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Discussion Starter #1
... based on all the reading I've done so far.
As I've enjoyed researching for hours into buying my first EV, it feels like comparisons between the different makes and models is irrelevant. We are newly retired, and along with many short local journeys, which will be covered by home charging, we hope to take quite a few road trips to see family, friends and holidays. This includes ideally trips down through France etc.
It feels like tesla is the only choice, due to the supercharger network, to avoid stress and complications, and at the moment a model 3.
Am I right, or overreacting? I'm not for or against any particular manufacturer.
Cheers
 

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If you want an easy life, where charging just works 99.99% of the time then the Supercharger network is the one.

So long as you are happy with the price.

We have a ZOE and love it, but I wouldn’t take it on holidays.
 

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Tesla is without a doubt the easiest. But not the only option. The choices are increasing and getting more reliable in terms of public charging. We’re getting there.

In the UK Ecotricity are generally your only option at motorway services for now. It’s starting to change but will take time. Unless you have a car that uses AC43 or Chademo (LEAF or old Zoe basically) then you can’t rely on their chargers much at the moment. But that’s not to say you can’t do a long distance journey. Just off the motorways there are hotels, supermarkets etc. That don’t add much time to your journey at all, still have places for you to rest, use a bathroom or get food/drink near to the chargers and save money over service station costs.

It will take some getting used to but probably won’t feel inconvenient and will only get better over time.

As for France, it may take a bit more planning. Depending on where you’re going and who operates the chargers you may need to sign up for an app or membership card in advance to use some of them but again wouldn’t worry too much.
 

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We've been using a ZOE ZE40 (22kW AC charging) for the same type of usage for 3 years. We've cheated by keeping a Golf diesel for the longest trips, but it's only been used to get to Scotland and the south of France. The ZOE has done everything else. See for example Visiting Brittany in a Zoe. Overall the delays added are minimal - we usually (but not always) find that we need to take a break or find something to do anyway.

Setting off with a full battery in a ZE40, we find we can travel at least 130 miles in winter and 180 miles in summer without needing to charge, which covers most journeys. Stopping once for 1 hour, with 22kW charging, gives you about an extra 80 miles - so 210 miles in winter and 260 miles in summer for a one stop trip. (200 miles from central England, gets you to most of England and Wales!) All assuming you can charge at your destination when you arrive of course. We've not had any problems with the reliability of AC charging or finding chargers.

We are just about to take delivery of a ZE50, which adds nominal 50kW CCS charging (say 40 kW on average in practice). So we now expect to get about 160 miles in winter and 220 miles in summer before needing to charge, and then add about 100 miles range in 40 minutes on CCS. The good thing about the ZOE ZE50 is that 22kW AC charging is a good backup if there are problems DC charging for any reason. We'll still be keeping the Golf, but its only worth a few thousand - far less than the extra cost of a Tesla. And we do occasionally need two cars.

But if I did a lot of long journeys and couldn't bear delays then I'd buy a model 3 tomorrow - they have cars in inventory.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks everyone. Food for thought. I've got some test drives starting next week. Cheers
 

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There are several worthy contenders to a Tesla, these are just two I have looked into after discounting a Model 3:

VW ID.3
Polestar 2

Both with CCS charging and decent range.
The problem is they don’t exist in the wild, so very difficult to get a feel for how they compare.

Do you really want to be a guinea pig for VAG’s first attempt at a connected car?
 

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It feels like tesla is the only choice, due to the supercharger network, to avoid stress and complications, and at the moment a model 3.
Can I ask what your car history is? I know it sounds almost irrelevant, but it is an important factor when choosing a new car BEV or not, if you are used to driving cars the size and quality of a BMW 5-series, or just mid-range stuff like an Astra it makes a difference.

Telsa offer a premium style experience, albeit very minimalist in styling terms, but they offer a premium package overall. The overall package is what you need to look at, car quality, suitability, charging experience, servicing availability (when needed), reliability, and if important to you the initial cost and the residuals.

We are facing an uphill battle with charging in the UK when away from home, even though I find regular breaks acceptable, others can't stand it, and some people are just always in a hurry. As already mentioned the Ecotricty shambles that is on the motorways is frankly an embarrassment, and what was once a forward looking venture is now a thorn in the side of the uptake of BEV's for a good many people, and this is where Tesla have done a Usain Bolt and left everyone one in the dust.

