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Discussion Starter #1
I've decided to buy an electric car, and Renault Zoe (the upcoming model with longer range) seems to me the most promising one (enough range to an enough low price). But I have no experience of electric cars (not even been sitting in one once), so could you with more experience help me a bit?

So let me tell you a bit about my situation. I live in an apartment in one city without the ability to charge it there. I work in another city 35 km away (the speed limit is 100 km/h) which I go to every weekday, and I can charge it there while I work. When I get back home from work I sometimes go to another city which is 80 km away from where I live.


Question 1. Charging strategy
I can only charge it daytime weekdays at work. Will this be bad for the battery? Some of my thoughts:
  • At nights it will always be parked outside my apartment without charging. Is that bad? In the winter it might be -20 degrees Celsius. Will that drain the battery a lot?
  • When I come back home after work I go to that other town 80km away and then back home again. After that I guess the battery is far from full. Is it still OK to let it be parked during the night without charging it until I arrive at work the next day? Or will that be bad for the battery? Especially during a night with -20 degrees Celsius?
  • At weekends I might drive a longer distance on Saturday (get quite empty battery), and then it will be parked without charging the entire Sunday, and then I'll charge it at work on Monday. Is that bad?
Question 2. Leasing VS Buying the battery
I drive quite a lot, so to me it was obvious that it would be cheaper for me in the long run to buy the battery. But a car dealer I spoke with rather recommended me to lease the battery because I drove that much (he said the battery would get so bad with time). What do you think is best?

Thanks for you input!
 

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Co-author of CanZE. Q210 nov 2013
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Dealer talk about battery is pretty much nonsense. Case in point: my 6 years old, 100.000+ km is at 93% state of health, charged to full every night. Nothing what you mentioned is "bad", esp compared to mine.

Go for rent if you want "battery peace of mind", a bit of extra towing service, and/or don't have (or want to spend) the money for ownership. Go for ownership if you want to bet against worries about selling it later privately. Mark that some people here have very strong opinions on this subject, usually on the financial aspect only. Do your homework, there is choice, yay!

With the 50 kWh battery there is absolutely zero reason to worry about the range given your pattern.
 

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I've decided to buy an electric car, and Renault Zoe (the upcoming model with longer range) seems to me the most promising one (enough range to an enough low price). But I have no experience



Thanks for you input!
Question 1. Charging strategy
I can only charge it daytime weekdays at work. Will this be bad for the battery? Some of my thoughts:
  • At nights it will always be parked outside my apartment without charging. Is that bad? In the winter it might be -20 degrees Celsius. Will that drain the battery a lot? The battery won't discharge overnight, only if you use the remote heating (if exists in the Zoe), then yes it will heat the car from the HV battery
  • When I come back home after work I go to that other town 80km away and then back home again. After that I guess the battery is far from full. Is it still OK to let it be parked during the night without charging it until I arrive at work the next day? Or will that be bad for the battery? Especially during a night with -20 degrees Celsius? As long you allow for enough range to get to the charging point there is nothing wrong in leaving the battery half full or less.
  • At weekends I might drive a longer distance on Saturday (get quite empty battery), and then it will be parked without charging the entire Sunday, and then I'll charge it at work on Monday. Is that bad? Nope
Question 2. Leasing VS Buying the battery
I drive quite a lot, so to me it was obvious that it would be cheaper for me in the long run to buy the battery. But a car dealer I spoke with rather recommended me to lease the battery because I drove that much (he said the battery would get so bad with time). What do you think is best? Buying the battery is always better than leasing. at the end it will depend on your budget.
 

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Co-author of CanZE. Q210 nov 2013
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A side note: is preferable to charge the battery on a non-rapid charge (50kw) as it will not heat up the battery as much.
When I say non-rapid charge I mean an up to 7kw charger.
It really isn't. Battery temperature is very well controlled, and the electronics run more efficient at higher power settings. On low power settings, the relative inefficiency last much longer. Said the guy charging 16A single phase. Also, with rapid charging, the battery is kept on a pretty high voltage level for a shorter time. Taken it all together, it pretty much evens out both on efficiency as well as battery damage.
 

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Go for rent if you want "battery peace of mind", a bit of extra towing service, and/or don't have (or want to spend) the money for ownership. Go for ownership if you want to bet against worries about selling it later privately.
What peace of mind does the lease have the ownership doesn't? Why do people talk about ownership like if the car didn't came with 8 years warranty on the battery?
And the breakdown cover thing, most insurers include the exact same as standard. My cheapest quote (lv) does the exact same "towing to closest charger" thing in case of running out of juice.
 

