet.

For the 6hr charge, the car draws 10A at 240V, 2400W*6hr = 14kWh (rounded down as uk mains is actually closer to 230v now)
at your tariff of £0.11 per kWh that would cost you £1.54
if you had eco7 at £0.06/kWh that would be £0.84

Also as I understand it the amount of power the car needs to charge does not increase as you have shown year on year, only the price of the electricity would rise each year.

You might want to consider the residuals on the Ampera verses the BMW at +5 years, they could easily make your 2k difference go away.

If you wait a few months you might be able to pick up a 2 month old Ampera to make a proper comparison with the 2 month old BMW, Ampera dealers do have demo cars that will be coming round for sale soon.

I am intending to keep the Ampera for 8 years as that's the only way it really works for me, fortunately the warranty also lasts that long! which is something you may also want to consider.

Finally the last issue is how you would cope if there were another fuel protest/scare. (do you want smugs or regrets?)

P.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the replies. The BMW quoting 68 is mixed driving. I've read blogs where people get geniune 70mpg on the morotway use alone, but everyone agrees it will to 50mpg sole urban driving which is what I do mostly, so I used that figure in the calculations.

Thanks for the correction on the electricity usage.

I've put all this to my accountant to see if it will work as a company vehicle any better. 15% benefit in kind tax BMW, 5% benefit in kind tax Ampera. That may tip the balance. My heart says Amp, my head says BMW. The BMW would just just like every other on the road, but a sensible car, not exciting. The Amp would be a bit of a talking point and a more interesting ownership.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I asked the Vauxhall garage about ex-demo models, and there won't be any for 12 months. Apparently, the garages also qualify for the government grant of £5k off and as a result they must own the car for 12 months.

They don't know the spec of the cheaper model that will be available later in the year, but it may very likely have cloth seats as part of the cheaper spec.

EDIT: I corrected the spreadsheet, with the right electricity costs, and added service costs from the garages. I also added in the cost of a Chevy Volt as a comparison too. I also added in the Company car tax liability in too, separately.

Adding in those extra figures doesn't make a huge difference, in that it would take 6-7 years for ownership costs to equalize between the Amp and the BMW (the Volt pays off earlier of course).

However, I assumed the sale of the car after 3 years, and put the final cost of ownership, adding up the 3 years worth of expenses and then taking off the residual value. The BMW residual value is likely to be very accurate. The Amp and Volt I have put two values. 43% as shown on some websites, 34% as shown on others. If 43% was accurate then there is very little difference in total cost to own after 3 years between the Amp and BMW (£900 cheaper). The Volt would be best value of course. If 34% residual is accurate for the EVs, then the Amp would be £5k more expensive to own for 3 years and then sell.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Surely you could go on comparing one car with a cheaper car until you end up n a bicycle? I suggest that you set a budget of what you can afford and the type of car that you want and go for it. If for example your budget is £34k then the Ampera falls into this budget and you would be comparing the car with a BMW costing the same among. If you do this the Ampera will win hands down if you are comparing the cars on economy of running especially if you have a business to set the car against tax.

I too have run a spread sheet looking at typical journeys sub 50 miles, 50 miles, 100miles, 200 miles 400 miles. I Then calculated the cost of each journey bothi with and without a mid journey battery top up. I then calculated how many journeys per year for each and compared this with other low mpg carsand found that the Ampera compare favourably on mpg. No doubt the Ampera will not compare favourably with German build quality but hats off to Vauxhall for getting the ball rolling. if enough of us buy this cara other manufacturers including BMW will follow and compete and costs will begin to fall.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Just to throw a curve at your calculations, GM claims the electric motors in the Volt/Ampera should easily go 600,000 miles before needing any repairs. And, since the planetary gear clutches are speed matched by the computer controllers before engaging different drive modes, (and way less often than those in a regular automatic transmission), no expensive transmission work should be necessary for a similar amount of time.

Then, in addition, since your ICE engine may only run as little as 10% of the time, it should easily go 1,000,000 miles before needing rebuilding. And, the regenerative brakes mean way less brake pad wear, and the oil changes are averaging about once every two years.

Also, there is no separate starter motor to wear out it's brushes or solenoid, no alternator to wear out, and no alternator, air conditioner, or power steering drive belts to wear out and replace.

In short there is no conventional car that even comes close to the low maintenance costs of a Voltec type vehicle. About the only maintenance will be rotating and replacing tires when they wear out.

Once the public becomes aware of these facts, the resale value of used Voltec cars sill soon become far better than any conventional vehicle. A three year or even 5 year old one will hardly even be broken in yet. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,106 Posts
This is something I have been saying about the resale values.

The Nissan Leaf has only been out a year or so in the UK and resale values are already down to 70% but I think this is not a true representation of their value. The resale value is low right now because demand is low... basically, so few people are buying them. This will change. Once people start buying the Leaf in significant numbers the word will get out about how good EVs actually are and secondhand values with start to stabalise. Then, as these cars get a bit older and people start to realise that maintenence costs are way down and that the battery is lasting, so the will start to actually rise.

I believe that a 3 or 4 year old Ampera could be worth on the market a lot more in percentage terms as a ICE.

I fly in the ointment is any price reductions that we see in the price of a new car. As new car proces fall so will the secondhand prices. I know prices will fall, they must if they want to sell these cars to the masses, but by how much and when is anyone's guess.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top