Speak EV - Electric Car Forums banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi Folks,
I'm Robin, an eletronics engineer from Bristol: tall, baldy and big of beard, hello!

Currently I commute a 70 mile round trip to work (approx 60 miles of which are motorways) from Bristol to Cardiff in my old Saab 9000 getting 30MPG. This leads to a monthly petrol spend of about £250.

After the recent radio 4 program on EVs alerted me to various lease deals around £200 a month it seems I might be able to get an EV for my commute and keep the Saab for weekend longer range leisure driving while either saving or, at least, not spending that much more than I do now. Seems like a good way of testing the EV experience while cutting down on wear and tear on the old luxury power barge Saab.

The Nissan Leaf looks like a contender at first glance, but the devil is in the details of course!
Calling on the collective wisdom herein, can I put out a few questions please?

At 70 miles my commute seems comfortable for the Leaf's "100 mile" range ... but are ranges quoted in EV specs anything like realistic for motorway driving? If not then what does experience suggest would be a reasonable weighting factor for motorway travel? What sort of hit does aircon put on the range, I don't fancy boiling in the summer and freezing in the winter just to make the range.

There's a thought ... batteries are affected by temperature and lose a lot of capacity in the cold... is this an issue or has it been sorted out by the manufactures now?

We already have 16A 230V single phase and 32A three phase feeds at work in the car park, will this help on the charging front? (I've checked and work are happy to sell me electricity at cost). In Bristol I have only on street parking so I'd be looking to charge up at work only.

There are a bewildering array of different offers out there, does anyone do a straight hire to try things out short term or am I going to have to bite the bullet and commit to a year or two? If so what are thoughts on owning vehicle but leasing batteries?

Any other vehicle suggestions / thoughts / shooting down in flames of all my assumptions are welcome, I'd like to stick to pure EV rather than hybrid for this if at all possible.

Cheers,
Robin.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,278 Posts
Hi Robin

A lot of the cheap lease deals do not include the battery so you would have to add that in too. Have you thought about buying a 2 year old leaf as that would still have 6 years battery warranty and 1 year car warranty. I recently saw one for £11000 on Autotrader with just 25K miles which is a huge saving on new.

I would have thought the range would be tight in the winter for your commute but I will let leaf experts comment more on that.

Regards

Paul R
 

·
Militant EV driver!
Joined
·
4,937 Posts
Hi,

I know several people that got low mileage (<5k) 2012s for £13,000 which I reckon is a cracking deal.


There are many EV charging stations around Cardiff and Bristol, and now you have rapid charging online at Cardiff Gate services too.

There are many rapid chargers coming to the Bristol area, including Ikea which should be ready by October. See: http://goo.gl/maps/6aGl6

The 2013 LEAF has much better cold weather performance. It uses a heat pump instead of resistive heating. Owners are reporting they get more than ten miles extra in the real world too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,267 Posts
Hi there i can get 130miles out of my Renault Zoe at 60 mph on the motorway or 110 miles at 70/75 mph on the motorway, I have done this very often and I only get about 85 miles around town beacause of all the stop start driving, I would go have a look its a nice little car, but there are lots of nice ones out there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,106 Posts
I can only speak about the 2010-12 Leaf (so called Mk1). The quoted range of 100 miles is totally unrealistic for normal use. It can do it but it requires steady 30mph and very little stop/start/ In real-world driving with say a mix of 60-70mph and a mix of 30-40 A-road driving with a few hills thrown in I reckon on a fairly safe range of 60 miles. It will do more if I hypermile and keep the speed down to 50ish but that isn't how I normally drive. In winter though I would say nearer 50 miles with normal driving and heating etc. Many people are getting 80 miles+ and I have done too but it does require a absolute max charge and then running it to nearly totally flat and that leaves you with no margin and you need nerves of steel not to get stressed with the anxiety of whether you will make it or not... not how most people want to drive!

As has already been mentioned... a Mk1 for £13k is simply fantastic value and if you can make that work for you then you would be recouping your cash very quickly indeed. It sounds like your commpute would be fine providing you charged up at work or rapid charged there but it is worth remembering that if a rapid charger fails (and they do from time to time) then you may not have another rapid charge option and you could be stranded. It is a fact of live at the moment that there is no redundancy at charging locations and a single charger failure often can mean many hours or slower charging, an overnight stop or recovery on a flatbed truck.

On the other hand, a Mk2 (2013) Leaf has about an extra 10 mile range and is a much better car in almost every respect in my opinion and if I could justify the upgrade cost I would swap my 2010 for a new one. You still have the issue of a lack of charer redundancy.

However, your biggest problem is that you have no off-street parking where you can charge at home. Personally, I wouldn't have a 100% electric car without having private, off-street charging at home. I have had my Leaf for over 2 years and it would simply be impossible if I couldn't plug it in every night ready for the next day. There are some people int he UK that do it without by using rapid chargers near there house all the time but what if that rapid charger broke down? It just doesn't work well without it.