Ask yourself what you find stressful, is it the speed of charging, the number of stops, the range available or something else. Driving when stressed is a very bad idea, and getting into any car with anxiety or stress isn't good for anyone on the road. Minor annoyances on the other hand can be mitigated or gotten used to, for the most part.
 

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The problem is they don’t exist in the wild, so very difficult to get a feel for how they compare.
True but enough press have driven them both and sing their praise, so they are not going to be bad as they are both from well established manufacturers, they will all be slightly different to each other though.

Do you really want to be a guinea pig for VAG’s first attempt at a connected car?
I really don’t see an issue here, OTA updates will correct the things that don’t work quite right out of the box... lets not fool ourselves that OTA updates are all about adding new functions, most of the updates are there to correct issues already there.

All cars have teething troubles, Tesla are certainly not immune from this, yes you can wait for all the bugs to be ironed out, but by then a new model or facelift will be out.
What you need to consider is:

1. Do I like the car? (warts and all)
2. Is the car suitable for my requirements? (range, size, performance, spec)
3. Am I happy with the dealer network for sorting issues and servicing out?
4. Is the car value for money / affordable?

I make no secret that whilst I like Tesla for their batteries they cannot (yet IMO) build a car to a standard we are used to in Europe, shame as I could see me in a Model S/3.

I’m happy with VAG build quality and pretty much with the dealer network, just not with the spec of the ID.3 1st Edition we get in the UK (1st Edition 'Plus’).

Polestar?
Never really been a fan of Volvo TBH but I know they are well built and comfortable, I was really unsure when I learnt they are being built in China, however a few Volvo owners have assured me that the Chinese built ones are on par with the Swedish built ones.... so it’s worth a proper look IMO.
 

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I think the biggest thing missing is not the cars nor is it the charging infrastructure it is the acceptance of charging at the destination and that is not only hotels etc but all other forms of accomadation including the relatives. Because the vast majority of relatives and friends do not have EVs and have no understanding of kwh etc they think you a taking/stealing something valuable and makes for uncomfortable charging.

Ask people how much it costs to boil a FULL kettle of water and you then get a feeling for their understanding/ignorance. One of my relatives guessed £1 ( the answer is about 3p) so guess what the feeling is about charging a EV. Anyways it costs £10s to fill with petrol so it must cost similiar for a EV -- Do you think i am made of money.

So you have a car with getting on for 200ml range (and there are many of those now) and you choose a break point in your journey for all manor of things including EV charging but then you arrive at your destination and that for me is when it gets a pain, when all you want to do is plug in, forget it and get on with doing what you went for in the first place. Tail can sometimes wag the dog.
 

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We are an all EV household (both Teslas) previously a Leaf and Prius.
Tesla gave me the confidence to go all EV, because of their charge network, no other network comes close.
Also Tesla understand their cars. So when something goes wrong they don’t have to get a technician from Germany (BMW). Most dealerships don’t have the EV expertise (or interest in EVs). Tesla only have 4 models that they know how to support. Other manufacturers charge you to diagnose a fault (you have to do this in person). Tesla will do this remotely and depending on the issue, fix it remotely.
Do not underestimate the over the air updates. This gives Tesla huge opportunity to tweak and improve their cars. When you buy from another manufacturer you are stuck with what you have bought (often with very out of date maps) or have to bring the car in for an update.
Teslas are built from the ground up as EVs. Other car companies still think like ICE manufacturers and are also constrained by their existing production lines (you can see the Leaf’s ICE heritage). This means Tesla have had to make less compromises and raid less parts bins.
Tesla are the first car manufacturer to put software/computing first. Which even the most ardent Luddite can see is the now the way forward. This means they have built a fully integrated car, rather than one with lists of different systems trying to communicate (look at the issues VW are having).
Also Tesla genuinely want to build EVs for the right reasons and I want to support that. The other manufacturers are being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st Century. Some have been fraudulent (VW), some use an unrealistic magic alternative to batteries as a way of delaying (Toyota and H2), some just ask you not to buy EVs and pay for Tesla’s carbon credits (Fiat Chrysler), others just make promises and then use a variety of excuses to delay or produce a minute quantity of cars.
 