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A side note: is preferable to charge the battery on a non-rapid charge (50kw) as it will not heat up the battery as much.
When I say non-rapid charge I mean an up to 7kw charger.
As @yoh-there says - not an issue on the Zoe. A Zoe has active cooling / heating of the battery using the Air-Con system during charging. This helps keep the Zoe battery lasting as long as possible. Unlike your Leaf :)
 

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Currently the price difference here in the UK for the ZE50 battery owned is around £7k more than the battery leased. At around £100 per month for unlimited mileage on the battery leased, less if your mileage doesn’t warrant unlimited mileage, it all depends on how long you anticipate keeping your Zoe. Personally, if I was looking to buy the new Zoe I would buy battery owned if I was planning to keep it more than, say, five years, otherwise I’d go for the battery leased. This is what I would do, I realise there are numerous opinions on the battery owned/battery leased scenarios.
 

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if you were in the U.K. and using the motorway network you have the rapid chargers so travelling between cities isn’t an issue unless you are taking back roads but I don’t know what the charge network is like in your country.

also what charger is at your work? On a granny charger (one that plugs into a household socket) it’s gonna take 24hrs to get a full charge from zero, 8 hours on a dedicated charger, 2 hours from a rapid (all estimates)

work out your sums remembering the EV market is changing and in 3 years time the Zoe will be the worst of the 200mile options due to its lack of tech and poor build quality

JJ
 

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Co-author of CanZE. Q210 nov 2013
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What peace of mind does the lease have the ownership doesn't?
You know what? You're right, and anyone even looking at the no-ownership option (choice) is wrong. Fine. Here goes:

 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you all for your input.

One strange thing to me regarding leasing is why lease only the battery? If you want the benefits with leasing the battery, then it would be even better for you to lease the entire car, right? At the moment I'm of the opinion buying the battery is better (since I can afford it).

But some more question:
  1. Is it bad to charge the battery from 20% to 80% (and similar, i.e. not charging it full)? Does that somehow damage the battery's capacity?
  2. Is it better to charge the battery from 20% to 100% once a week or from 85% to 100% each day? Or does it not have any impact on the battery's capacity?
A Zoe has active cooling / heating of the battery using the Air-Con system during charging.
Does that mean it won't keep the battery warm in the winter when I park it outside without being connected to a charger? Will that damage the battery?
 

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One strange thing to me regarding leasing is why lease only the battery? If you want the benefits with leasing the battery, then it would be even better for you to lease the entire car, right? At the moment I'm of the opinion buying the battery is better (since I can afford it).
It originated as a way to reduce the monthly cost of a new car. Often the deals that Renault did meant that even with the battery lease on a 2 year PCP it was a no-brainer as you were going to hand the car back in any case.

On second hand cars it’s a bit more of a conundrum. You really have to examine both options in their own merits and depending on your use patterns.

If you’re not looking to own the car for 10 years or so, then I really wouldn’t worry about battery longevity.
 

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Co-author of CanZE. Q210 nov 2013
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If you’re not looking to own the car for 10 years or so, then I really wouldn’t worry about battery longevity.
I second that. I've actually extended that number to 18 years, with rather grim assumptions and charging behavior. Still, if you want to be absolutely super-careful with your battery, keep it between 30 and 70%. In my opinion the trade-off is not worth it by a very, very long shot. The car itself does that "light" Finally, as it does not really charge to 100% raw battery capacity. It alread trades a little bit of capacity for longevity.

And no, cold doesn't affect battery life at all (it's actually good). What can very rapidly kill a battery is trying to charge it with a substantial current when it is very cold. The BMS of course will not allow that. In cold climate (not yours I think?), you don't want to start your trip on an almost empty battery and then hit the first rapid charger. Cold does almost not affect DIScharge rate.

Maybe I can provide another angle. Do you think Renault would lease out it's still rather expensive batteries while putting them in a car that would allow the 99.9% of drivers not caring at all and just plugging in at will to mistreat it by doing just that? The battery and it's electrical and thermal management is very well designed.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Maybe I can provide another angle. Do you think Renault would lease out it's still rather expensive batteries while putting them in a car that would allow the 99.9% of drivers not caring at all and just plugging in at will to mistreat it by doing just that? The battery and it's electrical and thermal management is very well designed.
Ok, makes sense. I guess what I'm really asking for are guidelines for how to best take care of the battery, but as long as I don't:
  1. Leave the Zoe parked for a longer period of time with empty battery (which I guess is bad).
  2. Charge it with a big a current when it's cold.
The battery should be fine? Are there any more DON'T DO THIS!!! advice? :)
 

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a tesla was stolen and recovered 7 months later, was with 0% battery for over 6 months and the battery SOH was still 100% after that.
EV's batteries are the last thing you have to worry about in them.More likely to have issues with gas leaks,12v battery issues (replace every 3 years), charger fussiness (zoe is known for that) or general errors that give you some dashboard error
 

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Co-author of CanZE. Q210 nov 2013
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As for your #2, just to be sure, you simply can't do that. If you hook it up to a rapid, it will charge pretty slow. So you won't hurt your battery, just possibly your wallet if it's time based.
 

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I've heard that the new Zoe won't be available with a battery lease to begin with. Battery owned only initially.
 

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I've heard that the new Zoe won't be available with a battery lease to begin with. Battery owned only initially.
That's what I was told when I received PCP quotes recently. Though not sure if that is the case for outright purchase.
 
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