My recommendation right now would be an Ampera or Volt. You don't need to charge and if push comes to shove it has a half-decent petrol only MPG but if you have charging available then it becomes an excellent EV for a range of 30-40 miles in normal driving. You won't save as much but you will never risk being standed... something that is a real possibility with the way things stand right now with 100% EVs.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,278 Posts
As Robin said he did not want a hybrid, I guess another option would be for Robin to see if someone near his home could offer parking and charging at a low monthly rate on www.parkatmyhouse.com
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,106 Posts
Well, not wanting a hybrid is a great objective but it needs to work and I cannot imagine it working for many people if they don't have off-road parking and a charger at home. I hope it can work for Robin somehow because we need EVs to work for everyone and that includes the millions that dont have private parking at home.

Robin, please don't take my comments as negative. I am just trying to put over the reality of EV ownership and I would love you to make it work somehow for you. It would then be a testament to the fact that EVs are simply great cars to own and drive no matter where you charge!!!

Please let us know how you do :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the info folks!
it is really useful to get some tales of real world experience, I see now that just doing easy maths with the headline figures would possibly leave me stranded half way to work in winter unless I can sort out charging at home too :)
I like the idea of parkatmyhouse.com though it's a bit of a step from "parking up" to "parking up and plugging in" Do chargers (or vehicles) have meters built in that show kWh consumed?
I also have friends that have a currently unused driveway not too far from my home, hmmmmm... what exactly is needed in the way of infrastructure change to set up a charge point? Is it just a "commando" style 16A socket and spur from the consumer unit with an RCD as it's going outside?

Cheers,
Robin.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,112 Posts
Zedsquared said:
I like the idea of parkatmyhouse.com though it's a bit of a step from "parking up" to "parking up and plugging in" Do chargers (or vehicles) have meters built in that show kWh consumed?
I also have friends that have a currently unused driveway not too far from my home, hmmmmm... what exactly is needed in the way of infrastructure change to set up a charge point? Is it just a "commando" style 16A socket and spur from the consumer unit with an RCD as it's going outside?
Cars will generally show you an approximation of much energy they think they've used, but that won't account for charging losses.

If your friends have an unused driveway then they can get a charging point installed for free under the current government scheme: they don't have to own an electric car. These charging points all have to report statistics back to the government and some (such as Polar) will supposedly let you view the stats for your charger on their website (I don't know how well that works, even for the public chargers they seem to have problems displaying the stats). Or they could just install a separate meter to monitor the electricity used.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,106 Posts
I like your "outside the box" thinking Robin :)

Many charging stations do come with a meter but it doesn't cost much to add one even if it doesn't so metering should not be a problem at all.

Anyone can get a totally free charging station for their home at the moment. See the various threads on this forum discussing them :) You don't need an EV to get one either so your friend could have one fitted to their house for you to use if that works for you both. There are some specific requirements so it needs a survey to determine if the house is suitabe but most are. Outside fitting in no problem... they are generally designed for that.

You could just install a 16A commando socket but that is not the best way to go as you would then need to use your own EVSE (charging cable with built in charge controller) which usually only charges at 10A. normally the control electronics are built in to a purpose-built charging station and because of that they can charge at 16A or 32A if you have a car that can take 32A (Mk2 Leaf, Zoe etc). Home charging stations come in either 16A or 32A flavours so if your car can only take 16A (mk1 Leaf, Ampera, Volt etc) then you only need a 16A station and associated wiring.

parkatmyhouse.com sounds like a nice concept and that might work for you. If they also got a free charging station with a meter and they just charged you for what you use then I could imagine that might work well for a lot of people. They are not currently allowed to make a profit from reselling electricity but they can sell it to you for what they pay plus a prorated share of the standing charge.

I hope this helps :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
Hello Robin,

Some thoughts.

Your commute distance tends to be on the ragged edge of most current BEVs. Carefully done you can probably use the Nissan as a commuter car. The ability to charge at work can be critical for the occasional really cold day in the UK. Carefully done, is the key phrase. In very cold weather or very hot weather you may have to make the choice to bring along warmer clothes or sweat. If you can definitely charge at work this may not be an issue.

Your side trips each day to the store and such will have to be planned and probably not as spontaneous as with your Saab. Range anxiety becomes much more real when the car literally runs out of juice.

Keeping the Saab in good running order as a back up also would be a good idea if your other car is all electric.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJudzKQftv4

My own thoughts are we are still a few years away from an electric vehicle only situation for most families with a stated 150-200 mile range more realistic to handle four season driving.

I'm not familiar with the Zoe as they aren't sold here in Colorado. My experience with my Chevrolet Volt is the battery looses about 20% of the range in the winter. That is, I go from 48 to 37 on all electric.

At the US Nissan Leaf site we show real world driving ranges of 2011-2014 Leaf cars at about 85 miles. That's with 70 degree temperature, no heat or air-conditioning on, 62 mph average speed. The heat pump would be an improvement for the 2013 over the prior years.

http://www.mychevysparkev.com/forum/vie ... f=9&t=3444

Owning a Volt myself makes me prejudice in favor of them. In the summer I do 95% all electric in the winter that drops to about 65% due to the cold. I mention this because I can keep the Volt almost entirely electric if I make the effort or just drive it like a regular car and plug in whenever I can if need be.

If you are leasing, as you suggest, any battery degradation over time for a BEV won't matter in the space of three years.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPsgnI4v ... e=youtu.be

Hope the links work for you

Ross
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,278 Posts
My friend has just had his Polar charging installed so I can charge when I visit. He may get an EV or RE-EV at some point but has a gas gussler 4x4 at present :-( He is going to look at Outlander hybrid if it ever arrives...
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top