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I make no secret that whilst I like Tesla for their batteries they cannot (yet IMO) build a car to a standard we are used to in Europe, shame as I could see me in a Model S/3.
What Tesla does well is learn fast. You might not have liked some of the earlier S or 3 quality, but if you see the change in attitude of Sandy Munro’s teardown videos of the 3 and Y. This guy knows his stuff and he is now very impressed.
 

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What Tesla does well is learn fast. You might not have liked some of the earlier S or 3 quality, but if you see the change in attitude of Sandy Munro’s teardown videos of the 3 and Y. This guy knows his stuff and he is now very impressed.
It’s actually the current quality I’m not too impressed with, when they sort out wafer thin paint, water/condensation ingress etc then I’m prepared to take another look at them.
Yes there are a few horror stories when they lose a wheel easily etc, but as a rule they are pretty well engineered.

A car built in California just isn’t cutting it in Western Europe due to different climate and expectations.
Hopefully this will change when they start building (not just bolting a few bits on) in Europe.
 

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... based on all the reading I've done so far.
As I've enjoyed researching for hours into buying my first EV, it feels like comparisons between the different makes and models is irrelevant. We are newly retired, and along with many short local journeys, which will be covered by home charging, we hope to take quite a few road trips to see family, friends and holidays. This includes ideally trips down through France etc.
It feels like tesla is the only choice, due to the supercharger network, to avoid stress and complications, and at the moment a model 3.
Am I right, or overreacting? I'm not for or against any particular manufacturer.
Cheers
Hi Steve - I don’t want to be the first to say :- “I told you so” - But I did !.
TOLD you would arrive at a model 3 in the end !.
Not a Tesla owner myself OBTW.
Now you are recently retired ( congrats BTW ) who knows where you will end up travelling too !.
The speed of receiving a charge is less important anymore.
Time to change down to a lower gear in life style.
Enjoy the journey and your retirement !.
A little hard to adjust to at first, but now I love it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Can I ask what your car history is? I know it sounds almost irrelevant, but it is an important factor when choosing a new car BEV or not, if you are used to driving cars the size and quality of a BMW 5-series, or just mid-range stuff like an Astra it makes a difference.

Telsa offer a premium style experience, albeit very minimalist in styling terms, but they offer a premium package overall. The overall package is what you need to look at, car quality, suitability, charging experience, servicing availability (when needed), reliability, and if important to you the initial cost and the residuals.

We are facing an uphill battle with charging in the UK when away from home, even though I find regular breaks acceptable, others can't stand it, and some people are just always in a hurry. As already mentioned the Ecotricty shambles that is on the motorways is frankly an embarrassment, and what was once a forward looking venture is now a thorn in the side of the uptake of BEV's for a good many people, and this is where Tesla have done a Usain Bolt and left everyone one in the dust.

Ask yourself what you find stressful, is it the speed of charging, the number of stops, the range available or something else. Driving when stressed is a very bad idea, and getting into any car with anxiety or stress isn't good for anyone on the road. Minor annoyances on the other hand can be mitigated or gotten used to, for the most part.
Lots of useful stuff from all the posts, so thanks all.
I currently have a vw golf sv, had from new 5 years ago. Before that a vw touran for 10 years from new.
I'm not in any way a vw fan boy, but I have to say the current car is very well made and quiet and comfortable.
As far as longer journeys is concerned, Id be happy to stop more often and for longer. We are retired and both have quite chilled and relaxed personalities.
What would stress us would be constantly arriving at a charging station to find it not working, and equally the idea of having to carry around loads of rfid cards and have multiple apps on the phones.
If you could just turn up to any ccs charger and present a contactless card, with no app, that would be fine, even if many are not that fast.
I just feel it may be years before this all happens.
I'd like the networks to be good for everyone's sake, and I could then compare different cars just on their merits.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hi Steve - I don’t want to be the first to say :- “I told you so” - But I did !.
TOLD you would arrive at a model 3 in the end !.
Not a Tesla owner myself OBTW.
Now you are recently retired ( congrats BTW ) who knows where you will end up travelling too !.
The speed of receiving a charge is less important anymore.
Time to change down to a lower gear in life style.
Enjoy the journey and your retirement !.
A little hard to adjust to at first, but now I love it.
Thanks,
Still not sure but test drives starting next week....
Take care
 

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Lots of useful stuff from all the posts, so thanks all.
I currently have a vw golf sv, had from new 5 years ago. Before that a vw touran for 10 years from new.
I'm not in any way a vw fan boy, but I have to say the current car is very well made and quiet and comfortable.
As far as longer journeys is concerned, Id be happy to stop more often and for longer. We are retired and both have quite chilled and relaxed personalities.
What would stress us would be constantly arriving at a charging station to find it not working, and equally the idea of having to carry around loads of rfid cards and have multiple apps on the phones.
If you could just turn up to any ccs charger and present a contactless card, with no app, that would be fine, even if many are not that fast.
I just feel it may be years before this all happens.
I'd like the networks to be good for everyone's sake, and I could then compare different cars just on their merits.
I had use of a Model 3 and Model S for 7 weeks. I did 4K miles, visiting all the SuCs in England, Scotland and Wales. Never had an issue charging.

I took a friend who regularly visits Nice for a ride. We put the place he stays at into the SatNav and within seconds it had plotted a route via all the SuCs and calculated the time it would take to arrive. 16 hours if I remember correctly (from London). You could then book any accommodation you needed along the route.

If you want to be adventurous in your retirement and can afford a Model 3, just buy one. Don’t bother looking at anything else. Simples.
 
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What would stress us would be constantly arriving at a charging station to find it not working, and equally the idea of having to carry around loads of rfid cards and have multiple apps on the phones.
If you could just turn up to any ccs charger and present a contactless card, with no app, that would be fine, even if many are not that fast.
I personally do have a huge stack of RFID cards and fobs in the car as well as several apps on my smartphone but that's because I go on many long distance journeys with little to no notice or planning and typically just plug in when I need to and hope for the best.

A bit of planning and you can get by without all of this. Maybe one Polar Plus fob on your keyring will sort you for the majority of charging stations in England including access to CYC and a number of their other regional brands. Add to that a contactless credit card in your wallet and that will sort you out for access to Instavolt, a nationwide, reliable and simple rapid charge network. For the people that unlike me don't drive 1000 miles in 24 hours in an EV with zero planning I think they would manage just fine with that.

From there things will only get better. More chargers are being installed. The majority of the networks are starting to add on contactless payment readers so more networks will take your credit card as time goes on. That then broadens your options to other networks like Engenie, Shell Recharge, Fastned and I believe even the new Ecotricity chargers (the ones that actually work on CCS) are planned to support credit cards in future as more are installed.

With that said, if you like Tesla, can afford a Tesla, and are happy with their cars you're definitely going to get an easier charging experience where you can just plug in and start charging at any of their superchargers.

Maybe try renting a Tesla, and then renting another EV you are interested in. Try them out for a day or two and get some real world experience. It will give you far more time to think of anything you may be concerned about that you may not get to consider during a short test drive, and you should quickly be able to decide what you would rather live with.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I personally do have a huge stack of RFID cards and fobs in the car as well as several apps on my smartphone but that's because I go on many long distance journeys with little to no notice or planning and typically just plug in when I need to and hope for the best.

A bit of planning and you can get by without all of this. Maybe one Polar Plus fob on your keyring will sort you for the majority of charging stations in England including access to CYC and a number of their other regional brands. Add to that a contactless credit card in your wallet and that will sort you out for access to Instavolt, a nationwide, reliable and simple rapid charge network. For the people that unlike me don't drive 1000 miles in 24 hours in an EV with zero planning I think they would manage just fine with that.

From there things will only get better. More chargers are being installed. The majority of the networks are starting to add on contactless payment readers so more networks will take your credit card as time goes on. That then broadens your options to other networks like Engenie, Shell Recharge, Fastned and I believe even the new Ecotricity chargers (the ones that actually work on CCS) are planned to support credit cards in future as more are installed.

With that said, if you like Tesla, can afford a Tesla, and are happy with their cars you're definitely going to get an easier charging experience where you can just plug in and start charging at any of their superchargers.

Maybe try renting a Tesla, and then renting another EV you are interested in. Try them out for a day or two and get some real world experience. It will give you far more time to think of anything you may be concerned about that you may not get to consider during a short test drive, and you should quickly be able to decide what you would rather live with.
Very useful thanks...
 
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